Project With Parts: 1931 Ford Model A

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Parts are parts and in the case of this 1931 Model A, there’s a bunch. Dismantled in 1958, this A has been sitting all that time and undergone a partial restoration. The seller wants to move this Ford on but let’s take a look and see if we can figure what’s here and what’s not. Located in Long Lake, Minnesota, this Model A is available, here on eBay for a BIN price of $14,000. There is a make an offer option too.

I guess the initial question is why dismantle a car when it is twenty-seven years old and then let it sit for the next 62 in a disassembled state? Who knows. Every old car has a story and perhaps the seller can fill in an inquiring mind on this Ford’s missing years. What is known is that substantial progress has been made in an attempt to return this Model A to the road. But is there enough there to complete the job? That’s the $64K question!

So, what do we have? There’s a trunk, four-engine blocks, two transmissions, four fenders, two doors, a deck lid, running boards, a radiator with grill shell, headlights and bar, friction shocks, complete chassis as is pictured, new tires, tubes, and newly painted wheels. Supposedly all of the trim and hardware are present too. What’s missing? No rumble seat but there is a trunk; unfortunately, the hood is AWOL. The seller refers to this Ford as a, “1931 ford Model A coupe almost complete car.” It’s that almost adverb that is of concern.

The seller advises that no metal work is needed, no patches ever, and almost no rust-through; there’s that almost claim again. He does admit that the pan under the seat has been ventilated. But the body is original and unmodified – no attempt here to chop or channel. From what can be seen in the accompanying image, progression on the body restoration looks encouraging.

I always like to capture an interior image, regardless of what I am reviewing, but there really isn’t one available, just a quick snap of the space which is currently entertaining some other parts. And that’s what raises the biggest red flag, why does someone abandon a project that’s only partially completed? Their reasons are their business of course, but it begs the question as to whether something insurmountable, perhaps value-wise, has been encountered. And that something will have to be overcome by the next owner. It’s a potential problem to consider.

The seller suggests that “this is a great candidate for restoration or hot rod.” Probably true and it looks as if the restoration direction is the one that he chose. Of course, it’s never too late to change direction but this is a seemingly good and original candidate for a new life. I’m leery of taking on someone else’s project; while not exactly a scaredy-cat, it’s the uncertainty of the unknown (what’s missing that’s really important) that I find off-putting. No one wants to take on a car project and find out that it’s really a parts project! How about all of you, any risk-takers in the audience?

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  1. robjMember

    Plenty of “if’s” here. Just wondering “if” the seller has priced running, driving Model A’s? If so, I think he may be slightly optimistic with his pricing.

    Like 13
    • Turbo

      Seems like a lot of these sellers think the odd back story will add value. Not so sure. Even if it has been off the road since 58, it was still on the road for decades and any 27 year old car has plenty of issues. And when you buy a car like this there are always missing parts. It will be interesting to see if anyone ponies up that kind of money for this pile of parts. Sometimes the market surprises. But I don’t think this is one of those times.

      Like 6
  2. stillrunners

    So it was in a barn for some years and now a flipper has it and looking for a big pay day……

    Like 8
  3. grant

    Pretty sure one could get into a driving A for this price or maybe less.

    Like 7
  4. robjMember

    I’ve been watching them for a while. For twice this money [at least what you would have in this by the time you’re driving it], you can get a pretty darn nice A. For his asking you can get a pretty reasonable, if not nice driver. I’ve been watching a friend restore a ’32 Cadillac. Although a different animal part$ wise, the paint and primer and sandpaper, and tape and on and on, the things you tend not to think of can mount quite quickly. And let’s not even talk about chrome! I think this guy may be off base by half…

    Like 4
  5. Phlathead Phil

    Interesting, but if you paint a body shell, don’t you do the inside first?

    Like 2
  6. Joe Haska

    I agree with everyone’s comments ,the seller is not in the right time zone. He needs too fast forward 10 or 15 years and realize were the current market is.

    Like 2
  7. Slotblog

    He’ll never get that price for a Model A kit. Complete, running coupes can be bought for that money.

    Like 5
  8. FrogwartsMember

    Seller’s expectations run high on this one. I have built and owned several Model A’s and there are many running, driving examples out there from $8500 to 12K that would be a much better buy than this.
    In fact, I will be posting a nice restored running, driving 1927 Dodge Brothers Rumble seat Coupe here on Barn finds in the next few days.

    Like 2
  9. Riffraff

    This guy needs to consult with MARC or MAFCA, then drop the price by $8,000.00.

    Like 0
  10. Kenn

    Yes, price is way, way out of line. But on a different subject, projects get stopped when “life gets in the way”. ie: There’s more to life than spending all your free time in one endeavor. I spent a total of 20 years building a cedar strip canoe. It’s beautiful, and I did finish it, but I also raised a family and earned a decent living, along with having a social life outside the workshop. Maintained my ‘A’ rumble seat coupe, kept my pilot’s license active, vacationed in some nice places.

    Like 0

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