My cousin is restoring a 1930 Model A Ford. He has researched the car's history, and it was assembled in New Orleans. We are both third-generation New Orleanians, but we cannot figure out where the assembly plant was located. Our 94-year-old aunt did not know either. That means you, Blake, are our only hope.
The $500,000 Ford Assembly Plant, located at Friscoville Avenue and the Mississippi River in Arabi, opened for business in April 1923 and began turning out 150 cars and 20 trucks a day almost immediately. The output included every model of Ford cars, and they were assembled entirely from parts made in Ford's factory in Detroit. The plant in Arabi (which most records list as Ford's New Orleans plant) held an open house with guided tours on April 23, 1923, and the tours were so popular the company continued them for many years.
Construction of the plant began in August 1922, and the finished building measured 400 feet by 400 feet, with a two-story section in front. Initially, it employed between 400 and 500 men. The New Orleans plant was one of 35 similar facilities located in the larger cities of America.
Ford cars were very popular, and records show they accounted for 47 percent of all passenger cars sold in Louisiana in July 1932. The Great Depression took a toll on sales, however, and the plant closed in January 1933, leaving 700 men without jobs.