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Classic Rod Project: 1929 Ford Model A Roadster

While we undoubtedly have a considerable collection of Barn Finds readers who would love nothing more than to sink their teeth into the faithful restoration of a classic car, we also have a hardy group of individuals who would be chomping at the bit to get their hands on a vehicle like this 1929 Ford Model A Roadster. This is a wonderful old Rod that needs to be returned to its former glory. Whereas a faithful restoration will require an eye for authenticity, this one would require a person who can picture the original builder’s intent. They can then choose whether to return the Ford to that form or whether they might want to add their own twist to the Roadster. Barn Finder Ikey H spotted the Model A for us, so thank you so much for that, Ikey. It is located in Los Angeles, California, and has been listed for sale here on Facebook. It can be yours by handing the owner $8,500.

The old Ford wears many of the features that we have come to know and love from the hot rod scene. This includes removing the fenders and channeling the body, along with adding plenty of louvers. Some of the louvers are conceivably there for practical purposes, while the ones in the decklid would be purely for decoration. The body looks to be in good condition, with no evidence of rust. The interior photos show floors that look clean, and if the Ford has spent most of its life in California, there is every chance that the frame is also sound. The paint is an interesting combination because while the owner refers to the primary color as Grey, it looks closer to some form of Bottle Green in the photos. The flame job is also quite typical, and it seems like it has received a touch-up around the grille shell. An additional ’29 grille shell is included in the sale if the buyer wants to alter the vehicle’s appearance. Also included is a set of ’59 Cadillac tail-lights. The Ford has none fitted at present, so these would add a touch of spark to the exterior. The Roadster would benefit from a repaint, but if the buyer wanted to return the car to a roadworthy state, this does not appear to be something that requires urgent attention. The shortened windshield seems to be free from cracks, and the period alloy wheels look like they would respond well to a polish.

Powering the Model A is a flathead V8, which is backed by an automatic transmission. I believe that this could be a 239ci unit from somewhere around 1949 to 1953. It has received some go-faster goodies, including Fenton aluminum heads, along with an aluminum intake with a trio of carburetors. The previous owner indicated that the flathead requires a rebuild, and you can see that there is evidence that it has been partially dismantled. He did tell the seller that the transmission was working fine when the car was parked in the 1970s, and I get the impression that it was parked due to those engine issues. Treating a Ford flathead to a rebuild is not usually a complicated or expensive undertaking, and if I were going down that path, I would also pull the transmission to give it a service and some new seals. The V8 would originally have produced somewhere around 100hp, but with the visible upgrades, I suspect that figure will be a bit higher once it is given a refresh.

The Ford’s interior is pretty bare-bones, but you can see what the builder was trying to achieve. It seems that he wanted something that was tidy but hard-wearing, which would have been a practical consideration given the car’s lack of a soft-top. The upholstery on the seats is in good condition, although the modified door trim on the passenger door isn’t going to be to everyone’s taste. The driver’s door has been trimmed to match the seats, and that’s the way that I would be inclined to go with the rest of the upholstery. If I were to buy this classic, I would probably fit all-weather carpet or rubber mats on the floors. I like how the builder managed to quite neatly integrate a mid-1960s Mustang gauge cluster into the dash. It needs some fine finishing, but it has the potential to look pretty good.

There’s something pretty cool about an old-school hot rod build, and returning one to its former glory is an attractive proposition. Getting this one to a roadworthy state might not be that difficult and could be an excellent winter project. When the sun shines bright once again, the buyer could hit the road in a vehicle that would be guaranteed to grab plenty of attention wherever it goes. If you hunger for carefree motoring that harks back to a simpler time, maybe the right car for you has landed on the pages of Barn Finds in the form of a 1929 Ford Model A Roadster.


  1. Frank

    Finally, A reasonably priced project!

    Like 7
  2. Joe Haska

    Here I go again Debbie Downer, $8,500 maybe $500 on its best day. Why is it everybody sees an old car from the 50’s, that was probably some ones an attempt to have a hot rod, but had no money, no talent and no decent parts and it was probably abandoned years before and a good chance it never did run. Then all of a sudden its old school, a legendary hot rod ,should be restored to its former glory. Are you kidding me its junk now and it was junk then. It is a 49 to 53 Ford flat-head with heads and manifold sitting on the block, chances are slim and none they are any good or it ever ran with them. The body is barely a shell and is cut up beyond repair. The grill is 34 P/U and its not even nice. Some one spent some time trying to make a hood and put 53 Ford p/U chrome on it, how cool is that. I realize these comments are harsh but I can’t help it, most of the comments come from people who don’t know what they are looking at and just repeating things they have heard or read, they have never owned or driven an old Ford, let alone one that was a Hot Rod. I am 78 years old and I have done all of that and I still have my 34 Ford that I bought in 1963 and I drive it. I never comment on things I don’t know , but when I see statements that are just flat wrong , I can’t help myself. But I can assure you, I won’t comment on European Exotics , Japanese Sport Cars or new Super Cars , in fact I probably won’t comment on much after built after 1982 , except P/U Trucks.

    Like 19
    • Charles Sawka

      I’m 70 and grew up with hot rods too, I agree, I could build a much better car than this one will ever be, for less money.

      Like 1
    • Bill

      Thanks Joe, I couldn’t figure out why the front proportions seemed off, and then you mentioned the grill was from a pickup—and they fit the rest of the sheet metal to match that.

      Like 0
  3. Daniel W Wright

    Those look like the seats from an old bar stool. I can feel my butt sticking to the vinyl now. I would rebuild the engine and drive this one like it is.

    Like 4
  4. MattR

    I like the look, motor and price but a hotrod like this without a stick is blasphemy to me.

    Like 8
  5. scott m

    Rebuild the mechanicals and leave it’s well earned looks 🤗

    Like 4
  6. IkeyHeyman

    Sold. Somebody saw potential here and jumped, it was listed 2 days ago.

    Like 1
  7. Frank D

    Steel and a Flathead hot rod what a deal. This will be gone in a heartbeat to some lucky person. If it was on the East coast I be on it!

    Like 2
  8. Desert Rat

    I built my 32 Ford roadster my self from scratch and it was the most satisfying project I’ve ever done. I built just about every part on the car, even parts that I could have bought just so I could say I built it. The car is no show car but that was not the purpose, it was built to drive and have fun with my grandsons riding along. Still people want to nitpick it apart because it’s not what they envision a hotrod 32 Ford should look like. Too bad, just like this guy that built this hotrod he built it the way he envisioned it so it’s not wrong just different and there is nothing wrong with that. Too many of you guys walk around at car shows and turn up your noises at rides that don’t fit your ideas of how something should be done ,what have you ever built? not much I’ll bet and you have no idea how much work goes in to building everything on a car just to get it street worthy, so give the guy credit where credit is due at least he got out there and built himself something as opposed to siting around on the couch all-day.(I’ll now step down from my soap box)

    Like 5
  9. Dave Mazz

    The Facebook site said “similar items” were listed below so I checked it out and spotted a “Sleepy Pig” listing. I figured out it might be an old Harley that needed plugs a little tuning. Turns out it was a kids book.

    Like 0
  10. Kenn

    Is this now, or was it, a rumble seat vehicle? I notice the “trunk” handle is at the top, where it is on my rumble seat coupe. A 1930. Which I bought in 1953. I’m 84, and I think this rod’s a hoot. “Debbi Downer” is perfect, but why brag about it???

    Like 0
  11. Terry J

    The shifter was from a C-4 automatic so my guess is that it was from the same mid-60’s Mustang. :-) Terry J

    Like 0

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