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Mail Call! 1931 Ford Model A Letter Carrier

The Model A was the successor to Ford’s highly popular (and affordable) Model T of the early 20th Century. Thanks in part to growing competition and the Great Depression, it didn’t enjoy the same level of sales success. Just under 5 million copies vs. close to 15 million were produced (but the production cycle was less than half as long). The seller has a 1931 edition – a mail truck – which was one of many of the uses that could be applied to the truck series. It’s something of a family heirloom and hasn’t been started in 35 years. Located in Youngwood, Pennsylvania, this rare project is available here on eBay where the bidding stands at $3,750.

Following the “Tin Lizzy” of the Roaring Twenties, the Model A debuted in 1927 as a 1928 model. Then the economic boom came down two years later. Production of the Model A ceased in early 1932 in advance of the Model B’s launch. More than 11% of total Model A output was for trucks while another 7% was for Ford’s commercial chassis – the rest being automobiles. The seller’s car is titled as a 1932 although responses from would-be buyers all say it’s a 1931. Still, we don’t know how you could tell the difference without paperwork.

As the story goes, this former mail truck was owned by the seller’s parents and was his/her father’s “pride and joy” at one time. It was last started up in the 1980s, so it’s been dormant for ages. Both parents have since passed away, so it’s time for the vehicle to find a new home and someone to restore it. Until recently, it was sitting up on blocks but should be able to roll sufficiently to be loaded onto a trailer.

In those days, bodies were made of a combination of metal and wood, and we’re told all of this is original. But everything is showing its age, and it would be surprising if at least some of the wood wouldn’t need to be replaced. A plethora of extra parts will come with the truck, including a large number of wheels, as well as tires and tubes (some of the latter are new and have never been unwrapped). Extras for the engine may be there, too, like a spare crankshaft or two, and three antique mailbags have survived the passage of time!


  1. bobhess bobhess Member

    As a woodworker and car restorer I would have a great time restoring this old guy. It’s in good enough to save and unique in it’s own right. Would really be something at a cars and coffee.

    Like 19
    • leiniedude leiniedude Member

      I have to agree Bob. Pretty unique. And the mail bags are the kicker! Looks like old inner tube patches on them to get some more service out of them. Nice!

      Like 5
  2. Davey Boy

    To great of shape to do anything but factory restore this one. Very cool.

    Like 7
  3. Don McCuistion

    People can tell the difference in years just like any other make or model. No one would argue the differences between a 71 or 72 Chevelle or 59 and 60 Chevrolet.

    Like 6
    • John Jasper

      But couldn’t it be produced late in 31 so they titled it as a 32?

      Like 2
    • JWH14580

      Yes they would. It happens all the time.

      Like 0
  4. gary englert

    I live 45 minutes away from you, could I came and take a look at it.

    Like 3
    • eric22t

      you would need to contact the seller on ebay(where this is being auctioned).
      click the link to the ebay auction at the beginning of the article.

      as for the truck, she looks reasonably intact. it will make a great project. plus it is a bit off beat, not the typical car or truck of the day.

      Like 2
  5. jwh14580

    Looks like a grill from a 30

    Like 2
    • Mike T

      You are correct. This is a 1930 radiator cover, not a 1931. No real way to be sure without taking the left front fender off and checking the frame number. That would be a real challenge as the body and side cover that attaches to the running board would also have to be removed.

      Like 1
    • Andrew

      Just finished the wood on a Nash….can smell the rot and old paint through my phone on this one! It truly is too complete to do anything but a gentle preservation/renovation. But be ready for a lot of splicing and replacing to get the truck roadworks. Great project if you have the space.

      Like 3
    • Herbert Holmberg

      Agreed, 31 grill had a black painted insert at the top of the grill that did not appear to be on this grill. I too call her a 30.

      Like 1
  6. Steve RM

    This is a great Model A. When I was a kid I was visiting a wrecking yard with my father looking for some parts for our Model A. The yard had a few of these that had been there a long time. The previous owner had apparently bought them at a surplus auction. I wanted one then and would still like to have one. Unfortunately I have the same problem as back then. They’re pretty big and won’t fit in my garage/shop.
    If I did get it I would get it mechanically sound and do as little else as possible to make it a nice safe driver.

    Like 1
    • eric22t

      i’m not sure steve but i think it’s time to “grow” the garage lol

      Like 3
      • Steve RM

        I wish.

        Like 1
    • Andrew

      Just finished the wood on a Nash….can smell the rot and old paint through my phone on this one! It truly is too complete to do anything but a gentle preservation/renovation. But be ready for a lot of splicing and replacing to get the truck roadworthy Great project if you have the space.

      Like 1
  7. Brett Lundy

    honestly expected a right hand drive setup being a mail truck, this must have just been from post office to post office not on rural route.

    Like 1
    • Herbert Holmberg

      I don’t believe so Brett. I have seen a number of pictures of restored Model A mail trucks through the years and recall all of them being LHD. To my knowledge RHD Model A’s were found in foreign countries with most of those found in this country today being imports from other countries.

      Like 1
      • geezerglide 85

        I was talking to the owner of a restored Model A at a car show once. He told me he had the car imported from South Africa. He said when he got it there was absolutely no rust on it, but it was RHD. He had to find all of the parts to restore it to LHD. Over in the flea market area he had all of the RHD parts for sale, suspension, steering box, column, and the transmission (the brake and clutch pedals on these were attached to the trans.) I never understood why he went to so much trouble to ruin the originality ofsuch a rare car?

        Like 0
  8. chrlsful

    glad there’s ppl around who restore these. Neighbor even got the wood from the forests ford used’n cut frame/panel pieces (white oak was the only 1 of several species I know he wrked w/nxt door). He’d finish one, cover w/cosmolien, build a box for it (H2O proof) and pace tenderly in the woods for an off spring’s use or sale. His family legacy

    Like 1
  9. Tom Wolf

    I sorta like the old guy. !!!!!
    Would make a great conversation piece.

    Like 0

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