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Rat Rod Builders: Model A Body Two-Fer


Out in the central Illinois town of El Paso, are two Model A bodies for sale. They are currently listed here on craigslist in the Bloomington-Normal area. The asking price is $1,875 for both bodies.


$950 each would normally be a steal for a good solid A-body, but these are quite a bit less than solid. Both appear to be rough around the lower edges. The second body is heavily altered, perhaps some kind of variation of another cut down four-door, like last week’s dirt-cheap Dodge, or it could also be two very rough two doors put together for someone’s unfinished idea.


While the second body would benefit only from someone with lots of rod-building visionary skills and experience, both are rough enough that we would never worry about a knock on the garage door from any Model A originality police.

Ford Model A Body

Put down the torch, son, and step away from the vintage tin. As a member of a large local Model A restorer’s club myself, there are several guys in our club who own both correct, restored Model A specimens, as well as hot rod or street rod versions of similar cars. The best of both worlds.

Model A Body

The floor braces in each are probably rough. They originally came with floor panels made of birch plywood, which for obvious reasons, many rodders don’t put back in, and for the chopped, channeled, lowered look, the braces may get cut out anyway.

Model A Shell

These two cars come with a stack of extra doors and other parts, which chances are, are as rough as the bodies.

Model A Doors

I don’t see any fenders here, but where these cars are headed, they probably don’t need any.


There appear to be more doors than cars to put them on, so maybe these can go in the stockpile for future projects. So what do you think of these two rough Model A bodies? Are they too ratty for a rat rod?


  1. Avatar photo Howard A Member

    That’s what’s amazing about our hobby. Someone may look at this, and say, ” alright, finally I can get started on my project”, while others, like me, think, drag it back in the woods to finish decaying. I just don’t see anything here worth keeping, ( maybe the doors) of course, I’m not into Model A’s.

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  2. Avatar photo Mark S

    Lots of potential here for a custom build maybe two.

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  3. Avatar photo MountainMan

    If I were building a rat rod and wanted to start with A bodies this doesnt seem bad. I was also thinking about cutting the sides few inches in and mounting them on a wall so if nothing else I see potential as art.

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  4. Avatar photo dave H

    Both of those bodies look to be excellent candidates for building into high dollar cars. A lot of the ones that eventually sell in the 6 figure range started with rougher bodies than what is shown here. ANY home-based builder can make the patch panels needed to turn these into show-stoppers. BOTH are way too nice to be used as “rat” rods.

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  5. Avatar photo Jim

    Frames for these cars are available from a hundred sources, or maybe buy someone’s project that ran out of funds or even a rat rod that went too far. I’ve gotten great deals on buying stalled projects and one Malibu where the guy went nuts buying parts before he realized the shell was too far gone and frame, body, registration numbers didn’t match. I was able to strip the shell and put everything into another car probably for 1/3 the price of what it all cost him. None if the vins belonged to stolen or missing cars so no legal issues. At another point in my life I’d jump on these two bodies, I have a 429, c6 + a 9in rear waiting for a car! And enough 2×3 tubing to start a frame, if I only had more time!

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