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Bought On Impulse: 1930 Ford Model A


When I drive the museum’s Model A, I get lots of attention including lots of thumbs up and waves. Kids love going for rides, especially in the rumble seat.  If only they were as popular with buyers as they are with the public. Someone spent a lot of money and time restoring this Model A. Then it was put away and forgotten. It must have looked really nice on stage at the Barrett Jackson auction, as it was an impulse buy by the seller. Perhaps they didn’t realize how far the value of 1930s cars had fallen and thought they were getting a bargain? It’s in Cambridge, Massachusetts and listed on craigslist. The asking price has been lowered to $10,500. The owner says he is taking a big loss. It would be interesting to know what he did pay for it at auction. There’s no word on condition except that it runs well.


It looks nice inside, if not period correct. The upholstery and carpet are typical of restorations done several decades ago. This close up view of the paint shows plenty of imperfections along the edge of the door.


From this distance, the paint, as well as everything else, looks really nice.


This may not be your favorite color, but here is a chance to get a nice looking Model A for very little money. More details on the engine and mechanicals would be nice. It takes a little getting used to to drive one of these, but they really are fun to drive. They are easy to work on and parts are inexpensive and plentiful. It’s hard to imagine someone scraping the chassis and building a hot rod, but the price is cheap enough. Here’s a restored chassis listed on eBay where someone has used a restored Model A body for a hot rod project and is selling the chassis. Do you think it would be fun to own a Model A or other car of the 1930s? How cheap would one have to be to interest you in buying one? Do you think the value might go up again and make this Model A a good investment?


  1. Ropey
    • johnny garofalo

      Ropey dont forget the 10% buyers fee plus what it cost to ship it to mass $$$$$$$$$$

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      • brakeservo

        The bidder would have bid $16,000 + 10% = $17,600. I don’t think it’s accurate that auction companies include the buyer’s fee when publishing sales prices because it is common knowledge that, at least on the very high rollers, the guys buying multi-hundred thousand dollar and million dollar cars, pay a very much lower negotiated buyer’s fee. For instance, the much bally-hooed sale of Shelby’s “Super Snake” Cobra for an alleged $5.5 Million included the 10% buyers fee, yet we know someone smart enough to have earned enough to buy a $5 Million dollar car, is also smart enough to know that there is no way they’re going to have to pay an additional half a million for the privilege of having done so! But in this case, yes the guy probably paid $16,000 plus another $1600 in buyers fees plus sales tax if he doesn’t have a dealers license. I”d want a personal inspection to find out why he wants out of this car so bad..

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    • David

      Thanks for finding it. Wow! That fellow is taking a loss.

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    • Roselandpete

      Good job, Sherlock…I mean Ropey. :)

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  2. HoA Howard A Member

    Proof positive, as I age, the Model A looks better and better. This particular one is beautiful. There was a time, not so long ago, I wouldn’t even look at a Model A, but at a recent show, there were a bunch of them, all with slightly different features, and the new trend, is cherry out the inside and engine, but leave the outside a little rough. Far more representative of what you’d see on the road back then. Thing is, Model A’s are not that rare, but still some go for $25g’s. I can honestly say, I’ve never bought anything on impulse,,,,(cough). From what is on Hemmings, this seems like a good price, although, out of my league. Very nice car.

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    • brakeservo

      I must ask by what authority you state that some go for $25g’s. I am aware that there are many advertised in that price range, but that does’t mean that many, or even any have sold for that much. Advertised asking prices rarely reflect what they’re really going for.

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  3. Socaljoe

    I’ve had a couple of similar As. They are fun to own but only if you have a nice quiet area to drive it off the hi way. Price is typical for the car.

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  4. RollerD

    If you wanted a Model A and liked the color scheme (I do), this is a very good buy. As Socaljoe said, good Sunday morning car for light traffic.

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  5. Alan Brase

    This is the 90th anniversary of my dad’s birthday. We lost him 5 years ago. Dad was a farm boy growing up in rural Iowa in the 30’s and 40’s and he and his brothers were all auto enthusiasts in some way. I remember Dad telling me the Model A Ford was about the first RELIABLE affordable car in the US. Model T put Americans on wheels, but Model A put them on ROUND TRIPS.
    Considering it was near 60 years ago, I could be mistaken about some details, but it seems he told me one could drive this thing day in, day out at 45mph and count on getting there. The mechanical brakes were too much maintenance, but as a package, it was truly a milestone car. I think with a few more hp and juice brakes, one could live with it nicely. Not on the freeway so much, but more of a blue highway kind of ride.

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  6. Brad

    $17K seems like auction fever. I love Model As for their iconic silhouette and ease of maintenance. But given how many are still around vs. the shrinking population who remember them from their youth — when combined with the shrunken map of where you can realistically enjoy them — indicates to me that their resale value will continue to trend down, not up.

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  7. Roselandpete

    I never had a 30’s car but I wouldn’t mind having one if I were in the market and the price was right.

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  8. Brakeservo

    I’ve had more than a few 1930’s Bentleys and Rolls Royces. I suspect a well restored “A” is easier to drive and easier on the wallet. I should own one some day, but it will have to be RHD.

    Like 0

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