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30 Years Owned 1930 Ford Model A Hot Rod

This was not Henry Ford’s first Model A. His initial naming system was alphabetical in nature, with cars going all the way up to the venerable Model T that made Ford Ford. The Model A, designed as a new replacement for the Model T, was named such because Henry Ford thought that the car was so new they should begin with a new naming convention, starting over at A. It built on the Model T’s success as an affordable, plentiful car for the masses, but added new luxuries like an electric starter. Ford made nearly five million examples before production ended in 1932, and because of how well they sold, they became popular with hot rodders. You can find this hot rod Model A here on eBay.

“Hot rodders” are a modifying scene that few other places in the world can replicate. It’s an art form entirely unto itself, modifying cars in the style of the “hot rod.” Usually, this entails taking a small, cheap, simple car and shoehorning in the biggest engine you can get your hands on. The fact that the Model A was small, cheap, simple, and plentiful on the used market in the mid-twentieth century means they were prime bases for hot rods. Each hot rod is unique, a perfect reflection of the original driver’s personality, and this one is no different. The list of modifications is extensive, so I’ll start simply with the interior. Red leather upholstery on the inside bench seat and rear rumble seat look like new, and you’ve got a custom steering wheel fronting basic gauges.

Under where the hood should be is where the uniqueness really comes through, though. The seller describes, in detail, the engine they’ve built for this car. Starting life as a 1951 260 cubic inch Ford block, they’ve given it a crank from a Mercury, upgraded to Jahns pistons, adjustable lifters, Edelbrock heads, upgraded intake and carburetor, a high-pressure oil system, and–most interestingly–an X-Grind Isky camshaft. Ed Iskenderian, the founder of Isky Cams, is credited by some to be the person who built the first “hot rod.” This built motor is turning the 8” Positraction rear end with 3.50 gearing through a built C4 three-speed automatic transmission.

There are no images of the undercarriage, but the seller describes it in great detail. It’s been stretched three inches, and the axle has been dropped four inches, giving a ride that’s different than the stock Model A. This is a Model A in name only, and is basically a car someone built entirely by themself for themself, and that build is something few of us will ever get to experience in our lives.


  1. bobhess bobhess Member

    Everything in the right place to duplicate the hot rods of the era. Very nice car.

    Like 9
    • bry593

      Even has bias ply tires!!!

      Like 0
  2. Tom Bell

    A great period-correct flattie coupled to an automatic? Just sad. Too lazy to push a stick around or can’t figure out three pedals?

    Like 9
    • Dave

      How difficult is it to source a LaSalle transmission these days? I’d guess very. It’s the true hot rodding spirit to use what’s free or readily available. This rod doesn’t have a Halibrand quick change rear end either but what the hey! Nice build!

      Like 7
      • Steve R

        I’m not advocating for a transmission change, it up to the individual owner. However, a T5 to flathead adapter plate designed for a hydraulic throw out bearing costs $331 brand new. The aftermarket has had reasonably priced components available to instal modernl overdrive transmissions on most popular “hot rod” engine platforms for a couple of decades.

        Steve R

        Like 6
    • Erik

      Tom I am with you on your arguments as I believe fun comes in running through the gears and man becoming one with the machine. But as I age and things on one’s body wear down and hurts it sometimes eventually keeps some from enjoying motoring around in their beloved classic and then the car sits more than is enjoyed. So throwing in an automatic allows the owner to maximize their enjoyment time with the vehicle rather than avoid it and that’s a tradeoff worth it in the end no?

      Like 4
  3. Steve R

    It’s a nice start, if the price is right, there are to many new parts to pull if a vintage feel. I’d lose most of the stickers and hunt down some older performance parts, you won’t need many, and enjoy. As it sits now, it’s a mismatch of themes.

    Steve R

    Like 3

    I took a lot of heat on my comment on the junk Rat Fink posted last week. Some comments even deleted. This is the type build I had in mind when I made my statement.

    This is a period build using the and something no one would be ashamed to show and drive. It isn’t perfect and shouldn’t be.

    Like 8
    • Howard A Member

      I apologize, AMCFAN, I may have had something to do with that. I mentioned to the staff about the profanity, and they deleted a bunch of comments, some, like yours, that actually had merit. That “lookin’ thru the roof” one was a bit out there, this, I agree, is much more like it. Except,,,it needs 4 more cylinders( HotRod Lincoln)

      Like 2
      • Lowell Peterson

        No bad hotrods! They were built out of leftovers from rumors of what someone else said or wrote was kool! I have a Crosley truck with a V8 60 and 39 trans and original steering wheel! I’m 6’2″, old ,stiff, etc! I would love to plug an automatic trans onto it so I could drive it safer and easier!

        Like 2
  5. bobhess bobhess Member

    Dave… We couldn’t find LaSalle transmissions when we were building our Olds powered ’53 Studebaker coupe. Went with the GM 4 speed hydromatic instead which turned out to be faster on the the drag strip. College roommate couldn’t find parts for his LaSalle transmission and had to pay freight for a complete unit from across the country. Wasn’t the greatest drag box but the the car topped 140mph radar clocked.

    Like 1
    • Dave

      “She’ll do a hundred and forty with the top end floored…”
      I give you props for trying.

      Like 0
  6. Danny

    What is &nbsp, mentioned a few times in the ad?

    Like 0
    • Piros1

      My guess is “No Bull S*** Please”.

      I would love to have the car but since it is at $16,100 and the reserve isn’t met my guess is it is going to not sell the first run.

      It is a similar build that I would do with a few exceptions, tranny and the rear diff would not get it for me. Also needs some attention to detail and dressy paint. I do like that it is a 5 window steel body.

      Like 1
      • Danny

        Thanks for the explanation

        Like 0
  7. Larry Ashcraft

    Nitpicking, but the 1951 Ford V8 was 239 ci, not 260. The Merc crank should make it 255 ci.

    Like 4
  8. Joe Haska

    Interesting build, but not period correct or a Rat Rod, it is just a Hot Rod done the way the owner wanted to build it. He has had it since the early 90’s , which really means nothing, I have had my 34 Ford Coupe since the early 60’s ,which means, Ihave had it along time. There are always mis-conceptions about Hot Rods, especially if they look dated and you don’t know what you are looking at, there are definitely some recreations and restorations of vintage Hot Rods, but not that many. Why? Because it is difficult to do and very expensive ,if it is the real deal. Compare it to building and restoring a vintage SSK Mercedes or having a VW powered Kit Car, maybe a bit of an exaggeration, but you get the point. In all fairness the seller didn’t represent this car as a vintage Hot Rod, it came for comments of viewers who make assumptions,that aren’t true. There were errors in the description ,such as the cubic inches of the flathead, which one comment corrected. My point is it is just a Model A Hot Rod that was put together very recently and is now for sale, if you like it buy, but buy it for what it is not what some people think it is.

    Like 2
  9. Kenn

    Getting into the rumble seat, without rear bumper or fenders, would be less than graceful!

    Like 2
  10. t-bone BOB

    Jun 20, 2021
    Current bid:
    US $16,600.00

    Reserve price not met

    [ 54 bids ]

    Item location:
    Claremore, Oklahoma

    Like 0

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