Period Style Banger: 1929 Ford Model A

As a person who owns a classic car they never expect to be able to afford to paint properly, I’m surprised we don’t see more hot rods that look like this one. I know the patina rod has grown in popularity, but I wonder if that’s a look preference for the owner or if they’re buyers/builders with shallow pockets like me. This 1929 Ford Model A hot rod was found by a Barn Finds reader here on eBay in Sacramento, California. After 25 bids the high bid is $8,800.

I’d be surprised if the Model A wasn’t the most popular hot rod platform, well, ever. In 1929 alone over 1.7 million Model As were built, so I’d guess their abundance and availability partially led to that popularity. If you’re like me, as common as they are, they never get old.

The seller doesn’t tell us when this hot rod was built, but it has that look of being hobbled together with intent. There’s no question this is a hot rod – faded/worn paint, no fenders, and “no frills” as the seller says. The old Firestone tires on wire wheels with chrome center cap continue that vintage look. The windshield is chopped and the exhaust dumps just below the driver, so I’d fully expect for this to feel like you’re driving a vintage hot rod too.

There’s nothing special inside. The plaid bench seat looks just right. There appears to be no attempt at restoration, just function. There’s a floor-mounted shifter, but all appears to be standard-issue 1929 Ford.

I know patina rods aren’t for everyone, but I’d guess what is – or isn’t – under the hood (or at least where a hood should be) may turn away even more potential buyers. The original 4-cylinder is what powers this Model A. Time and money has been spent on this engine, as it has just 500 miles on a professional rebuild, which included an Cyclone aluminum 10:1 head, Ansen single downdraft intake manifold, and modern Stromberg carburetor. The seller describes this setup as “quick.”

As described above, I think the interested party pool may be fairly shallow on this one. If the price doesn’t go too much higher, the high bidder should have a lot of fun in this one for not a lot of dollars.

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  1. Cadmanls Member

    Sweet, clean it up clear coat the body and enjoy. Should be a great ride for short trips in town etc…

    Like 7

      I always say paint doesn’t make it go any faster.

      Like 11
  2. Arthell64 Member

    Neat car I like it.

    Like 11
  3. RayT Member

    Thorough cleaning, do whatever the engine needs, and it’s good to go.

    Given mechanical brakes, cart springs and narrow tires, I’d imagine that hotted-up four-banger would produce all the power you’d need. Looks like a lot of fun for what it is! I wouldn’t even care if the neighbor’s Prius could smoke it….

    One thing: I’d want to go Old Skool and at least spray a coat of primer on it, like most of the financially challenged rodders I saw back in the ’50s did.

    Where’s my J.C. Whitney catalog?

    Like 15
  4. bobhess bobhess Member

    History right in front of your face. About as cool as it gets.

    Like 14
  5. Boney

    Death trap arrrg

    Like 1
  6. Gaspumpchas

    Doesnt get much cooler than this. I’m with Ray T- hit it with some rattle can primer. This follow the hot rodders adage–many hot rodders never got their cars in finish paint because they were always making changes. Nice to see something traditional (notice I didnt say old skool- i’m still wondering where this old skool is??). Its a breath of fresh air. You just need to know that you are riding on components and technology thats almost 90 years old. No 8 grand hole shots!

    Like 6
    • John S.

      Ha – Haaa… 8 grand hole-shots… that’s funny! That engine would pop a hole in the block!

      Like 2
  7. Tort Member

    Not a patina fan whatsoever and my first thought was to leave it alone except for paint but on second thought I kind of like as is so I would jump in and go.

    Like 5
  8. ghalperin Glenn Member

    The thought of covering up the remaining old paint with rattle can primer is the worst idea ever. Either leave it alone and rub with Gibbs or a complete paint job. Also, there is no way that the compression is 10:1, 6:1 – 8:1 is more likely.

    Like 11
    • Morgan Winter

      Glenn, found a vintage ad for Cyclone heads for Ford A or B. Available in 7.5, 8, or 10:1.

      Like 3
      • ghalperin ghalperin Member

        10:1 would require a full pressure bottom end and I’d doubt if it has it. That much compression would destroy the Babbitts with the dipper oil system. The “experts” say not to go over 7:1 on a stock bottom end.

        Like 2
  9. John S.

    This is a great start for a very cool traditional Hot Rod. The bones are all there. ’40 Ford hydraulic brakes would be a wise period correct up-grade. Fresh tires (same size, please) and off you go. This would be a fun car to refine as you go… a little at a time while enjoying a “living” piece of American automotive history. I would ultimately treat it to a high quality paint job.

    Like 4
  10. Steve S

    I would have to clean up the rust and repaint it black. The paint that is still there looks black. There is no such thing as patina rust is rust no matter how you look at it. Just clear coating over the rust won’t do anything to keep it from eating away the body under the clear coat the rest of the body will still rust out.

    Like 4
  11. TimM

    Nice traditional build with some updated go fast parts!! Very innovating by the builder!! I wouldn’t change a thing but I might make a custom top to drive it in the summer so I didn’t have to sit in a wet seat after a thunder storm!!

    Like 2

      Not enough

  12. John b

    How much hp is gained from that cylinder head?

    • ghalperin ghalperin Member

      Maybe 10 HP at most, which would be a 25% gain over the stock 40 HP.

      Like 1
  13. Robt

    Awesome as it sits. Yes probably best to update the brakes a couple decades. But please no discs. And no primer or clear coat. A top might be nice to stay dry. Mostly just have fun driving the wheels off it. It’s a machine. And what are machines? Nothing but tools to be used.

    Like 4
  14. Ron Trainor

    AWESOME !! Wish it were my project! Maybe some day.

  15. Coyote15

    While I appreciate a car writer who is also a car man, I appreciate even more being able to read the work of a writer who has a firm grasp of his native language.
    Mr. Collier, why did you reference yourself as “they” in your first sentence rather than using “he?” Presumably, you are ONE person and you know your own gender. If you are a woman, be a proud one; this is 2020 and most men are big enough to accept a female car writer.

    Like 1
    • Michael

      Coyote 15. Area you a retired educator? You provide no comments on the actual car posted. Isn’t that what we are here for? I would not have replied if you had at least commented on the car.

      Like 1
    • Michael

      Coyote 15. Area you a retired educator? You provide no comments on the actual car posted. Isn’t that what we are here for? I would not have replied if you had at least mentioned the car in your snooty posting.

  16. MattR Member

    SOLD for 16.3k. 55 bids!

    Like 2

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