Older Restoration: 1929 Ford Model A Side Mount Roadster

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Classic project cars come in many shapes and sizes, and not all need to emerge from barns or sheds. This 1929 Ford Model A Roadster demonstrates that, although its overall presentation means it has no immediate cosmetic needs. It has remained in a private collection for years, needing someone to perform the revival that would return it to its rightful place on our roads. If a straightforward winter project sounds too good to resist, the Model A is listed here on eBay in Fredericksburg, Texas. The seller set their price at $13,500, making it a relatively affordable project for its next owner.

The Ford Model A was the company’s first passenger vehicle which marked a definite collaboration between Henry and Edsel Ford. Henry had always focused on his vehicle’s mechanical attributes and specifications, treating appearance and styling with disdain. Therefore, Henry handed styling duties to Edsel while he tinkered away with engineers on the mechanical specifications. Compared to its predecessor, the Model A looked significantly more modern, and pent-up demand saw buyers clamoring to hand over their cash to own one. Our feature car rolled out of the factory in 1929, and its presentation isn’t bad. The seller indicates it is an older restoration that spent years in a private collection and that its combination of Vagabond Green and Black lacquer has minor cracks and imperfections. However, it retains an impressive shine and would be acceptable for a driver-grade vehicle. There is no evidence of rust or panel damage, and the Beige top is in good order. The trim has survived nicely, and the glass looks flawless. One of the defining features of this Model A is the dual side-mount spares. They add a touch of class and luxury to a car that Ford saw as an affordable replacement for the venerable Model T. I believe that a thorough cleaning and polish could return this classic to a point where it would gain attention wherever it goes.

As with this Ford’s exterior, its interior remains presentable, but it needs little to lift its appearance to a higher level. The upholstered surfaces aren’t original, but they are free from wear and physical damage. The Black vinyl has shrunk and pulled away from the firewall, but a bit of patience could allow the new owner to cut and fit a new section for the cost of the material. I would spend around $70 on a new floor mat to improve the appearance, and with some of the Black components, like the shifter and steering column repainted, the interior would look pretty nice.

One thing on my Bucket List is riding in a classic car’s rumble seat. That experience is available to this car’s new owner and their families, which causes me pangs of envy. Like the rest of the interior, it appears in good condition. The owner supplies no engine photos but indicates this Ford features the standard 200.5ci flathead four-cylinder engine and three-speed manual transmission. The mechanical configuration of the Model A marked a significant change from its predecessor, bringing its controls and operation in line with the competitor’s offerings. The larger engine in the Model A also produced more power and performance. While the Model T pumped out 20hp, the four under the hood of the “A” delivered 40hp. That increase pushed the top speed from 42mph to a dizzying 65mph. The seller indicates this classic is mechanically complete, and after years of inactivity, they coaxed its engine back to life. They say it needs some work to return to a roadworthy state, but the indications are this should amount to little more than a fuel system flush, some essential maintenance, a thorough inspection, and new tires. A competent new owner could perform most tasks in their home workshop during winter, so it is ready to hit the road for some motoring pleasure when the warm weather reappears.

Purchasing a project car involves a leap of faith, and when it features a five-figure sale price, it represents a significant investment. However, with tidy and roadworthy examples of the Model A Roadster consistently selling for more than $20,000, this car shows promise. Returning it to a mechanically roadworthy state may not be difficult, and while its paint isn’t perfect, it adds character to a classic with more than nine decades under its belt. If you found it in your garage, would a total restoration be on the agenda, or would you return it to the road ASAP to enjoy all it offers?

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  1. bobhess bobhessMember

    I can say I’ve driven a couple of Model As and they were a fun weekend type of car that everyone who witnessed it enjoyed seeing. This is certainly one of the better examples of a fun, interesting car.

    Like 3
  2. FordGuy1972 FordGuy1972Member

    A nice car for a nice price. I’d get it up and running, clean it up and go for a ride. Wouldn’t change a thing.

    Like 5
  3. CadmanlsMember

    What’s not to like, with some elbow grease and few dollars this will provide many smiles per mile. By the way a rumble seat is a great riding experience.

    Like 3
  4. Denny N.Member

    Rumble seat, luggage rack, twin sidemounts – I’d say this is a screamin’ deal.

    Like 5
  5. David Frank David FrankMember

    This looks like a great fun driver that needs very little work. I would want to reupholster the seats to a more authentic material. This roadster was restored at considerable expense and are a real bargain these days.
    I bought my Model A a year or so ago in similar condition. It’s been a great driver. After sitting so long, the carburetor took some work (a member of the local club did his magic) and it’s only taken a little regular maintenance since. The local Model A clubs are very supportive. Parts are cheap and plentiful. It’s great fun taking people for rides and for taking nice drives.
    The lucky buyer is going to have a great time.

    Like 2
  6. david r

    Even I could get this thing running.

    Like 0
  7. Joe Haska

    A very nice Model A Roadster, that would be fun to own and drive in Parades and around the neighborhood with friends in the ruble seat. Just don’t buy it to flip, or as an investment.

    Like 0
  8. Dean Miller

    I’m interested in that Econoline p/u next to it……

    Like 1

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