Early Ranchero: 1931 Ford Model A Coupe

left

This “truck” is listed on craigslist and is exactly as it was on it’s last work day. It has an interesting history. During the war it was converted from a coupe to a pickup of sorts. In 1957 it went into a private collection where it stayed until 2002. It has had some mechanical work done to get it running and driving. It is stock except for hydraulic brakes and 1948 Ford spindles.

inside

The inside looks clean and tidy. The blankets covering the seats are tucked in neatly. The door card looks like formica they used on shower walls in some of the more affordable apartments I grew up in.

engine

It looks very original under the hood. It could be left as is or spruced up with a few upgrades.

right rear

Some, perhaps most, would turn this back into a coupe, possibly using just the body for a custom car. That box is pretty ugly and the weight certainly can’t be good for drivability. I hope, however unlikely, that the buyer will see the historical value or cool factor and keep it intact. For once, I’m not sure I’m looking forward to comments. To me, it’s a nice running old truck that would be a fun driver. I understand if most folks see this as a coupe waiting to have its ugly undone. So what will it be?

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Comments

  1. geomechs geomechs Member

    A lot of cars were made into trucks during the war because a truck was allowed more gas rations. This car/truck would be an interesting conversation piece but if it were mine, I’d probably try to find another body and attempt to either bring it back to a coupe or find a proper pickup cab and bed and make it into a real truck. It would be a lot of work to graft pieces of car body back to make it a coupe again; you’d be better off replacing the body. It would actually be worth it to get a roadster body and go that route….

    • David

      I was hoping folks might see this car/truck as an example of what people had to do during the war and save it, or at least think saving it as it is it would be a good idea. This truck is what someone created and used to make a living. Oh well. Patina wins over reality every time.

      Also, T stickers were not issued for just any truck, just farm trucks and those delivering things. Otherwise you received an “A” sticker. You could not get more gas just by converting your car into a truck.

  2. JW454

    As converted cars go, it’s better than some I’ve seen. During the war, many people did what they had to do. The owner of this car was no different. I think I’d look for a replacement coupe body and I’d leave the brakes as is.

  3. Chris in WNC

    oh yes! LEAVE IT and drive it!

    Coupes are a dime a dozen, this thing is unique.

    restore the running gear and get that battery back under the floorboard…….

  4. ron h

    I would get a model a pick up bed and rear fenders to convert it into a “ute” type car. Its already a conversion so in my mind lightening it and trying to improve the looks really aren’t hurting the value. The historical value would only be regional to where it comes from and wouldn’t apply if moved more than 25 miles anyway.

  5. Bob Hess

    Find a pickup bed to replace the wood and leave it like it is.

  6. daCabbie

    What was cut-off to add the bed? Is there damage to the coupe?

    I like it as is, but I might just pull the bed off in one piece (so I could return it later) and drive it as is…no detailing, no upgrades, no tuner-kit….just do it raw like Grandpa did.

    How many ponies does a beast like this have?

  7. Jim Mc

    Pro tip: try not to include any lawn jockey statues when taking pics, as in the right rear 3/4 shot. Not helping. I know, it’s Missouri. Just sayin’…..
    That said, I’d leave it as is and just drive it when and where you can. It’s unique for sure. But for $8500? Start at $4800 and move fwd from there.

  8. doug

    Check out the garage. Sweet.

  9. Mike

    I know where Wellsville is, it is located about 20 miles North if I-70 in rural northern Missouri. I have drove through that little town and stopped off and enjoyed the fairs and the old train depot museum with family for most of my 53 years. During the War years this part of Missouri was still struggling to get out from under the depression years, and seeing somebody do this to a car was nothing uncommon in this area. They still had blacksmith shops and those men were artist when it came to way of modifying a piece of equipment to make do. In this area you will find collections of restored Farm Tractors, and old style farm equipment, and I am talking collections, there used to be a gentleman in the next town up that was reported to have over 100 restored tractors in his collection, but they were kept private, and to look at the owner of them they said he looked like he did not even have money for a cup of coffee, but everybody knew how tight he was.
    The last time I went through Wellsville they were having a old tractor/steam tractor fair and I spent the biggest part of the day in it with my Grandson’s never did make it to Mark Twain Lake that day for a fishing trip. The reason I know this area my Mom was raised about 25 miles from Wellsville, and she had family in the area, so we were up there many times a year. If you are ever in Missouri get off the interstate drive Missouri Highway 19 north to Hwy 34 from Montgomery City to Hannibal, Missouri and enjoy the sites. Going through these old towns you would think you fell into a time warp, going back 20 years at least. Some of them still have the old style downtown with businesses, yes no Wal-Mart, or K-Mart, or Target stores in this area, just good old fashion rural USA. Towns that still cerebrate the 4th of July with a parade, and Homecomings, fall harvest celebrations just good ole fashion fun Rural American Style!!!!
    OK I got to stop crying now, I think I will be headed to Wellsville this weekend just for the fun of it.

  10. Bill

    One of the better conversions I’ve seen. it would be fun to conserve it as is, given there are a lot of nice coupes out there.

  11. Ben T. Spanner

    Lots of work- arounds during gas rationing. A co-worker was a High School student during WWII and worked part-time with his friend at a machine shop owned by the friend’s father. The boys had no gas ration card, but they discovered the father’s Lasalle would start on gasoline, and run on freely available cleaning solvent. They would drive 2 hours to Lake Erie on solvent.

    I believe WWII gas rationing and reduced speed limits were more to conserve rubber tires then gasoline.

  12. Don

    I don’t care for rat rods to much but this could pry be a kind of cool one with the bed on it .

  13. Brad

    Love it. If you want a coupe, easy to find one – all the second owners are dying off. Like the “Winter Mail Carrier” Model A on giant tires from a few years back… this is living, tangible proof of a very different time. I’d sure hate to see that history sandblasted and bondo-ed away.

    As for whether it’s overpriced, we can’t blame the coupe-truck for that.

  14. Puhnto

    In the fifties, dad had Model-A Sport Coupe where the rumble seat had been removed and a small, metal pick-up bed with tailgate, placed instead. It was something that had been professionally manufactured for converting Midel-As with rumble-seats or trunks, into little pick-ups. Haven’t seen any around for many, many years.

  15. Dave

    Thanks for featuring on Barn Finds.

  16. MGSteve

    Totally agree with the thought that there are a million (well, several million!) coupes out there. I remember going to a Big Model A national convention thing in San Diego, and there were row upon row of coupes. So many, in fact, that people just walked by the end of the rows . . . totally bored with them, was my guess. We had a coupe then, and we loved it, BUTTTTTTTTTTT . . . it did not stand out in the crowd of coupes.

    SAVE THIS exactly like it is. People love the car that is different and has a story and some history. We don’t need any more restored coupes, or even “official” Model A trucks.

  17. Dave

    My thoughts exactly.

  18. Rex Kahrs Member

    As a man that has made his living doing just what Floyd did, I say keep the thing as-is. Floyd branded himself and set up his “truck” to get out there and fix what needed to be fixed. Obviously Floyd didn’t have nail guns, and probably didn’t use electric tools, which makes his profession all that much more admirable. I can totally relate to this. Go Floyd!

    I also love that Floyd’s phone number is “6”

    • Brad

      Hear, hear! Go Floyd!

  19. steve

    A stated above, Model A coupes are a dime a dozen. This one deserves to be kept as is. It would be cheaper to just buy a coupe that is already done anyway!

  20. Bobsmyuncle

    I’ve never had much of any interest in these but this has my head spinning. I just love it!

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