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Restore it A-gain: 1929 Ford Model A


Thanks reader Craig B for letting us know about this 1929 Ford Model A located in Williston, Florida, being auctioned off here on eBay. The seller is a company called “Car Barn/Titan Motors,” which says it specializes in selling interesting and unique older cars from estates.

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This Model A came to them from Texas, where it was apparently “restored” in 1988 (note the Texas plates with 1992 stickers). I say “restored” as it looks like this particular Model A was more partly redone than fully restored. The wheels are said to be from a 1937 Ford, the seat does not use original style material, and while I am not a Model A expert, the repaint does not look like an original color.

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Nonetheless, I think it is a sweet looking car, with a lot of potential, and I hope another Model A fan will bring this car back for the second time.

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The car has been sitting for roughly 25 years. The gentleman who rebuilt the car in 1988 apparently fell ill and the car sat in a barn for a long time. Now, after the owner passed away, the family sold the car to this reseller.

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The body looks very solid and is said to be all steel. The engine is said to turn freely, but that is all that is said about it, so it will very likely require at least a partial rebuild. The seller says that the “brakes seem to work OK.”

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As the photos show, the interior is in reasonable condition and the top does look very good.

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But for sure the paint will need some work and there are some trim pieces missing. And of course the tires all need to be replaced at this point.

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Model A’s are plentiful, even rumble seat cars like this one. Ford made 191,529 roadsters in 1929. Just about any part you might need for a restoration or rebuild is available too. And Model A’s are pretty easy to work on, so this might make a great home garage project for someone who just wants a fun old car to drive.

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Of course, many of our readers will call for this car to be hot rodded instead. Take the body off and channel it over a new frame with modern power? If the reserve price on this car is reasonable, maybe that’s the better way to go. I do like those wheels too. For me, since it’s already less than perfect, I’d keep it more or less stock appearing but hide a hopped engine under the hood and a stronger tranny, building the car as an homage to early home made “hop up” cars of the late thirties, and call it a “restorod.” What’s your pleasure?


  1. Bill

    great opportunity to resto-mod. I’d go with a hot 4cyl and 5 speed. updated brakes and drive it forever. v8’s (especially flatheads) are great but i think a fuel miser that turns heads would be even more fun.

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    • Mark S

      I have to agree with you Bill there are lots of modern four bangers to choose from. I’d keep the stock look and do just as you suggested.

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  2. Chris

    Looking at the picture of the interior, you can sure tell that people were much smaller when this car was new. There is no way I would fit comfortably behind the steering wheel, nor would many people I know.

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    • Kevin Harper

      Very true. I drove a model a pickup on a tour, which is probably tighter than this, now I am not a small person at 6’2″ 220lbs, but it was tight in the car. I absolutely loved driving it, not fast by any means but an absolute hoot to drive.
      I like this body style and would keep the original engine with just some modification’s to make ithe faster in period.

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  3. Jerry

    This is the exact car I got when I turned 15, sure brought back memories and that was 60 ears ago! It was a father-son project and Dad and I really bonded working of that Model A. Kids today seem to be missing out on a lot.

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    • Chris

      My son is 15 and he bought a 1966 Pontiac Catalina 4 door. This has been a great father/son project so far. I agree that the bonding that happens with a project like this is indescribable. Most of the kids at his school drive cars that are less than ten years old. I’m sure very few of them have any experience or knowledge when it comes to the mechanics of their vehicles.

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    • Francisco

      Kids today don’t bond with their fathers over anything.

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  4. Doug

    The wheels are most likely 1935 Ford wires. ’35 was the last year for wire wheels on a Ford. The 1937 Fords had “wide 5” steel wheels.

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  5. jeff6599

    Correct. The wheels are indeed 1935 16 inch wires. The steering wheel appears to be a 1950s Ford pickup type. Getting in this car is a great obesity test. if you can’t fit, guess what! The original 4 got about the same gas mileage as a flathead V8. One more thing; it has a chopped top!

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  6. David

    You guys don’t laugh at me.

    My mechanical expertise is limited and yet I have a burning desire to bring a car such as this back to working order and then be able to drive it maintain it. I have no illusions to do body or upholstery work. I’ll leave that to the experts.

    What car would you readers recommend for someone like me? Is this a good candidate?

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  7. Matt Tritt

    Yes. This would be a great car to bring back to driveable condition for sure. Though not original, the wheels make it a little more roadworthy, you needn’t worry about leaving the top down and coming back to a scalding seat and people are like to hear those horns. Really. The color isn’t right, but so what? Perfect for using on a daily basis and an excellent way to get broken in to the restoration hobby.

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  8. jeff6599

    It should be pretty close to it’s selling price now. no more than $15k.

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    I sold a ’51 Ford 2 door to buy a ’30 Model A Coupe from my high school auto shop teacher! Both of these cars were purchased for a father-son project and it created a monster! By the time I graduated from high school, we owned three complete Model A’s and enough to build another! We had an enormous amount of spare parts. Our driveway was full of my buddies A’s pretty much every weekend, helping them work on them and provide parts! While my Dad and I helped them, my Mom was at the grill providing outrages hamburgers! Those were the days,my parents were happy and my friends and I stayed out of trouble with our informal car club! Today (I am almost 70) my friends still talk about the burgers! God Bless my Parents!

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    I can’t believe they don’t get the roadster running! It is one of the simpilist engine to work on! Fresh fuel, clean the points with a dime, clean the plugs, new battery, maybe a cap and you are good to go! Don’t have a tool box in your garage if you don’t know how to use it!

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  11. Loco Mikado

    Has anyone priced Model A’s. They are bringing less than 1\2 of what they were 15-25 years ago and still dropping. Way overpriced IMO. You can buy this one that needs nothing for $2,000.00 more, could probably get for $10,000.00 by laying down 10 big ones in front of the seller.

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