Grandpa’s Barn Find: 1930 Ford Model A Coupe

After a hugely successful run of the Model T, Ford launched the Model A in 1927 with great expectations. And the buying public responded favorably in terms of sales – until the Fall of 1929. Once the Great Depression ensued, sales and production began to fall as demand dried up. 1930 would be the car’s second-best year, which included the seller’s 2-door coupe. This one is referred to “Grandpa’s” car and it’s said to have had only two owners. It looks to be in pretty rough shape, but what a sight it would be restored to its original simple beauty. Located in Placerville, California, the Ford is available here on Facebook Marketplace for $7,500.

At one time, there were no less than 16 variations of the Model A that could be ordered. One of the most common was the 3-window coupe, which accounted for 255,000 units out of 1.26 million in 1930. The coupe was available in standard and deluxe trim, but we can’t tell which version the seller’s car is due to the ravages of time and Mother Nature. The Model As were powered by a 201 cubic inch L-head inline-4 paired with a 3-speed sliding-mesh manual transmission. Both have been removed from the car and it appears as though a second motor is there to go with the car.

What did the Model A offer that the Model T didn’t? According to promotional materials of the day, it gave buyers “elegant styling – described as a “downsized Lincoln” by some, 4-wheel brakes, improved fuel economy, a laminated safety glass windshield, hydraulic shock absorbers, and a 40-horsepower motor that was enough to deliver a top speed of 65 mph.” And they could be had in colors other than black or green. The seller’s car, however, stuck to basics with a black painted body and matching interior.

This 1930 Ford doesn’t appear to have any major rust issues, but there are enough other things to keep you busy fixing. The roof has a sheet of metal covering the original roll-back canvas top. The rear deck lid is gone, the windshield is cracked, and one piece of door glass has flown the coop. The front seat is down to the springs and the floorboards look a bit sketchy. But the car has a truck rear differential that could have been added later on. The Ford comes with a clean title and awaits someone who has the time, money and motivation to make this car right again. Turn it into something that Eliot Ness may have been seen riding in chasing the bad guys!

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  1. bobhess bobhess Member

    Never saw one with a roll back top. They were canvas over insulation and fastened to wood struts. Maybe it’s just me but $7,500 seem pretty steep for something that’s in pieces with some missing. Still hard not to like the ’28 thru ’31s though.

    Like 32
    • Gerald

      Model A never had a roll back top or 3 window coupe. All were 5 window. If I ever built one, I would redo the overlapping doors and not ever out a 32 grille she’ll in it. Just sayin’..

      Like 2
  2. Cycle Salvage Kevin Member

    Hmm, restore it? Rat rod it? Street rod it? If me and I had the money, rat it. Or, flashy red electrified street rod. As much as I crave throaty rumbling, EV is the inevitable way of the future.

    Like 2
    • Skorzeny

      For a country that won’t be able to produce enough electricity? Right.

      Like 1
      • Cycle Salvage Kevin Member

        Skorzeny, explain your statement.

      • Phlathead Phil

        CSK, are you aware of the phact that EV chargers run off 240 volt lines? Converting to all EV is a huge challenge. Big oil is NOT going away. What are you gonna do, make your tires out of concrete ?

  3. Kyle

    I’m pretty sure you could buy a running one for that price

    Like 24
  4. Terry

    The perfect project for the do-it-yourselfer who knows how to work with metal and mechanicals.. To pay someone to restore this would cost way more than the car could ever be worth. But there’s good bones here, even if the price is high.

    Like 5
  5. Steve R

    Too much money for what it is. In California these aren’t particularly uncommon in better shape and for less money. Last year a friend found an intact 30 Model-A 5 window, like this one, that had been parked in a garage since the mid-70’s for $2,500. He wound up selling it to buy a different car, he was asking $6,500, but took $5,500 after several weeks.

    Steve R

    Like 8
  6. Tom K

    This is a really crazy price. 100 miles away in the Bay Area there is a fully restored one for 12k.

    Like 9
    • Tom K

      I take that back its in Sacramento 40 miles away. And it’s $12,900

      Like 7
  7. DON

    The right fender (if original) has a step pad for rumble seat access , but it could have been a junkyard replacement decades ago.

    Like 3
  8. Bunky

    Definitely worth saving- definitely not worth the ask to me.
    FYI: In addition to black and green, throughout the years of production Model Ts were available from the factory in Bright Red, Dark Blue, Maroon, Brown, and Grey. A friend of mine recently sold a ‘17 Touring Car that was all original, including it’s factory grey paint job. Ironically, in the beginning they were not available in black. Years later, Henry decided that you could have any color you wanted, as long as it was black, as a way to increase efficiency.

    Like 2
  9. Huntley Hennessy

    I bought a running 29 Coupe in Camino, just up the road from Placerville for $2500. It was more than 20 years ago, but at least it was complete and it ran perfectly. It even had the original Klaxon horn and it came with lots of spare parts. The asking price for this example is way out of line.

    Like 8
  10. Plathead Phil

    You can get “runners” for not much more,

    Like 3
  11. Lary Grabb

    I had one of these back in the late 1960’s. Anything needed to build a Model A from scratch is available, and almost everything would be needed for this car. I can buy a running Model A coupe in very good condition here in the Midwest for less than $10,000. The market for Model A’s keeps getting softer as the generation that knew and/or appreciated them is aging and moving out of the old car hobby. I am in my 70’s and maintaining old cars is becoming more difficult. My “stable” of seven will soon be trimmed to three or four. Those will be passed to my son, who has a real love of old cars. Guys who loved Model A’s and have the ability to undertake a total restoration are seeing their numbers dwindle. This is “maybe” a $1500 car, depending on motor, tranny, and a visual inspection. Enjoy all the posts. Thank you, guys.

    Like 2
  12. dogwater

    Another pop can

    Like 1
  13. Kenn

    Price is at least $3,500 too high for this 5 (five) window – not three (3) window rumble-seat coupe. Too much missing, even though replacements parts are plentiful from at least two catalog stores.

    Like 2
  14. bobH Member

    Yep, to the above price comments. I’m in the market for a 30 coupe, and this would be the one for me, if priced properly. I contacted the seller… He’s firm at 7500… Just not MY 7500. I’m currently looking at one for 4500, that is more complete, and looks to be in much better shape. I’ll probably pull the trigger on it. Downside, it’s farther away. This one is in PV, my backyard.

    Like 2
    • Phlathead Phil

      Bob, I’ve traveled nearly the entire state of California in my line of work. Found hundreds of old cars in much the same condition, it’s ALWAYS the same story… “I got this old car and I ain’t selling’ it to nobody, unless of course, you come up with a suitcase FULL of Benjamin’s.” Many a case the old crank dies. Kids inherit, car is SOLD for dimes on the dollar. I got three that way.

  15. Bob McK Member

    I hope the seller is reading the posts here. Makes you wonder where some people come up with their asking prices on their old cars.

    Like 1
  16. Gray Wolf

    At that money, it will stay as a chicken coupe!

    Like 1
  17. TouringFordor

    It probably was a standard coupe, as there are no holes for cowl lights.

  18. Phlathead Phil

    There appears to be a host of G-Pa grafted in things. First, the roof, then the motor, lights, horn, rear wheels. No accelerator pedal. Engine is a later model, and the original appears to be in the ground. It looks like gramps wanted to go faster at some point in time. And there it sits. A HUGE amount of work, and not for the faint of heart. Yeah, $1500.00 seems right.

  19. Kenn

    No accelerator pedal because they never had one. Just a quarter-sized steel “button”, which you can see just above the top of the emergency brake lever.

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