1940s Hot Rod: 1930 Ford Model A

For almost as long as there have been cars, enthusiasts have been hot rodding them! This 1930 Ford Model A is an excellent early example of a hot rod with enough upgrades to keep things interesting. According to the ad, this car was built to its current  configuration between 1942 and 1945 and has been in the same family for 79 years, though it has been a hot rod for approximately 70 of those. This is a period hot rod that has been left the way it was originally customized and really keeps a unique look as compared to many later hot rods. Find it here on eBay in the Midwest with bidding at $11,000 and reserve not met. 

The engine is correct for this car, being a Ford Model B engine. Though this is the engine that would typically be found in a Model A Ford, it certainly wouldn’t normally be found in this configuration! Equipped with an upgraded Burns intake manifold, dual carburetors, and overhead valves the seller states that this car will keep up with modern traffic. From the ad, “Casting on the overhead says, “use anti-knock fuel and use high compression plugs, Schofield Inc. of America, Los Angeles.'”

The leather interior has held up well over the years, and if it is stiff it looks like it would be very receptive to leather conditioner. The interior looks to have received minimal modification, but then again it looks like nothing was done to this car that didn’t make it go fast! To keep with the red and black paint scheme, the interior panels and dash are red. Though I can’t be sure, I wonder if the now-brown leather seats were originally red as well.

Another important attribute is that this car is all original Ford sheet metal and has no fiberglass. Some would say that the lack of fiberglass designates this as a true hot rod. The body is black with red painted wheel wells. Even some of the underside has been painted red, including the axle. Though this car is far from original, it has been this way for 70 years and is certainly a piece of Americana as it is. With 19 bids and eight days left, this car is sure to find its way to a hot rod enthusiast. While most hot rods are unique, it is nice to see something that was done so long ago.


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  1. jdjonesdr

    I love the looks of this baby. Love to have it too.

  2. Metoo

    I thought the hot rod in the last Indiana Jones movie was cool……but this is WAY cooler. No equipment upgrades in 70+ years? That alone makes this historic and worthy of whatever price it finally reaches.

    • Andrew Tanner Member

      I’m with you! My Model T turned 99 this year and was last modified in the 1950s, and it is so much fun to tell people nothing has been replaced except maintenance items.

  3. Speedy D

    The Model B engine was introduced in 1932-4 as an improvement over the Model A engine (28-31).


    • On and On On and On Member

      Interesting article.

  4. Dan in Texas

    This car is as cool as it gets.

  5. Coventrycat

    The only thing I’d change are those indicators on the front fenders. Just how I’d want a neat old hot rod.

    • Kinmont Willy

      Agreed, they remind me of a pretty girl arriving at the prom with a big a pimple on each cheek.

    • glen

      You can’t change this!, this IS an old hot rod. NO CHANGES!, called it.

  6. Dolphin Member

    I have to agree with those of like mind who commented above.If I were ever to have a rod, this would be it. And if I owned it I would join the SCTA immediately and make plans to run it at the next dry lakes event.

  7. Gene Parmesan

    I’ll never get tired of seeing period-modified cars and I’m so glad that stuff like this is still out there. What a beautiful old hotrod.

  8. Derek

    Every model A car would have originally had a Model A engine, certainly a 1930. The model B engine was introduced in 1932 but was popular with early hot rodders due to its counter balanced crankshaft. Very nice early rod with some truly great early engine mods.

  9. kenzo

    Nice time capsule. Wonder what the turn signals are from? Turn signal assy on the steering column looks like the Sears one I installed on my 48 Studebaker. And the gauge plate behind the turn signals?

    • Bellingham Fred

      The turn signals look to me like clearance lights from a truck cab.

  10. Stu

    I find many early rods don’t have “the look” by that I mean the right stance or the front is out of proportion to the back or vice versa but whoever built this nailed it! What a great looking old girl!!!!!!!

  11. Rex Member

    The fenders make is appear to be more functional than than many un-fendered hotrods. The eBay posts claims it has 8 cylinders, but I only see 4.

  12. Kink-A-Tailer

    I think that seat may have been liberated from an MGTD, or perhaps a TC.

    Like 1
  13. GearHead Engineering

    I love it! Juice brakes, split front wishbone, and I love that Schofield OHV head! Period correct hot rods have been hot for a while now. I expect this will get bid up to a pretty good price.

    This is what I consider true patina. Yes, the paint is cracked and starting to flake, but to me that’s part of the charm. I wouldn’t change a thing, other than adding some seat belts. Drive and enjoy.

    – John

  14. Dave

    I sure wish I lived next door tho owner and had been able to buy it.

  15. EHide Behind

    To all the “Purist” out there , this modified hot rod ‘s motor is worth more than a prime.
    This is of Hot Rod history that 10’s of million of young American boys and men participated in, before they became old fat and lazy collectors and flippers.
    As a youth I saw many of these cut down and lightened rods.
    I hand hammered, leaded, brush painted then rubbed till hands raw, just as many poor folk did.
    Manny a motors available and rebuilt, any work you could find to buy heads, manifold and carb.
    I hope like he’ll whoever final owner is they appreciate it’s symbolim, drive it, and not be some self centered look what I bought and hide it from we less fortunate.
    F it I’m old and near dirt poor but I am going after this one, for Great Grandsons.

    • glen

      Go get it!

    • DavidL Member

      Do it!

  16. Joe Haska

    This is a very unusual car. It I mostly a 1931 Model A, but this car was not originally a roadster. The windshield and the cowl are made from something else ,maybe parts of a 32. The top of the doors have an unusual roll to the top. It must have been a coupe, it just has some proportions ,that just don’t seem quite right. I would just about have to see it in person to tell. If it had smaller wheels and tires it would take on more of the looks of a Hot Rod of that era. It reminds me of an English Hot Rod, something similar to an old MG. I am not saying I don’t like it, it is different, and allot hasof body modifications.

    • Speedy D

      I have owned both 1928 and 1930 Ford roadsters and I respectfully submit that this car is a TRUE 1930 Ford Roadster — the cowl and windshield are both correct. The apparent ‘roll at the top of the doors’ are actually reflections in the pictures. This was NEVER a coupe. The odd proportions I believe to be a result of the ‘bobbed’ rear fenders and the oversize front ‘cycle fenders’ which do indeed offer a somewhat English sportscar appearance and the “suicide” front axle placement which moves the axle a few inches farther forward. A stock model A has the axle centred just behind the radiator. The “suicide treatment has the axle ahead of the radiator. This lengthens the wheelbase of the car and alters the side profile considerably. The seats are not original and actually look like they might be from an early MG.

      • Dave

        You are correct. It is a Model A roadster, without a question.

    • Andrew Tanner Member

      Joe, thanks for your input! You have learned me a lot about hot rods since I started writing for Barn Finds.

  17. Yoopermike

    Wow, built from ’42 to ’45. The war years . Must have been tough on someone to build this during that period. Nicely done for what they had. Happy to see this has spent the past 70 plus years somewhere safe. Would love to own sometime like this .

  18. EHide Behind

    From a time when during was fun, and each drive an adventure.

  19. Joe Haska

    Speedy D, I agree with everything you said about the car, and I keep looking at the pictures and you might be right. However if you look at the windshield standtion’s the lower portion seems wrong, and the shape of the frame, especially at the bottom doesn’t look right, and even though the instrument cluster is correct, from above that, the shape of the top of the dash looks wrong. Also where the doors go into the cowl seems like it is too wide, and the piece behind the seat looks high. I could certainly be wrong ,but it just doesn’t look correct to me, and, I have also had allot of exposure to early Fords.

  20. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    A knock out ride for sure, and the 1930 Chevrolet 1 ½ Ton Depot Hack she has for sale is pretty sweet also. https://www.ebay.com/itm/1930-Chevrolet-Other-Depot-Hack/232673817952?hash=item362c70b560:g:KvEAAOSwRTVajdeo

  21. Tort Member

    A hot rod built to perfection!

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