Rat Rod 1930 Model A Ford Project

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There are myriad coulda, woulda, shoulda reasons why the best-laid plans for restoring a car don’t work out. But for every frustrated plan, there’s another one getting born. And that’s the way it is with this heavily patinaed 1930 Ford Model A is listed here on eBay in Winchester, Virginia. The current bid of $4,050 does not meet reserve.

The owner’s plan was to build a rat rod, and that’s why the interior re-upholstery he did isn’t stock. But it’s nice. Other than that, the car has a new water pump, points, battery, and tires with tubes. The wheels were sandblasted and powder coated. All that got the Ford back on the road, and it’s now said to run, drive and stop with its original four-cylinder engine. All the glass is good, the windows go up and down, and the windshield tilts out. The three gauges all work.

What more needs to be done depends on your perspective. If you like rat rods, too, or at least the patina look, you’re almost home. But if it’s originality you’re after, then you’re far from finished. To be ready for the show field, the car needs paint, a new roof, a headliner and a bunch of other niceties.

The Model A Ford, the belated replacement for the venerable T, is hardly a rare car—nearly five million were built. Just about everything you need is readily available off the shelf. This one is three years into the model’s life, which lasted until 1932.

The reserve hasn’t been reached on the auction, but if it goes much higher buyers will look instead at restored examples. Hagerty says an example in number three good condition (better than this one) is $14,800. As I mentioned, a LOT of these cars were made, and large numbers are still on the road. Values are more likely to go down than up.

An incentive for buyers is that, for $1,500 more, the vendor will throw in a running and driving 1990 Ford Ranger with a five-speed and 2.3-liter engine. This was to be the basis of the rat rod, but an alternative would be to leave it alone and get a nice running truck as part of the deal.

Auctions Ending Soon


  1. Terry

    Appears to be a straight and solid car. Most wood looks usable. I’d attend to any mechanical needs to make a decent driver. Then paint it dark green with a brush and enjoy it.

    Like 4
  2. 38ChevyCoupeGuy

    I’m 30 miles from this car if anyone would like a set of knowledgeable eyes to take a peek.😎

    Like 5
  3. dogwater

    Days gone by these old things are going by the way side I guess you could make it a rat rod the younger generation want power everything not this sorry

    Like 1
  4. GOM

    Please don’t “rod” it! With a complete running gear, a good-looking engine, operable brakes, and near completeness, it would be a shame to disect it to put the body on a pedestrian modern chassis and driveline. A good running “A” with a sensible driver will run and stop sufficiently well to be driven on secondary roads, and would be ideal for exploring country roads (we call that “shunpiking” sometimes here in rural New England.) I’ve seen a Model A pick its way through terrain that you would ordinarily leave to a Jeep CJ2 (wishbone suspension is ideal for keeping all four wheels planted.) Any way you slice it, this one looks too good to molest! I’d love to be in a position to own it and restore it just enough so I could “shunpike” again myself!

    Like 11

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