60 Years Forgotten: 1931 Ford Model A Tudor Sedan

Recently discovered in a barn in Pennsylvania, this Ford Model A has spent nearly 60 years at rest. The owner passed away, but the widow claims the car has been untouched since the late 1950’s as her husband purchased the car and drove it for a short time. Today the current seller has revived this Model A but it does come with a few problems. Appearing unrestored, and solid, this old Ford needs a little work before it is road worthy once more. With 3 days remaining, bidding has reached $7,500. Check out this fine Ford here on ebay out of Zionsville, Pennsylvania.

So if this Ford runs and drives what kind of work could it need? Well it would seem the old flathead 4 cylinder may have been overheated a time or two in its past. The cylinder head is cracked, and coolant leaks from the upper radiator hose, as well as the water pump. Despite these concerns the engine “runs well, and idles nicely.” Although not a perfect situation, this little engine seems capable of being a runner once more. Also the fuel system will need to be serviced as the fuel tank if full of sludge, but the seller used a small fuel tank to get this “A” running. Beyond the fuel system, and the mechanical needs of the engine, the exhaust also needs some work as there is little remaining of the original. The remainder of the mechanicals on this Ford work as they should with proper stopping, and gear selection.

Unfortunately the interior isn’t as nice as I had hoped for, but not all hope is lost, as some upholstery work would do wonders for this old Ford. The seller has stated that the interior is in poor condition, but I have seen worse. Thankfully the interior hardware appears to be complete, and the flooring looks solid as well. There is some slight surface rust on the dash area, as well as on the gauge cluster. Some polishing and an upholstery kit would do wonders for this Ford.

The best part about this 86 year old automobile is its solid body and chassis. Granted, there is surface rust present, but there is little rot in this old Ford. The bottom of the passenger door is crispy, with a narrow opening that is most certainly rot. Beyond that area, the remainder of the body seems quite sturdy. There are some various dents and dings, the worst being the driver side rear fender, and a dent on the back edge of the roof. Although the front fenders are solid, the passenger fender cracked and was welded up at some point. Otherwise this Ford is a relatively straight survivor. Most if not all of the glass is clear and clean, but the passenger side door glass is broken. No matter your intentions, this is a solid project with definite potential. Would you jump on this solid opportunity?

Fast Finds


  1. Chris in WNC

    The seller should be flogged for mentioning the word “rat rod” in this ad.
    this car is too solid to waste in that manner……j.m.h.o.

  2. Luke Fitzgerald

    Chris – you’re right

  3. geomechs geomechs Member

    Definitely a full restoration on this one. It would be a good project to take on because everything is in its place and just needs to be cleaned up and refinished. Well, some rust to repair in the door. I’d fix it right down to the 200 cid motor…

    Like 1
    • Daytongarmin

      200.5 cid. :))

  4. 86 Vette Convertible

    Now that’s a parade car!

  5. Dan

    I am by no means a Model A expert, but doesn’t a clogged fuel tank basically mean disassembling the car to get the cowl out and opened up?

  6. Capt Doug

    This part of PA with it’s thrifty Pennsylvania Dutch roots has always been a treasure trove of ‘barnfinds’ – back in the mid 60’s I was growing up there and found and towed home with my Dad, 3 barnfinds, bought with my paper route money – including my 1936 Packard 120CD which I drove in High School.
    My dad was always willing to pull over and look at any old car with me and rarely a week went by when I did not find something to pique my interest – never found the elusive Deuce Coupe but saw Hupmobiles, Essex, Pierce Arrow often, and lost out on a pre WW1 Rolls Royce because my Mom was along and nixed the plan since I already had 2 “junk cars” and no drivers license yet.
    This Model A should get a sympathetic restoration and become some young mans 1st car!!

    Like 1
  7. Bill

    Restomod! (hey if it’s got a cracked cyl head why mess around! I’m all about keeping original looking, but a safe brakes and reliable engine would make this more likely to be driven daily.. i don’t mean V8, but a modernish 4 cyl would be great.

  8. Kris

    Remember, these 4 cylinder engines are flatheads, so a cracked head is actually a pretty easy fix, especially with the all iron construction. Outside that, I think it’s been bid past a fair price. Values on these cars have been dropping from their ’70s and ’80s highs as their owners die off, and the demand isn’t as much, so that same amount will usually score a driveable older restoration that has less issues to fix.

  9. Al

    Current bid is $7500, about $4500 too much (& maybe more) for the shape its in.
    Too many dreamers out there with deep pockets.

  10. Slotblog

    Yep, makes no sense when a running, driving version of the same or a similar cars can be bought for, say, $10-12K. Won’t be cosmetically perfect for that but far better than this car. A $7,500 bid is very unwise IMO. I’m seeing the occasional Model A offered for less than $10K that could likely be driven across country. Heck, I bought one for not much more than that in 2014 and did drive it essentially across the county, from Oregon to Atlanta, almost 3,000 miles. Pic shown is from the eBay ad where I bought it.

    Think this barn find can go from its condition to the condition of my car for less than $5K? Think again…

    Like 1
  11. Rodney

    This car gives hope to all of us who have cracked open a barn or shed door and stuck our heads inside the cobwebs looking. And hoping. Yes, they are still out there and waiting to be discovered. Not every car is lost and now we know, not every car has been found.

  12. D Roman

    There’s no reason why you can’t replace the head on these there’s hundreds of them around they made thousands of these engines and they’re still on road. Everybody’s too quick to resto rod or hot rod these days no need for it

  13. Mickey Dorsey

    It is sad that these Model A’s have not changed in price since the 1980’s. Unless you find a really rare body style, these can be had in this condition for less than $5000. I have restored (in a previous life) about 15 Model A’s and I love them. Even restored to “showy road car” condition, these sedans are only worth about $10K. The most disheartening thing about this Hobby is that it is now dominated by people with more money than they know what to do with. Everybody wants to make a buck, and it drives away those of us who love the cars for the memories. I know from experience that what you see from the outside is not what you see when you get it all disassembled, so someone is in for a lot of work to make this a dependable driver. I would not be surprised to see this car again soon for sale on another site for even more money. So Sad.

  14. Graywolf

    Model A’s are probably the easiest vehicle to work on! Flush the tank and open or remove the petcock located inside the cab to drain. My Dad and I bought a ’31 Ford Vicky back in the ’60’s and I got to drive it home. About halfway homes it stalled on the side of the road. After a quick check I found the fuel system clogged. Removed part of floorboard so fuel did not get on floor, placed gas can under petcock and removed shut off. Rock had stuck in valve! 20 minute fix on the side of the road at just 16! Head replacement? About an hour maybe!

  15. stillrunners lawrence Member

    Dang…..I want to know what kind of tubes are in there tyres !!!!!

  16. Mickey Dorsey

    Nothing sweeter than the “Tickity- Tickety -Tickety” sound of an idling Model A.

  17. TradmodelA

    Ok, so why cant i sell my “driver” condition 1928 Model A that has paint on it and doesn’t look like it’s returned from the dead for any more than $5500? Is it the magical barn “pixie” dust that adds $2k to the price? I wish this seller the best of luck, however, if I know Ebay these days, a non- paying buyer might be in his future.

  18. Slotblog

    TradmodelA, I would need more info to give you a considered answer.

    Is it complete? Does it run and drive? What body style? Is it eat up with rust? Is it a mishmash of different year parts? Was it painted with a spray can? Where have you been advertising it?

    If a car doesn’t generate offers at a level you feel is reasonable, there are usually reasons why that is the case and you should try to figure out what they are. Generally, it means similar cars are available for less money.

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