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Drivable Older Restoration: 1930 Ford Model A Tudor

Believe it or not, probably the three most popular types of vehicles people purchase to start in our hobby are Fords.  A Model T, a Model A, or a first-generation Mustang is often the initial vehicle project that a prudent collector takes on.  Why?  Because they are easy to find parts for, most work can be handled in a suburban garage, each vehicle boasts incredible amounts of club support, and they are simply good designs that lend themselves to refurbishment.  This 1930 Ford Model A Tudor for sale on eBay in Spanaway, Washington is believed to be a vehicle that was previously restored.  Then it was entombed for 40 years waiting for its next caretaker.  While needing some cosmetic work and a new interior, this Model A runs and drives.  With a $12,000 Buy it Now price, with the possibility in place to make an offer, is this an honest first-project car you would like to learn with and return to the road?

If you are flirting with the idea of purchasing a Model A, then the most prudent first step would be to join both of the national Model A clubs.  The Model A Ford Club of America and the Model A Restorers Club are two clubs that have been around for decades, have numerous local chapters, and have built up an information database about these cars that simply cannot be equaled.  They sell books both published by the clubs and those authored by members that will take any mystery out of owning one of these simple and reliable cars.  From there, finding a local chapter to join would be the next step.  Dollars to donuts there is someone in your zip code that knows more about Model As than you ever will.  You need to befriend that person to have someone knowledgeable with you when you start looking at cars to purchase.

Once you have a good understanding of Model A history and the general concept of the mechanicals, it is time to select a body style.  For a car that sold in the millions and Ford’s emphasis on simplifying production to reduce the cost of his vehicles, the Model A came in a dizzying amount of variations.  The most commonly found are the Tudors, which is a two-door sedan.  Fordors were also popular and came in many varieties.  You also have roadsters, Victorias, trucks, roadster pickups, sport coupes, phaetons, and others.  Rarity and condition are the drivers of price, and those prices have been on the upswing for the past decade.

If you want to get your feet wet in the Model A market without making too large an investment, the 1930 Model A Tudor you see here might be a good entry into this subset of the hobby.  The seller tells us that they are the second owner of this car.  It originally came out of Nebraska a few years ago.  We are also told that there have been several improvements over the years.  On the maintenance side, this includes lubricants, wiring, lights, tires, and a new battery.  As for physical improvements, the seller lists a grille rock guard, a luggage rack, a chrome shift handle, a chrome hand brake, and both front and rear bumpers.

Interestingly, the seller believes that this Model A was restored in the eighties and then sat in a barn for 40 years.  While the picture of the engine block below leads us to believe that it has been out and painted in the recent past, the interior is a whole other story.  While it is possible that the roof insert leaked on a completely refurbished interior, the amount of staining and general age leaves this area in question.  Cloth upholstery kits are available, and this is not that much of a hurdle for the new owner.

The inline four-cylinder engine is said to start even when using the front crank handle.  Yes, even in 1930 Ford provided a hand crank for Model A owners.  Some sources say that Ford provided hand cranks until 1941 in cars and 1950 in trucks.  Imagine that today with a modern car.  Regardless of how it cranks, the seller tells us that this car runs, drives, and stops just like it did back in the day.

When you look at this Model A, it would not be a bad first car for someone with an itch to own a Model A.  While details are scant, it is a running and driving car that could be the start of a lot of fun.  Do your research, find a friend who is an expert, choose carefully, and go have some fun.  There is nothing on this car that can’t be fixed, and there is nowhere you can’t go in a Model A.  Even if you have to hand-crank it first!


  1. skidmarc

    Good article. This is the same car my dad got started in the hobby with back in the early 70’s. Model A’s were a big part of my childhood and I have a soft spot in my heart for them.

    Like 7
  2. Troy

    Nice and at $12k its priced about $3-4k less than what others have sold for recently I think they need to post it on a different site other than Evil bay to get it sold

    Like 2
  3. John Gothard

    It’s gone.

    Like 1
    • Mike J

      At that price its no wonder

      Like 0
  4. John Gothard

    It’s already gone.

    Like 1
  5. BigDaddyBonz

    My buddy had a Model A 2 dr sedan in gray primer (fenders removed) back in 1978. Got it for free from a guy who just ‘wanted it gone’. Boxed the frame, upgraded the brakes, added a 9″ Ford rear, dropped in a dual quad Ford ‘Y’ block and auto trans. Wasn’t real fast but fast enough to get your heart pumping and definitely unique. Had to sell it when he got drafted. Bummer!!

    Like 0

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