85 Year Old Paint: 1930 Ford Model A

1930 Ford Model A

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It always amazes me when I see original Ford Model Ts and As! To think they built these cars so well that they survive 85+ years without having to be restored, is just incredible! The seller of this Model A claims it’s even wearing its original paint. At first I had my doubts, but it looks like it could really be the factory original paint. It definitely needs some attention, but I hope I look this good after 85 years! You can find this preserved A here on eBay in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin with a BIN of $10,500.

Ford Model A

It appears someone has already done some work to this Ford, but just what was necessary to make it a comfortable and safe driver. The most noticeable change to the exterior are the new or restored wheels and new tires, but those are things that you want to be new anyways. The inside appears to have been treated to a set of new seat covers, new headliner, and new wall paneling. I can’t tell if they did something to the paint to bring back some of the shine, maybe wax or glaze has been applied? It could even shine this much just from a good cleaning! I bet with some careful polishing and waxing, this A could look almost as good as new.

1930 Ford Model A Engine

The engine is said to run and other than needing a good cleaning, looks well sorted. The A’s drivetrain was a major step forward from the T. This 4 cylinder offered 40 horsepower when new, which was twice that of the T’s engine. The A also received a 3 speed gearbox with a modern pedal box, so you won’t have to learn anything new to drive this survivor!

1930 Ford Model A Survivor

I really like the looks of this Ford, but I would want to find out what all the seller has already done to it and if they have any of the car’s history. All polished up, this would be a great show stop and conversation starter! I just hope the next owner decides to preserve it rather than turning it into a hot rod, but I guess that will be their choice. So would you leave it original or would you turn this A into a hot rod?

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  1. MartyMember

    The wheels are later 1930s units, generally added so hydraulic brakes could be installed to replace the Model A’s fully mechanical brakes. The battery has been moved from its original location under the driver’s floor, to the firewall. The engine is supposed to be dark green. All that said, it looks like it could still be restored easily enough, although chances are, it’ll get chopped. Nice find!

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  2. Andy Frobig

    Today you can make a much better A hot rod using all new body parts over a modern chassis, so if you ask me, any time you find a Model A in this condition, leave it stock!

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    • Davnkatz

      Andy – – – I totally agree about leaving it “stock”. Tow things about this original example is the spare tire AND it is the rumble seat version. Don’t mind at all the upgrade of wheels and location of the battery.

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  3. Jim

    That is a beauty! 85 and still kicking!

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  4. Barney

    Can’t be original paint. Regardless of body color, all had black fenders. Also, considering the color of the engine block, I’d say that the engine has been out as well. Ford painted the blocks green

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  5. 64 bonneville

    leave it alone, and enjoy it. it is a rumble seat coupe, much harder to come across than the models that had a trunk. and the back window should roll down, to converse with the rear occupants.

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  6. Lee H.

    It looks like an older restoration, probably done in the ’60s when people were just “fixing them up” as opposed to doing an accurate restoration. The wheels came from a ’33 or ’34, as those were the only two years that had 17 inch tires. Still a decent looking old Ford though. If I had it, I’d just drive it as it is.

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  7. Mark

    I have a original 1928 that will stay original

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  8. Rod Davis

    Okay…nice car…but: OEM paint was most likely black based on the firewall and that shade of green is not a Ford/Ditzler color..as mentioned nearly all Model A’s had black enamel fenders except some specialty orders, fire trucks and such. Wheels should be 19’s. Battery is mounted non OEM. Cylinder head is later Model B (at least the cylinder head and water pump…perhaps the entire engine? ) Dealer installed rumble seat (it was a $22 option from some dealers) . Headlights are not original…at least the lenses and the horn is a Pep Boys or something similar.

    Nice all original after 85 years? Where? I don’t see it here. I own a two owner ’30 Std. coupe restored to OEM specs in 1989 and I later added a fully inserted H&H rebuild with a ’39 gearbox and 12v conversion with late model Mustang points/condenser…Sorry but I like to drive it and stock Model A’s suck after a few thousand miles. Buy it now price is way off the mark. $6000 tops and that’s pushing it. You can find really top quality restorations for well under $20k and good drivers/older restorations for less than $15k….Just sayin’.

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    • John

      The car sold for $10,500. Turns out the buy it now price wasn’t off the mark.

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  9. grant

    This is a seriously awesome car. Love it.

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  10. Jason Houston

    All the qualified criticisms and comments considered, I still love it! By all means LEAVE IT ALONE. It ain’t broke so don’t fix it.

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  11. RoughDiamond

    Chop it? No! Leave as is.

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  12. DRV

    This is a very handsome coupe just the way it is, and even though nothing is original paint it looks great. I would have to leave it and put real brakes on it. I had an all original 31 Tudor for a while and stopping wasn’t really stopping.

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  13. MartyMember

    Continuing to split hairs here, most of these were originally fitted with a trunk rather than a rumble seat, but kits to convert them were and are widely used and popular. The headlights have been fitted with sealed beam bulbs which is also non-original. The interior has almost certainly been re-done, but the work looks good. The car is not quite as original as the seller seems to think it is or would have us believe, but I still love it anyway!

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  14. Alan (Michigan)

    I’m not at all conversant regarding details for early Fords.

    So, I learned a lot today, packed into the last few minutes reading here on BF!

    Thanks for sharing the knowledge, everyone!

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  15. z1rider

    The only thing I noticed that has not already been mentioned (black fenders, B head etc) is the radius rod visible in the first picture. Either the mount has been spaced down from the stock location (which is in the bellhousing) which would increase the caster. Or more than just the head, it has a B engine and some later transmission which does not have the attachment point for the radius rod ball which would therefore require fabrication of a mounting point. The shift lever is not stock either, it looks like it was once the later curved type and someone attempted to straighten it. If I am correct that would save having to learn to double clutch for the stock Model A crashbox.

    This car is not nearly as original as the seller would have us believe.

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  16. John

    You guys aren’t too sharp. It’s a model B engine, 32 – 34. Note the 3 bolt water pump, and head. Do your homework, the engine has the block off for a fuel pump on the block. The seller clarified that upon question.

    Nobody is restoring a model A, and the crusty old timers who think a car like that is only worth 6k are still living in the 90s. Anybody who has painted a car and looks at these pictures knows that 90% of that paint hasn’t been messed with. Faded and chalked, sure, but not hiding some idiots amateur “restoration” job.
    A nice clean steel body shell to build a hot rod is almost worth what that guy is asking. I’ve seen cobbled pos body shells sell for 5k and they had nothing – no garnish moldings, no trim, no frame, no title, nada.

    That is a common misconception that every model A came with black fenders. Looking through old reference material, that is simply not the case. In fact in 1930 there were 7 color options for the car paint.

    Anyone who is going to buy that car is going to make a hot rod, no doubt. That’s a perfect start.

    Rumble seats were an option. And those are 33 or 34 wire wheels, as someone else said those are the only two years. The engine is a b, obviously they upgraded the transmission too.

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    • MartyMember

      Thanks for pointing out about the B-model engine. I missed that, as I am not familiar with that engine. The seller obviously has clarified that after the fact, as he says he has received numerous emails from people telling him about his own car, and seems a little put off by that. But he is the one who didn’t mention it first, so to speak.

      But you’re a little out of line on a couple of other points. The first is that no one is restoring Model A cars to original, and that’s wrong. Although I agree that it is indeed more likely this one will get chopped rather than restored. The other is that cobbled body shells are worth five grand. That might be, but I’ve also seen a number of fairly complete, running, non-restored project cars sell in the $5-6,000 range within the last couple of years. If one can live without the nice original paint on this one, complete and running examples can be found in the $7-8,000 range, and sometimes less. Your results might vary though, depending on which part of the country you live in.

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      • John

        I think the point of original paint is that there is a far less likelihood of it hiding sins compared to a so called “restored” or “repainted” car.

        Nice shiny paint that isn’t original scares me, I’ve seen it cover up thick bondo, chicken wire, mesh, and pop riveted metal “patches” among other things.

        I would wager a bet that less than 5% of model a bodies or projects changing hands these days are getting a restoration to original. 5% is essentially nothing. I hope a “rat rodder” doesn’t get his hands on that car, that would be a shame.

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    • z1rider

      Go back and read the comments. Any reference to the engine noted it at least had a B head, and possibly a complete B engine. The B head will fit on a Model A and yield a higher compression ratio.

      None of the pictures in the E-bay listing show a fuel pump block off, the only shot of the right side of the engine cuts off too far back. The fuel pump for B’s mounted forward and below the carburetor which is also not visible. The seller’s added comments did clarify the engine question but made no mention of a fuel pump block-off which, it may have since the stock Model A fuel tank and fuel supply are used. However, it is possible it still has a fuel pump but repurposed as a vacuum pump for the wipers.

      The point? Until the seller added comments there was no way to be sure it had anything more than a B head.

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    • z1rider

      Oh and one more thing. Please cite the specific “reference material” that proves fenders were not all painted black. As was mentioned, special orders for firetrucks and the like might not have had black fenders but I would venture that less than 1% of total Model A production deviated from that.

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  17. GreaserMatt

    Looks too nice for a chop; and this is coming form a so-called ‘hot rodder’, LOL. I dig hot rods, but I also dig old stockers as well… : )

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  18. John

    90 Years of Ford

    George H. Dammann

    ISBN-13: 978-0879386825

    If you guys have questions for the owner, why don’t you do what I did and email him?

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