DIY Dirt Track Racer! Modified 1929 Ford Model A

The Model A, like the Model T before it, was offered in a multitude of body styles. This 1929 example was originally a “sport coupe,” but was converted to a roadster design, and was a dirt track racer for a time. The seller mentions they wanted to enter it into The Race of Gentlemen, but missed the deadline. If you wanted to get into racing with a homebuilt racer, now’s your chance! You can find it here on eBay.

It doesn’t currently have an engine, but is set up for a Flathead V-8–with the appropriate engine mounts, transmission, rear end, and torque tube. Ford produced, improved, and enlarged the Flathead design all the way through 1953, and Mercury offered it in 255 cubic inch displacement from 1949 to 1953. The aftermarket and modding support for the Ford Flathead is plentiful, with performance parts, support, and documentation for just about anything you could imagine. That said, Model As are notoriously simple to modify, and on a long enough timeline, everything gets an LS.

The frame is clean and straight, which makes some sense if it spent its formative years “out west,” where the only snow they see is in holiday movies. The frame may be clean, but it will need new floors. There are several places you can stare straight through the car and see the ground. I can appreciate The Flintstones as much as anyone, but maybe not in a real-life scenario. Beyond the replacement of the engine, most of the work the car appears to need is on the body. Should be relatively easy work for anyone who’s somewhat decent with a welder.

There isn’t really an interior to speak of. There’s a seat bottom, a steering wheel, a gear shift, and a couple of gauges, but you’re going to have to build the interior to your liking yourself. I love these cars that are simply engineered and in non-running shape, because you’re given complete artistic license to do whatever you like with the car. You could turn it back to how it was when it rolled off the line in 1929. You could restore it to how it was when it was a dirt track racer. You could make it into a farm truck. Or a drag racer. Or a grocery-getter. The list of possibilities for this car’s future is limited only by your imagination and budget.


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  1. Claudio Norman

    I would install a 2.0 Ford Eco boost
    and manual trans.

  2. Henderson

    I would install a Ford 2.0 Eco Boost and manual trans.

    Like 5
  3. Steveo

    Those bits of the floor you can see through are known in the trade as ‘Speed Holes’ and quite a common performance modification.

    I’m pretty sure.

    Like 5
  4. bobhess bobhess Member

    Nice dash installation. Looks like a late ’30s. This one needs a flathead so it can be legal for the various old car events. Beside brakes a 4″ dropped axle would be good too.

    Like 4
  5. Johnmloghry Johnmloghry Member

    Look, it’s an open book. I see several options here. The classic Hot Rod look with modern suspension and brakes, perhaps a flathead, or a big block of any make. First thing I’d do is remove the existing drivetrain components and replace some form of independent suspension all around lowering the entire car to at least 6” above the ground. No hydraulics, they’re ridiculous. Anyway the buyer does what they want, and I’m not a buyer.
    God bless America

    Like 1
  6. matt

    What a tempting car !!
    This is an example of why I like to look in to see what is offered on Barn Finds !!
    I think Bob Hess is right, a flat head – maybe a “little bit” modified. Brakes, seats, a coat of clear lacquer and get out for a ride. But it will need more than that…
    Good luck with it whoever buys it.

    Like 3
  7. Chinga-Trailer

    Wheelbase too short – front axle needs to be more forward . . . otherwise it looks like a toy car my mother would have bought!

  8. Paolo

    Could do the tried and true A body on a 32 frame for a classic highboy. Choose your engine, banger, GMC 302 inline 6, flathead, 283 Chevy?

    It’s present form is vague enough to suggest almost anything.

  9. t-bone BOB

    Ended: Aug 24, 2021 , 4:48PM
    Winning bid:US $3,051.00
    [ 49 bids ]

    Located in:Norwich, Connecticut

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