Easy Restoration: 1929 Ford Model A Rumble Seat Roadster

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Henry Ford was a flawed individual with strong views and was seldom willing to compromise on his opinions. This made him a ruthless tyrant toward those with whom he crossed swords, but it also meant that the cars produced while he was at the helm of the company bearing his name are some of the best candidates for DIY project builds. That is the case with this 1929 Ford Model A Roadster. It needs love, but returning it to its former glory should be a rewarding family project. Once the work is complete, the younger family members should have a blast in the Rumble Seat as this classic rolls along the road. The Model A is listed here on Craigslist in Belleville, Illinois. The seller set their price at $10,500 OBO, and I must say a big thank you to Barn Finder Rocco B. for spotting this promising project.

The seller indicates this Model A Roadster is an old and complete barn find. It is unmolested, and the indications are that it could serve as a restoration or preservation project. Its Black paint is well past its best, but some sections retain a healthy shine. The panels are straight, and this classic is rust-free. Combine those factors, and a world of possibilities awaits this car’s next owner. I can’t spot any missing trim, and it looks like most pieces will respond positively to applying a high-quality polish. The top is intact and free from tears, and there are no apparent glass issues. Even if I were considering the preservation pathway, I would splash the cash to have the wheels professionally inspected and restored. They are probably okay, but the surface corrosion would prompt me to ensure the spokes weren’t on the verge of failure. Nothing ruins a classic outing more than suddenly finding you only have three wheels on your wagon!

The Model A brought a more conventional and user-friendly mechanical configuration than the Model T it replaced. Both featured a flathead four, although the 201ci powerplant in the Model A delivered twice the Model T’s 20hp. Gone was the two-speed planetary transmission in favor of a three-speed manual similar to the competition’s. Buyers felt the improvements under their right foot because while the Model T ran out of breath at around 40mph, the “A” would race to 65mph. That might not sound like much today, but you must remember that this was an era when many roads were little more than glorified goat tracks. The seller indicates the Roadster runs, drives, and stops. It is unclear whether it is roadworthy, but getting it to that point if it isn’t shouldn’t be challenging. We receive no interior shots, but trim items are readily available and affordable if things aren’t up to scratch. The Model A features a Rumble Seat, which should be a delightful place to pass some time on a sunny day.

The list of professions that Henry Ford distrusted included those in the financial sector, like bankers and accountants, but he held a particular disdain for people who designed cars with a piece of paper and a pencil. He was a semi-illiterate self-taught engineer who largely flew by the seat of his pants, producing vehicles with simple and sound engineering principles. He knew the people who bolted them together would be, for the most part, unskilled. Therefore, the assembly process needed to be simple and foolproof. That was the case with cars like the Model T and A, which is why they also make ideal candidates for first-time restorers. If you feel the time is right to stop procrastinating and commit to a restoration project, perhaps this Roadster is the perfect car for you.

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  1. FordGuy1972 FordGuy1972Member

    Considering how original and complete this Model A is, a faithful restoration without any modifications should be the way to go. It’s in amazing condition for a 90+ year old car so I just hope that whoever buys this survivor just freshens it up and keeps it original.

    Like 19
    • bobhess bobhessMember

      Like he said.

      Like 11
      • Dickie F.

        Yip, that’s the was to go….as original as possible. Always.

        Like 8
  2. Maggy

    If I only lived in a rural or semi rural area I’d buy it.It’s just to impractical to drive where I live .Always wanted one since I was a kid.I’d leave it as is just have the wheels gone thru and those spots on the rear quarters where it looks like gray splotches repainted.And go thru the whole car to make sure it’s safely road worthy.One day when me and the old lady move I’ll get one.Coming up soon.Nice car , fair price.glwts.

    Like 7
  3. TheOldRanger

    This would be a great car for living here in the Village. All of us timers would crowd around and the stories told would be very interesting in deed.

    Like 8
  4. B

    The Model T was equipped with a semi automatic transmission with no gearshift, or clutch, per se. It was pure genius in an era where the vast majority of potential buyers were only familiar with reins, and verbal commands. The clashing and grinding of gears, and the challenges of engaging a clutch were eliminated. It was a much more buyer friendly approach. My grandfather never did fully master the conventional stick shift. Putting a stick shift in the Model A was a nod to convention, not an advancement. The 3 pedal system used in the T was crude and inefficient by today’s standards- but it was pure genius over a century ago.

    Like 12
  5. Frank Barrett

    It’s a rumble-seat Roadster, so definitely restore to original. Making it into a hot-rod would be a crime. Price seems about right.

    Like 7
  6. Timothy Rudzinski, Sr.

    Has anyone ever noticed that older Fords “blue oval” never seems to fade over the years? Look at recent manufactured Fords. What’s the deal with that?

    Like 4
    • maggy

      They were porcelian on top of raised copper where the script is.Fragile but durable to the elements.

      Like 4
  7. "Edsel" Al leonardMember

    Yes Henry was his own man…ruthless is a polite word when you read about how he treated his only son Edsel…………….too bad he didn’t listen to even a portion of what he had to say. I rode in and got to drive a friends 1942 Lincoln Zephyr yesterday- Edsel’s design and his ride- he was a head of his time..

    Like 2
  8. Mike M

    Already gone!

    Like 0
  9. Kirk M Stankiewicz

    “Flawed Individual”? Woke Author

    Like 0

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