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Family Project? 1930 Ford Model A

The growth in technology and social media has seen many families become isolated as each member becomes involved in their own little electronic world. That is a price that many are willing to pay for this information age, but some families want to get back to basics. That is where cars like this 1930 Ford Model A can fit into the equation. Restoring this car is a project that could involve an entire family. Once completed, it would be a classic that everyone could appreciate and one that would instill a sense of pride. It is located in Lebanon, Pennsylvania, and has been listed for sale here on eBay. There has been a single bid of $6,750 submitted at this point, but the reserve has been met.

The seller of the Model A purchased it from a family who had owned it since the early 1950s. It seems that it has been out of action for many years, but it is none the worse for the experience. There is some minor rust in some of the lower body extremities, but this could be addressed with patches. There are a few dings and dents, but none of these are severe. The Ford appears to be structurally sound, with the majority of the rust that is present around the vehicle being little more than surface corrosion. The top is shredded, and a replacement will need to be sourced. The buyer will also need to replace some of the glass, and the bumpers will need to go to the platers. The wire wheels need work, but the radiator surround and headlights are in good condition. These are such a simple little car that dismantling them entirely to perform a high-quality restoration is not difficult. It is this simplicity that makes them such a strong candidate for a family-based project.

It isn’t just the structural integrity of the Model A that is the source of good news. The car is not only mechanically complete, but it runs and drives. What we find is standard Model A fare. That means that the engine is a 201ci flathead 4-cylinder engine that is capable of producing 40hp. This power finds its way to the rear wheels via a 3-speed manual transmission. For many potential owners, it is the conventional drivetrain and controls that make the Model A a more attractive proposition when compared to the Model T. Today, the controls of the “A” feel intuitive and natural. Slip behind the wheel of the Model T, and it’s like stepping foot on an alien planet. It is possible to adapt to the quirks, but there are people who don’t want to do this. This Ford runs and drives, although it isn’t roadworthy. It has recently been treated to a new battery and a rebuilt carburetor. It starts right up, and the owner drives it around his yard. Given the mechanical simplicity of these old classics, returning it to a roadworthy state might not be a significant undertaking.

Ford’s aim with the Model A was to make it simple and affordable. To that end, this is not a car that is loaded with luxury features. The word utilitarian springs to mind, and it is appropriate. There are minimal gauges, no radio, no heater, and no carpet. The gauge cluster is present, although it looks like it will require some restoration work. The seat will need a new cover, and I suspect that some fresh stuffing and padding won’t go astray. With new door trims and the painted surfaces refreshed, it should present quite well. Spending $60 on a rubber floormat would finish the interior off nicely.

The Model A could be considered to be Ford’s “difficult second album.” The Model T was always going to be a hard act to follow, but this car did it admirably. In 1930, Ford managed to sell 854,263 examples of the Model A. That was no mean feat and learning from the mistakes of the Model T, the Model A didn’t remain in production past its “use by” date. The first cars hit the market in the 1928 model year, with the last vehicles finding owners in 1931. Their simplicity makes them a favorite as family project cars or for those who are dipping their toe into the water of classic car ownership for the first time. So, maybe the time has come to put down the iPhones and pick up the spanners. That sounds good to me.


  1. piston poney

    the kid inside me says either put a flat head V8 in it or a 289, 302, or possibly a 351. if i was to do that i would put the flat head in but tbh i would keep the 4 banger if you could even call it a 4 banger cause of the lack of power LOL.

    Like 1
  2. 86_Vette_Convertible

    Love the spinner on the steering wheel, we had those on the tractors on the farm to make it easier to turn a corner faster.
    I like the car, wish I have the room, time and money for it but I don’t.

    Like 3
    • daniel wright

      Those Spinners were commonly called necker’s knobs…So you could drive with one hand while your other was “busy”

      Like 1
      • Barney

        Or sometimes called suicide knobs. There was an early version of these that were wider and flatter that were called palmers

        Like 2
  3. Rixx56 Member

    I’d rather have that maroon
    coupe in the background…

    Like 1
  4. Stacey Hagan

    If you check the sellers other items, he has 2 flatheads and a floor based manual tranny!

    Like 0
  5. Gray Wolf

    This is a great car for a father-son project! If you cannot work on these vehicles, you better put away the “spanners”! My dad and I got into Model A’s when I was fifteen. My mom, dad and I would comb the swap meets for parts, great fun! We then purchased a ‘28 “phone both” p/u that I used to go around picking up parts that people didn’t need for their hot rods. We had 2 to 6 friends come over on the weekends buying parts or giving them a hand repairing their cars! Mom was close buy cooking up her famous burgers! Great family times!!

    Like 3
  6. stillrunners

    Not a bad Sport Coupe at the price it is now…..wonder why it didn’t sell at Hershey ?

    Like 0
  7. Glenn Hodge

    I like it just the way it is.

    Like 0
  8. Phlathead Phil.

    Isn’t it called a “Cabriolet?”

    Could this have been used as a flower car for funeral processions?

    Like 0
  9. ChingaTrailer

    Is the top fixed or does it fold? We keep hearing that interest in these cars is dying off as fast as their owners. If true, price now seems high. It appears to me that beautifully restored examples can be had for around $15,000 so buying this one makes no sense.

    Like 0
  10. Kenn

    “Makes no sense” Chinga? As a father/son or father/daughter project, it won’t take even 10 grand to get this collector car in almost show condition. Parts are available and inexpensive. No, it’s not a convertible top, but it does have a rumble seat, and even cushions for that are available and inexpensive. It is an affordable collector car and gets smiles and thumbs up whenever it’s driven. Not a highway cruiser, but a lot of good transportation around town. (P.S. I notice no remarks about “numbers matching” or “original miles.” What a blessing. The snobs aren’t commenting.)

    Like 1
  11. ChingaTrailer

    OK Kenn, you are right. I should have said that it makes no financial sense.

    Like 0
  12. Jmoore

    I love the car if I had it I have so many to do with the car but I wouldn’t want to eat rod it I’m a traditional kind if guy even though I’m still going but I fell in love with the model t and the model a

    Like 0
  13. malcolm lawler

    hi Did you ever sell the model a sport coupe , interested here in Australia
    20th nov 2021

    Like 0

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