Hot Rod Or Restore? 1929 Ford Model A

While a 1929 Ford Model A is certainly not very rare, you don’t often see them in original unrestored and unmodified condition. This prime example is for sale here on craigslist in Cody, Wyoming with an asking price of $6,500. I think the big debate on this project would be which way to take it. A full restoration would certainly cost more than the end result is worth.  A chopped, lowered and customized hot rod would be very fun.  How ’bout driving it as-is until you can decide which way to go?  The choice will be up to the new owner…Which way would you go with this project if it was yours?

The car is said to run well. By the looks of the spark plugs, there has been enough done to make it running and driving. It will take a bit more to make it highway worthy. Probably tires and brakes at a minimum.

The neatest part of the car to me is the interior.  It looks mainly untouched and features a lot of wood with what appears to be original upholstery.  If the new owner chooses to turn this car into a hot rod, a lot of this interior will probably make way for sheet metal and leather.  If driven as it is now, I would imagine you can’t help but be transformed back in time with the four cylinder ticking away.  Whatever the future holds, I hope this car gets a chance to be on the road again.

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Comments

  1. Jon

    Would make a great hotrod,

    • Monty Lemley

      First I like your rules. No politics,profanity and personnel attacks. I think the should be restored to its original condition. Sadly my people start a hot rod project and quickly get discouraged or don’t realize theory and time unless it is done as a rat rod. A great number of these project end up in the scrap pile. There are both fiber glass and metal replicas for hot rodding

    • Dan

      This one is already gone. Just as I seriously considered it, removed from Craigslist. Probably a good thing!

  2. JW

    My neighbor had a model T I helped him work on and he always wanted me to drive it but I told him with levers for spark and throttle plus shifting all to get to 35 mph it wasn’t worth it to me. I say hot rod this one.

    • Solosolo KEN TILLY Member

      JW. The Model T was a totally different driving experience to the Model A, which had a conventional 1930’s pedal setup, apart from the central accelerator pedal. Keep it original!

      • TouringFordor

        Ummm, I’ve been around Model As all my life. Haven’t seen a central accelerator. But you are correct that it is a totally different experience. Manual spark advance is the only real difference from a more modern car.

        Drive it! American Pickers says, “It’s the most fun you can have at 45 mph!”.

  3. Ralph Terhune

    This would be a cool bookend to John-boy’s yellow Model A on the Waltons. I think his was a 3 window coupe, if I remember correctly.

  4. Dairyman

    About a million of these have been hotrodded let leave some original so people can see what they really looked like.

    • Jim Matuszak

      I have the same senerio as this. My 29 Ford is approx. 80% completed as original.
      Having restored or built hot rods my whole life, this one will stay original. A day will come when original will have a better market. Maybe not worth as much? Who knows, but the A’s are a better driver than the T’s. If it was a T, I’d say hot rod, A, original.

    • John R

      I have one of these, a ‘31 sport coupe. Totally enjoying it in as-is condition. It’s only original once!!

  5. H2

    Keep it original and restore it.

  6. Rob

    At one point I would have said turn it into a street rod. Now, I agree with some of the others. Put it back like Henry built it. Keep the history. Besides my Grandfather would come back from the dead and beat my ass if I hot rodded it.

    • Jon

      More fun to hotrod it…. All I would do is, lift the body off and drop it on an updated TCI 32 chassis designed for model A’s ditch the fenders motivate it with a flat head V8, and drive the wheels off of it …

  7. Daniel Strout

    Keep it original. Its a beautiful car !!! We have a 1928 Model A Coupe with a soft top and we’re trying to keep it as original as possible…..

    • Cliff Hawley

      Leave it as original as poss. It’s heritage that can’t be brought back Ive had 5 Model A’s and wish I still had them all. Drove my new bride away on our honeymoon and even then the coupe was thirty years old.

  8. Jimmy

    Would love to have this and drive it as is with a wash and wax!👍🏼

  9. Rob

    I’d drive it as is :) maybe drove a flathead 8 in it for extra fun :)

  10. Larry Q

    I’m with jimmy..wash wax tires brakes. …drive!

  11. John

    I would restore it. It’s lived this many years to be chopped and turned into a streetrod. Theirs many of them stripped that can be a streetrod. I have a ’27th Franklin 11b. Perchance for $12,000 and put $18,000 into the engine. But really is it all about the money or the love an old orginal car.

  12. Solosolo KEN TILLY Member

    JW. The Model T was a totally different driving experience to the Model A, which had a conventional 1930’s pedal setup, apart from the central accelerator pedal. Please check the comments. Not one person has LIKED the idea of hot rodding it.

  13. jdjonesdr

    I’d leave it as is, fix “things” on it whenever I had a little free time, and get it looking like an original in really great shape. It wouldn’t take much.

  14. Dovi65

    I wouldn’t do a full restore, no hot rod it. Clean it up, do the necessary items to make it a safe weekend cruiser, and enjoy. You’re surely meet more than a few older folks that have stories to tell about their ownership of a Model A when they were younger. THAT is the real awesome part

  15. Steve

    Hi I’m Steve and my father worked as a body -man at a Ford dealership for over 40 years. At one time we thought we may build a hot rod together but he died at 63years of age and I had moved on myself. This would have been a great candidate for such a project, but I think it would make him smile seeing it bone stock and I think so too.

  16. Jim Matuszak

    I have the same senerio as this. My 29 Ford is approx. 80% completed as original.
    Having restored or built hot rods my whole life, this one will stay original. A day will come when original will have a better market. Maybe not worth as much? Who knows, but the A’s are a better driver than the T’s. If it was a T, I’d say hot rod, A, original.
    If your selling it then it doesn’t matter does it? The new owner will decide what he wants to do with it.

  17. Steve

    That car has survived all this time hope someone would do the thing that would be right and restore it

  18. Don

    I’d drive it as is.

  19. Ron

    Up grade brakes, 2.3 Ford motor, synchro trans , and clean it up, drive it so you could at least keep up in traffic and stop if you had to

    • jdjonesdr

      Yep, I agree. I could see that if I was going to drive anywhere else than around town. If I’m just going to putz around town, I’d leave it as is.

  20. Joe Haska

    The comments suggest to restore it, or leave it as is, that is certainly acceptable, but I think most of you who want to do that, have never owned or driven an original model A. I have, I graduated high school in 1961, almost all the car guys or their friends had a model A at some time. They were cheap, and got you from A to B, not fast, but traffic wasn’t what it is now, and you could kind of keep up, and usually stop before hitting someone. The reason for the Hot Rod was as much the model A’s doing and, lots of other early Ford’s, and the desire to go faster.
    If you really think you are saving history and want a restored Model A great, as long as you realize you have a parade car and garage art, and unless your very brave and adventurous, there will be no long trips out of town

    • Rob

      I had the pleasure to drive my Grandfather’s restored 29 soft top pickup after I came home from Afghanistan. It was an experience I shared with my youngest daughter. I would have no delusions of grandeur on how this goes down the road. I’m ok with a side road cruiser. It is more about the memories for me than going fast in it. I have modern cars, trucks, and motorcycles for that.

  21. Madmatt

    I would detail and preserve what is there!
    A very nice example of one that is still original,or close to it
    is very hard to find,I would keep it as close to its current condition
    as I could,only fixing or replacing things that really need it.
    There are a million cars to build a rod out of,
    why ruin a nice original!–very nice find!

  22. Gabe coty

    Leave it as is. Absolutely do not hot rod it. It is complete and a good looking car!

  23. gaspumpchas

    Working on a 28 business coupe for a friend on a Brookville chassis. original paint,rusty grille shell and headlights and original bird doodoo that’s gonna stay. hooked up original steering wheel, 302 , c-5.full fenders and running boards. Patina and driveability. Love it.

  24. Chris

    Fix what needs fixing, upgrade what should be upgraded, clean it up, then DRIVE IT. It’s only original once, and they ain’t makin’ them anymore….

  25. Tom S.

    Drive it, love it, preserve it.

  26. Jon

    We need to take a poll on this one … Who is in favor of Rod .. or restore …

    Come on Barn Finds… That would be interesting to find out …

  27. Lion

    My highschool 1930 Model A coupe was beat up when I got it in 1961. I caught hell from the gym teacher for retarding the spark to make it bachfire when I arrived every day. I got a lot of ribbing for driving the oldest junker at school until the day one of my tormenters was dead on the road in his 48 Ford. He waved me over and asked if my 4 banger could give him a push start. I said, “Lets try”.
    I lined up behind him and was in third gear and 25 MPH before his sedan full of his buddies, fired up. They didn’t bug me any more.
    There are not enough decent originals left. NO hot rod on this beauty.

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