Rod Or Restore: 1930 Model A Truck


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Ford may have produced over 4 million Model A’s, but it is very hard to find one today that has not already been hot-rodded or restored. Well-preserved A’s can bring a pretty penny, so we thought this stock 1930 Model A truck looked like a good deal when reader Bill M. emailed it to us. The engine is running and the seller is asking $4,500 here on Chambana’s craigslist. Would you restore or rod it?

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    iT’S SCREAMING TO BE HOT-RODDED! That hood needs to be opened up on the sides and a long ol’ straight 8 with multiple carbs or a V-12 jag with 6 Webers stuffed in there. Gotta have some long chrome exhaust pipes of some sort – not zoomies, and some real tall tires with 20’s or 21’s.

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  2. Joey K.

    Leave it as stock – make sure she’s running – clear coat the exterior to keep the patina – and put her on the road as a survivor! Too good to rod IMHO!

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    • David Reeves

      Yes I’m so happy someone agrees with me on this subject, leaving it stock will make it more valuable and it will be more amazing to the people who see it. So many have been hotrodded you can’t hardly find one that isn’t to save your life at the car shows.

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  3. Alec McCutcheon

    Just wipe it over with an oily rag and enjoy as it is.

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  4. Wayne

    I’m with Joey!! Leave it alone! Geezus, there is enough hacked together pieces of junk with 350’s in them now!

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    • Everett

      I have a restored 1930 pu. It has a few upgrades which make it easier to drive. The up grades are not obvious. Ones that have been rodded are nice to but I would leave this one stock.

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  5. shawnmcgill

    Yeah, this thing deserves to survive!

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  6. Chris A.

    I like that idea of clear coating the exterior. Restore all the mechanicals, but rebuild the engine with all new internals with new babbit or insert bearings. Put one of the overhead retro conversion heads on it like a Roof, Riley or Miller and do something to upgrade those A brakes. Restore the glass and drive it. It is just a great looking cool truck. As pickup truck restoration is big here in PA, this would have the guys green with envy.

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  7. geomechs geomechsMember

    Yes, when they’re relatively complete like this one, they should be brought back to original so that they can be driven and enjoyed, and recognized as something from yesterday. No SBCs allowed; they had enough of them in the 60s.

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  8. J. Pickett

    For God’s sake, restore, there is enough repro metal and fiberglass out there to make any rod you want. Let’s preserve the original stuff, as the article says it’s getting rare.

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  9. rancho bella

    since I dig old pickups this should remain a stocker.

    I’m not with the “put a chevie in it “crowd. Heck, I would would want anything but the drive train that is was designed with. But hey…..that’s just me.

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    • rancho bella

      Sorry, that didn’t make sense. ” I wouldn’t want anything but the drive train that is/was designed with”………….low carb diet…………..not thinking.

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  10. Rene

    Not really sure what I would do with it. But I do know that I like the patina.

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  11. Nick R

    If the drivetrain and suspension is too far gone, how about finding a four cylinder Ford preferably a Ranger, and using the drivetrain, make the suspension and brakes reliable, remember Ford didnt have “juice” brakes until the late 30s. Clearcoat the body to protect it, replace the glass with enough interior to make it liveable and enjoy.

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  12. DolphinMember

    This truck would be at the top of my truck want list if I was actively looking. It would be so cooool to show up at the Show ‘N Shines this summer in this! I can’t imagine anybody NOT liking it.

    But I can’t warm up to clear-coating the rust in place. Remember, it didn’t come out of Henry’s factory like this. And I could be mistaken, but I believe that clear-coating a Rat Rod is just plain wrong.

    Besides, if the buyer restores it, and then someone else prefers the rust….er, ‘patina’, they can just buy it and park it in a field until it looks like this again, so no harm done.

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    • paul

      Not a patina fan, fresh paint, kept stock.

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  13. Kman

    When I get posts on cars, I scroll through the 000,000s of “hot rods”. There isn’t one in many thousands that is at all interesting. This pickup, though, is a real looker. I agree with de-rusting and painting. Make her shine, mod the brakes so she will stop and MAYBE increase the power a tad so she can drive on the roads. That’s it. Everyone will be so much happier to see her instead of some bashed together ‘rod’. Put a smile on evryone’s face and preserve something for the next generation and maybe those after.

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  14. Mark E

    Wow, this is even close enough that I could (carefully) drive it home. At least after putting a blanket over the pokey springs or something. If I just wasn’t married! Drat… :)

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  15. Lon Lofgren

    For Heaven’s sake, why does everyone suddenly love ‘patina’? Restore it and give it a classy paint job! It’ll look so much better and be worth much more! (Normally, I’m a fan of the ‘Resto-mod’, but in this case, I say RESTORE!)

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  16. Tom S.

    The ad says “97% complete”. I think the pictures show more than 3% of that rig is long gone. Good project for someone, though.

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  17. Chris A.

    The magazine “Secrets of Speed” is the “A” source for restoring “A’s” but with a real effort to update safety factors like brakes, engines, trsnmissions, cooling systems, electrics so the A cn be driven safely in traffic. I’m with the “no SBC’s” as it is possible built up an A engine with retro speed parts, a safe diff and 5spd you can drive. Keep it looking ’30’s, but make it safe and not a moving target. This truck is perfect for an authentic restoration and subtle update.

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    • Jesse Jesse MortensenAuthor

      Sounds like a good plan Chris.

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  18. Kurt Spengler

    I agree with the restore it crowd..While it is a survivor and wears its battle scars with honor,there’s no reason to leave it looking like a RatRod.Leave those to the folks who find a pile of parts to cobble together and have affordable fun with.This one deserves to be restored with at least hardened valve seats and perhaps a juice brake conversion for safety,as long as it could be accomplished somewhat un noticed.Imagine what this would look like with a burgundy body and black fenders!

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  19. Chris A.

    Not including the purchase price, somewhere between $10 and $20K would get it done depending on how much you can do yourself and how far you wanted to go. Kurt nailed the color combo. Discreet gold leaf under driver window: “Barn Find Special”.

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