Original Interior? 1929 Ford Model A Town Sedan

Sometimes our Barn Finds stories can bear bad news for sellers.  We don’t want to rain on anyone’s parade, but the facts have to come out.  This Ikey H. discovered 1929 Model A Town Sedan for sale on craigslist in East Grand Forks, North Dakota is being advertised as a Town Car.  While a handful of Model A Town Cars were made in 1929, the differences are obvious.  Most glaring of which is that this car doesn’t have a removeable roof section over the driver.  The bigger problem is that the asking price of $21,000 would be a bargain if it were a Town Car.  While this is a nice Town Sedan, that price is a bit over market value for a Model A in this condition.  Do you think the seller will come down in price when they find out, or will this car perpetually occupy a place on craigslist?  Also, is it an original car, or an old restoration?

Identifying the different models of Model As isn’t a simple task.  To get this one nailed down, I consulted the “Ford Model A Collectors Originality Guide” by Jim Schild.  For anyone who likes Model A Fords, it is a wonderful book filled with high quality color photos and detailed information on every type of Model A built.  Hopefully I am correct in identifying this car as a Murray bodied Town Sedan.  Both Murray and Briggs built four door sedan bodies for Ford.  The Murray bodies had rounded side window openings, while those openings were much more squared off on Briggs bodies.

Town Sedans were the more luxurious version of the Standard Fordor.  They can be identified by having a nickel plated cowl band, cowl lights, side and center armrests for back seat passengers, three different interior schemes instead of two, and garnish moldings that were wood grained in appearance.  While the pictures weren’t taken to satisfy our curiosity on these matters, it is pretty clear in the shot above that there is an armrest visible behind and above the dog.  A closer look at the garnish moldings shows a finish that looks like wood graining as well.  In the second shot, the cowl band and cowl lights are visible.

The next question is whether or not the car is in original condition.  That is harder to determine.  A whole lot of Model A Fords were restored in decades past, and many of them ended up partially abandoned in garages and barns across the United States.  Time waits for no man, and it is never kind to old cars.  The odometer states that this car has 63,279 miles on it.  Restorers frequently roll back the odometer when the car has been completely restored to new.  Still, that is not something we can rely on.

The interior looks really good for being 90 years old.  Look up at the headliner.  The cloth looks way too good to be that age, given that roof inserts often leak over time.  The panels on the sides of the interior are also free of water stains.  The window shades are even still in the car.  Too bad we can’t see the seats.  The seat covers look to be sixties or seventies vintage.  It is possible that the interior could be original.  I am just doubtful of that because the material lacks any signs of aging.

Overall, the car is probably a good amateur restoration that was stuffed in a barn or shed when it broke down or the owner got bored with it.  It has obviously been kept under cover for a number of years, and would clean up well.  The seller said that it runs, but possibly needs a good carb cleaning.  I’d venture the whole fuel system needs to be cleaned out, and a number of other maintenance issues would need to be addressed before this car was back on the road.  Model A sedans have a certain dignified look to them.  It would be a fun car to own, but the price would have to come down a lot before it ends up in a new garage.

What do you think it is worth?  Do you think it is an original car?

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Comments

  1. JACKinNWPA JACKinNWPA Member

    Town Car / Town Sedan is still better than the 1969 Cord replica advertised as a 1936 Cord. I’m guessing the “Cord” owner knows and is hopping $omeone comes along that doesn’t. As for the “bit” overpriced Model A I doubt the owner knows.

    Like 6
  2. John M.

    I won’t take it for $21 grand but I’ll gladly adopt the little dachshund.

    Like 17
  3. Johnmloghry Johnmloghry Member

    There a still a lt of model “A” cars and trucks around. They can be bought for under $10k. This being a top line model makes it a little more valuable but not twice the going price. Good luck.
    God bless America

    Like 8
  4. canadainmarkseh Member

    Cool car lots of potential. I’d be inclined to keep it stock and if need be give it a repaint, I’d rather see it in red with blank fenders with a red leather interior, or burnt orange with chocolate brown fenders and same inside. Of course there’s limited use for a car like this but it looks like it would be fun to own. I haven’t had much to do with one of these but they look super simple and there is plenty of support out there.

    Like 5
  5. doug edwards

    The folks who are most fond of these cars are mostly dead. I have an aunt sitting on a house full of restored nickelodians & mechanical music boxes that are now worth 1/3 of what they were 20 years ago.

    Like 8
  6. Ken Carney

    Agreed. The generations that covered
    these cars are dying off and as a result,
    interest in them is waning. For the life of
    me, I just can’t see this car fetching anywhere near the $21K asking price that
    this misguided soul says that he wants–
    especially when nicely restored examples
    can now be had for much less money. I
    detect a high amount of Mecum Mania
    or Barrett-Jackson Syndrome here. Our
    poor seller must’ve been watching the
    live streaming of the Mecum Auction on
    YouTube this afternoon and was blinded
    by dollar signs. Sorry friend, your car may
    be nice but to me, it’s only worth no more
    than $5K at best. Good luck getting more.

    Like 8
  7. JW454

    I agree. It’s a town sedan… either a 155-C or 155-D. The 155-C was built by Briggs and the 155-D was built by Murray.

    Like 4
  8. Chris in Pineville

    might clean up into a nice driver….
    less than $10K for this car IF the body wood is sound.
    much less if it has wood problems.
    changing demographics have already devalued Model Ts and the same is beginning to happen to As.

    Like 4
  9. TRPIV

    Ive owned a 1929 A, Tudor. Really great cars. In fact, I sold it here on Barnfinds just over a year ago. :)

    The seller is quite optimistic with his asking price. Originality/preservation is awesome, but there is a limit. At that price, the buyer would be more than 2x upside down before it was on the road again.

    Like 3
  10. Dale Watson

    The price of t,s and A has gone up a lot in recent years , can’t buy a nice T anymore for under $10,000.00 or Model A ,s for @12,000.00 like a few years ago , I find young people still want these cars because there family had one . You will find one in the back room of most collections .

  11. TimM

    Really cool but the same old dilemma for me!! This ones in such good shape it should be preserved and not hot rodded chopped or channeled!! Price does seem a little steep and I’m pretty sure the original color was black!! The paint does look good like this though!!

    Like 1
  12. H5mind

    I watched Mecum Chicago this weekend and noticed almost every A and T sold for well under estimated sales price. Unless this is the nicest one in the world, enthusiasm will be lukewarm.

    Like 2
  13. Dan B.

    I love Model As. We had a 1930 closed cab pickup that was our sole family car in the 1970s. We were active in local Model A clubs as well. We kept it until a few years ago. I sold it as my 6’6” frame couldn’t safely drive it. Would like to get a Tudor or similar one day in the future.

    In the meantime, the market for Model As is shrinking as the demand for them sadly wanes. Good luck to the seller; maybe they will find the right buyer.

    Like 1
  14. canadainmarkseh Member

    Part of the problem with these is fewer and fewer know how to drive a manual transmission. Young folks for the most part want convenience. Also these are not exactly a daily driver so for people starting out in life this is an unnecessary expense that puts this way down the list of there priorities..

    Like 1
  15. David Ulrey

    My only comment is regarding the odometer on this and most old cars for that matter. When they are oldies unless they have been meticulously maintained and stored in completely ideal conditions, mileage showing means absolutely nothing in most cases. Pretty much anything pertinent has been re-done or will need to be. The odometer is basically just a cool thing to look at and possibly keep track of any miles a current owner puts on it. Assuming it is working.

    Like 1
  16. Doug

    Part of the problem with desirability on the Model T & Model A is that they have become too dangerous to drive almost everywhere, except perhaps on rural roads that have been bypassed by freeways. A practical cruising speed makes these cars a rolling roadblock, and ignorant / stupid drivers don’t consider that these older cars can’t stop as quickly as their disc braked modern cars, so they just dive in front of the older cars, not leaving enough space for them. If one has enough friends to make up a convoy, then traveling in a group would probably be safe, but with the lack of driving skill and common sense of the average driver on today’s crowded roads, a lone Model A could be in serious danger.

    There is a gentleman who lives a short distance from me that has parked his Model T 5 window coupe in his driveway with a for sale sign in the windshield for the last 3 summers, with no takers. The car is in decent ” driver” quality – not perfect, but no rust, decent upholstery, and the wood wheels are in excellent condition. Part of the problem is that there is no way to get to town that doesn’t require driving in traffic that runs 55+ mph or faster in the right lane, so other than cruising through the neighborhood, there is no place to really enjoy driving it.

    Like 7
  17. Gary S.

    Nice old A but not 20k nice….and people have no respect on the roads anymore. I think they should have a common sense test to get and/or keep your license…would solve alot of issues…

    Like 1
  18. Paul

    I only see interest in these declining year after year along with values…I feel they are only good for parade driving and museums.
    I wish to see them around for others to look at and for historical reasons….
    However I would not pay anything for it.

    Like 1
  19. Del

    Yup. I agree with Ken.

    5 grand tops.

    More if it was in top driving condition.

    Maybe rat rod

    Like 1

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