Blank Canvas Project: 1930 Ford Model A

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The owner of this 1930 Model A inherited it, and it looks like he has decided to part with it rather than take it on as a project car. It looks to be largely complete and solid, and there is some evidence that someone has commenced doing some work on the car, but it hasn’t proceeded very far. The Model A is located in Dryden, Virginia, and is listed for sale here on eBay.

It looks like this old Ford has spent some time sitting out in the open. There is a fair sprinkling of mold appearing on the car, but it does seem to be solid. I don’t like seeing the top open the way that it is, and I’d probably want to get it under cover fairly quickly. It looks like the car is basically complete, including all of the glass, and there don’t appear to be any major rust issues.

I also believe that the car is mechanically complete, and apparently, the engine did run up until a couple of years ago. The owner doesn’t indicate whether he has tried to start the car, but given how hardy these old Ford engines tend to be, it may not take a lot of work to kick it back into life.

Exposure to the elements probably hasn’t done the interior the world of good. The gauges and wheel aren’t looking terribly flash, and if there has been ongoing exposure to water, that will make the padding in the seat start to smell a bit ordinary. It looks like someone has started to fit some sound insulation to the car, but this has stalled for some reason.

The options for this Model A are pretty open. You could undertake a complete restoration, and if you did, it would become a nice classic to own. There is the option of getting it running and attending to the interior and top, and then driving it as it is. Or it could make a great basis for a custom or rat rod project. At the time of writing, bidding has reached $5,750, so there are at least a few people who can see potential there somewhere. If you bought the Ford, what would you do with it?

Auctions Ending Soon


  1. j liu

    A $7 blue tarp tied to all four corners of the bumpers would have saved this poor car from further deterioration if indoor storage wasn’t an option…even an old piece of plywood laying on top. What is wrong with people? Why let a collectable car deteriorate? Lost on me…

    Like 14
    • Dave

      Harbor Freight gives tarps away with a coupon sometimes.

      Like 4
    • Jeff Hammers

      I would never use a tarp on a long term basis… will hold the moisture in

      Like 0
  2. Kenneth Carney

    It’s real shame seeing this car going to
    waste. But since the market for these cars bottomed out a few years back,
    they cost more to restore than they’re
    actually worth. Combine this with the
    fact that young people today just aren’t
    interested in them, and this is what
    we’re left with. If this car were mine, I’d
    restore the outside and drop in a 4-banger from a late ’90’s Ford Ranger
    pickup along with the driveline from the
    ranger as well. That way, the car could
    be driven at freeway speeds if need be.
    When the gas crunch hit in ’73, builders
    used Pinto or Chevette engines to make
    the most of a gallon of gas. These
    conversations worked great and
    saved a huge number of Model A’s from
    the crusher. This all started when Rod
    and Custom editor Jim Jacobs put a
    Chevy 4-cylinder into a ’33 Ford sedan…
    and the rest as they say is history.
    With all that said, I hope someone out
    there saves this car and puts it where it
    belongs–back on the road.

    Like 8
  3. Rock On

    Seller doesn’t seem to concerned about his motorcycle either.

    Like 10
  4. Bob

    Sure hope someone saves this old girl.

    Like 4
  5. Fred W

    I’m afraid a lot more pre 1950 cars are going to be left out in the rain due to lack of value and lack of interest. Wish I could save them all!

    Like 10
  6. Bob

    Fred W. Wish I could help you.

    Like 6
  7. dave brennan

    Drove 2 hours to see one last year. At 6’4 I couldn’t even get my legs inside! Ppl must have been a lot smaller in those days. After some fooling around, I got in and found about an 1/8″ between my knee and the shifter and my hip and the door! Had no idea they were so small.

    Like 8
    • Al

      Yes they are small. I once had an AMC Sportabout, that I had to move off the street for some foot race.
      The garage out back of the house I was renting, was built to exactly fit a model A coupe, back in the 1930’s. I had to park the AMC somewhere so I opted for the garage. I had to open the back-tailgate, because I could not get out of any of the side doors. The outside mirrors had less than an inch clearance on both sides. So I parked in the garage, climbed over the seats and out the tailgate and being 6’7″ that was a tough haul. I could not quite close the garage door, but found I could move the AMC forward about 3″. So I climbed back in moved the car forward to butt on the front wall of the garage, and climbed back out.
      The garage door had a 2×4 on a bolt on one of the doors, so I attached a rope to the top of the 2×4, installed a pulley on the wall, ran the rope through it, and tossed the rest of the rope to the front of the garage. The 2×4 swung down and locked the door.
      Getting the car back out after the foot-race was another story, so I will just leave it at that.

      Like 16
    • ken tilly

      If you are 6 ft 4 in then the only A that you could fit into would be a Tudor. Ask me, I know from experience.

      Like 3
    • 427Turbojet 427TurbojetMember

      One of my bucket list vehicles was a 30-31 Model A pick up. Several years ago I bought a basket case pickup, nice sheet metal, rebuilt engine, etc. Did all the body work, painted all the parts, seat redone, etc. I then had occasion to help a friend with his very original 30 AA truck. Took me 2 minutes to get into it, another 2 minutes to get out. I’m 6’4″, 225lbs. I don’t fit. Anybody out there want to trade the nicest 30 cab and box I’ve seen for a 30-31 panel delivery body?.

      Like 2
    • Howard Rose

      That isn’t normal, they had plenty of leg room ! I know a lot of tall men that have them and drive them with no problems!

      Like 0
      • Al

        It depends on where the guy is tall. Waist up tall, no problem.
        Legs and waist up about proportionally equal, still no problem.

        Short on waist up, but with long legs (ie. 36″ or more pant-inseam), a major problem.

        Like 3
    • geomechs geomechsMember

      I know that the older cars and trucks can be a little cramped but still, I’ve seen some big people get in and out of those units. There are two members of our local club that are well over the 6 foot mark and weigh in at 250+. One has a ’30 coupe and the other has a ’31 pickup. They drive the wheels off their vehicles and I haven’t heard any complaints about getting in or out. Now take my daughter’s ’07 Chevy Cobalt; getting in and out is a major accomplishment for me. I’m 5’10” and 220. My old trucks all fit fine, albeit a trifle tight…

      Like 0
  8. canadainmarkseh

    I think Kenneth is right ranger 4 cyl or even a v6 with a c4 auto would help along with disc brakes up front. The young generation isn’t interested because they weren’t introduced to these old cars at an early age. Which in fact is two generations into this problem now. If you want to pass down your hobby you got to start young 4 to 5 years old. Us 60+ guys dropped the ball and didn’t pass on the sickness of antique cars to our kids or grand kids. So now I don’t think that there totally un interested I do think however that they lack the skills to do it themselves which has left them at the mercy of the restoration shops. Well as most of you know that has become a rich mans game. So if you don’t pass on your skills and even your tools there never going to have the oppertunities.

    Like 9
  9. ken tilly

    The problem is that youngsters of today have so much more to interest them other than their old mans’ old cars. I have owned many old cars from a 1912 Little to a 1964 Maserati Mistral, and neither my son or daughter ever showed the remotest interest in any of them. Even when my daughter got married I had to HIRE a Rolls Royce for her and myself to get to the church while my son had to be coerced into driving my 1934 Austin 10/4 with the bridesmaids in. Only now do they wish that I still had them, and I’m sure that’s only because of the value that they will command when I croak!.

    Like 8
  10. geomechs geomechsMember

    I look at a Model A as one of the most fun cars ever built. There are at least six in our local club and they ALL get the wheels driven off them. One member has brought his ‘30 2-door to numerous club meetings in the dead of winter. True, interest in such cars is fading but where it dissipates in one area, it usually picks up in another. There’s a supplier of Model A parts at the local swap meet every year for 40 years now. He says business has been great and isn’t fading by any means. His entire family is involved and another generation is taking over…

    Like 5
  11. Bob

    Ken Tilly, I ask…. When your kids were very young did you allow them to play with the cars? When they turned 16, did you allow them to drive them? Were they included in the maintenance etc.? I hope you did. If we want our kids to love cars, they have to be included in everything at an early age. I am a autohaulic. I admit it. However, I have no idea why. My Dad had zero interest in anything but new cars, and they were used as transportation. For some reason I have always loved old cars. It makes me happy to sit in my shop and just look at them. If I get sick and am going to die, I want my bed moved out in the shop so I can die with my cars around me. Yes, I am a sick autohaulic.

    Like 9
    • geomechs geomechsMember

      Hi Bob. I’m a hopeless autohaulic too. Well, maybe more of a truckahaulic, but I’ll take them all. Like you, I don’t know where the desire came from. My father was a rancher/veterinarian and to him, vehicles were something to be used and abused, and traded up when used up. Dad hoped to interest me in either ranching or becoming a vet so he took me on lots of vet calls when I was little more than a toddler. If we arrived at a farm with a boneyard, I was off to explore the old relics. I’m still glad that my dad took me out in the country, and had me work with him on the ranch because it also helped to hone other skills that have helped me through life. I think that interests are born into you. My own kids didn’t take much interest in vehicles like I did, but I’ve got a couple of grandsons who (like myself) live for trucks and construction equipment. My SIL is skilled in the basics and is also a good welder. He has those boys in the shop whenever he can.

      Like 0
  12. Rex Rice

    A friend and I lived about 1/2 mile from each other. About half way, a ’30 Model A sat in a field. The headlights and top material were missing. The owner, when asked, wouldn’t take anything less than $25. We got it running, banging away with a loud wristpin knock. After handing over our $12.50 each we drove it to my house, about 1/2 mile away. I mounted the headlights from my recently junked ’35 Ford. It had 16″ V-8 wheels which we found would screech the tires going into 2nd gear. Whithin an hour, we had broken the transmission. I traded the wheels for ’19 “_ At $10 each at the junk yard, we went through several more before it died.

    Like 4
  13. Gaspumpchas

    I’m building a 28 business coupe, with the oval opera windows. We took the entire body off the frame and installed on a Brookville chassis. Didn’t even clean the bird$hit off it, installed everything as is including the rusty grill and taillights. Stock 302 auto, 9 inch Ford, rack and pinion and discs on the front. Looks cool and pretty stock–even used the original steering wheel. Good luck to the new owner!


    Like 1
  14. Bob

    My family was always into old cars and my brothers and I passed our hobby to our children. Here is a photo of my 12 year old son in 1979 getting his first car…….actually a bard find. Today he’s 51 and still owns the car and passing his skills to my grandsons.

    Like 3
    • Bob

      Here they are together at a car show

      Like 2
  15. Kenneth Carney

    Guilty as charged! I’m a caraholic too.
    Got my start clening parts for Dad and
    one of his friends while they were rebuilding a Lincoln V-12 back in the
    fall of ’66. Over time, I learned how to
    do basic engine repairs and got pretty
    good at it too. By my 13th birthday, I
    got a job tuning up our pastor’s car
    and repairing it as needed. When word
    got out as to who fixed the pastor’s car,
    the whole congregation started coming
    to me for tune-ups and oil changes.
    Shoot, not only did I take my Bible to
    church, but my toolbox as well! And
    since most of the congregation were
    working class folk, it wasn’t too awful
    long before one of their old cars would
    break down in the church parking lot.
    It was our pastor who encouraged me
    to keep the faith and pursue my hobby.
    Took suto shop in Highschool and aced
    it. And those kids that made fun of my
    disability, they came around and began
    to bring their cars to our house so that
    I could service them too. After graduation, I started playing music over
    the road and left the hobby for awhile.
    I went back to it after a heart attack
    took me off the road for good in ’82
    and I never left it again. And though
    I can no longer work due to health
    reasons, I still love the hobby and try to
    pass my knowledge on to young people
    who’ve never picked up a wrench. By
    doing that, maybe kids today might want
    to get their hands dirty.

    Like 2
  16. Bob

    Here’s a photo of them together at a car show

    Like 0
  17. Christopher A. Junker

    My Dad’s first car was a Ford T open car. He got it running, cleaned it up and wiped down the black with kerosene. Grandpa’s Buick was in being repaired so Dad went to pick him up at the company headquarters. Dad was right in front of the main doors when Grandpa walked out and went down the sidewalk then around the corner ignoring Dad. Dad drove after him, went around the same corner, stopped and Grandpa got in not saying a word. When they got home, Grandpa told Dad “Sell it, and I’ll buy you an “A”. I still have Dad’s Ford marked tools. Dad went from the A to Chevy’s, Buicks, Packards and finally a Riley 2.5 RMA salon. He taught my Mom how to drive the T and anything else he bought. They were both caraholics.

    Like 0
  18. treg forsyth

    John boy Walton selling his car?

    Like 0

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