Shed Find: 1929 Ford Model A Truck

Is this the original Ford Ranchero? It’s hard to imagine, with the possible exception of the Ford Model T, a vehicle with more permutations than a Ford Model A. And every time I see a Model A pickup, which I actually prefer to the sedan, coupe, etc., I think, yes, it’s a Ranchero before the fact. This 1929 example is considered to be in “barn find condition” and could clearly use some help. This find is located in Mahomet, Illinois and is available, here on eBay for a current bid of $5,700.

The seller of this truck states, “Selling for a friend’s mother. It was her husband’s truck and he has passed. Clean South Dakota title in hand. Death certificate can be provided along with title“. I try to avoid controversial topics, but the inclusion of the owner’s death certificate is just creepy. Anyway, this truck has been in dry storage since the early ’90s. Obviously, it’s missing some parts like the passenger side fender, headlights, and taillights. The frame, bed, and cab are listed as being solid and the truck, in its entirety, seems to be free of any serious corrosion. There is also a pile of extra parts that are included with the sale, including a radiator shell, window regulators, and a cargo bed. Speaking of cargo beds, the one perched on the rear of this Model A looks to be in pretty good condition – it’s the same thing with the cab roof which is often very deteriorated on a Model A barn find.

The untouched 40 HP, 201 CI, in-line four-cylinder engine, maybe frozen, the seller isn’t certain. If it has sat, unstarted, for 30 years that could be the case but some gentle persuasion may loosen it up too. As near as can be told, the engine, with the exception of the fan belt, looks to be intact but it will take a pair of eyes better versed than mine with a Model A mechanicals to know for sure. The seller mentions that the three-speed manual transmission shifts and the steering steers.

The cab interior is about how you would expect. The steel pieces, such as the floor and dash, are in seemingly good shape though there are a lot of missing screws and the seat bottom is another one of those missing components. The very simplistic instrument panel is showing signs of its age but the speedo and ammeter gauges are still there – it would be interesting to know if they are still operable. It also appears that the door cards are missing, and what’s behind them, in terms of color, could be indicative of a hue that this Model A truck once possessed. Then again, the inside of the doors could just have been painted blue too. The surprise for me is the matter of the bakelite gear shift knob that the seller references as, “Has a sought-after Bakelite shift knob!” It has been removed, ostensibly for safekeeping, and pictured separately. A question for our Model A enthusiasts is the original knob really rare and/or valuable?

We cover a lot of Model A trucks on Barn Finds and I have encountered quite a few that are in similar, original condition. “Ahooga” lists Model A production at 4.3 M copies and 482K as being trucks – I don’t think that includes the Model AA but the listing isn’t specific though it references 264K commercial chassis produced. That being the case, Model A trucks aren’t rare and I wouldn’t have an issue with putting a hotrod jones on this 1920’s vintage Ranchero – it seems like a sound base and the missing parts aren’t a problem. Tell me, what would your plans include for this ’29 Model A pickup?


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  1. Johnmloghry Johnmloghry Member

    Lovers of these trucks are everywhere, surely someone take her and give her tender loving care.
    God bless America

    Like 8
  2. bobhess bobhess Member

    This is going to make someone a nice truck, stock or modified.

    Like 5
  3. Mike

    No disrespect to the widow, but she should actually take the death certificate to the department of motor vehicles with the old title. She can’t really sell it legally unless it is in her name.

    That paperwork needs to be done and done properly.

    Someone else with a death certificate, a old title, and bill of sale might have some trouble as the buyer did not purchase it from the legal owner.

    There are procedures for this and they really need to be followed.

    Like 20
    • Ford Escort

      Good info here Mike.

      Like 6
    • Phlathead Phil

      Not true in community property states. Most states are. Community property says: ALL property no matter WHAT it is BECOMES the PROPERTY of the SURVIVING spouse. Copies of; A death certificate, a title and a marriage license is ALL that are needed. Available at the County Recorders Office!!!

      Like 1
  4. Phlathead Phil

    Ok, here’s my idea. As is the general plan for all my “finds.” If it’s ALL there, restore it.

    If you only got body and frame, Hot Rod.

    If you only have a piece of it, Rat Rod.

    I used to shake my head at the Rat Rod scene, but I’ve changed my mind.

    I now view Rat Rods of all kinds, rolling carriages of unbridled artwork.

    And that’s a Phact!

    Like 5
  5. Bob the Mech.

    Missing fender is an easy fix, you can find one for a fair price. Just figure how many “A”’s Henry sold and parts for these are certainly available. A good machine to restore!

    Like 3
  6. Stan

    Ford Model A’s never had a VIN. It was a serial number , established by the engine number . At the factory ,when the engine was installed ,the same number was then hand-stamped into the top of the left framerail
    For a Title serial number to be totally correct ,it must correspond to the number on the engine and frame. If the engine is missing , most states will then go to the frame number to authenticate the title. That dictates jacking the body up off the frame and in most cases the number is usually unreadable due to rust ,age and wear.
    Titling an A with number problems can be a headache…Ask me how I know !!

    Like 3
  7. Bob C.

    Don’t forget the Studebaker Coupe Express of 1937 to 39 as a predecessor to the Ranchero or El Camino. They would later do it again with the 1960 Champ, sort of.

    Like 1
  8. Joe Haas

    What are the wheels from? Certainly not 29 wheels, and I don’t think 30/31? I am ignorant about what wheels would interchange, or if the hubs have been changed as well? Just Curious

    • Bill

      I had a 1930 coupe back in the 1960s with the same wheels. They were 16″ with Ford V8 logo on the hub caps. Traded the 4 16″ wheels for 8 Model A 19″ wheels (a couple had bent spokes) at a junk yard in farm country (lots of hay/silage wagons around). The junk yard owner was as happy to make the trade as I was.

    • Chris in Pineville

      look like ’35 Ford 16″ wheels.
      bolt on swap, fairly common…..

  9. Kenn

    Wheels interchange with the 32 and subsequent. I’ve them on my ‘A’ rumble-seat coupe. Makes it look much better IMHO. Speedo becomes inaccurate of course, but so what? Missing on this offering are the hubcaps. They’ll say V8.

  10. Tracy

    Having dealt with Estate sales of vehicles here in Virginia it is straight forward. A certified copy,not photo copy, of the deal certificate, title signed by trustee of estate, and statement of sale by trustee is all you need. I wish I didn’t have too many vehicles now to get this one.

    Like 1
    • Ford Escort

      What about verification of who is actually the trustee?

      Like 2
      • Hai Karate

        Good point. What documentation do you need to prove you are the valid trustee of the estate..

        Like 2
      • Matthew

        A legitimate trustee will have paperwork from an Estate/Probate lawyer to show legitimacy.

        Like 1
  11. Steve Thompson

    Nice find – to original to Rod, restore some level of driveability.

    Like 1
  12. Fred Lester

    Get it roadworthey and drive it.

  13. Jon Rappuhn

    Myself, kids, grandkids, and great granddaughter, would love this. Very little restoration, some new paint, and I’d have a weekend driver and parade truck. It would go along with sons 40 Dodge P.U. and my ex’s 38 Plymouth P.U. her 56 T Bird, her 66 Charger and the 1918 Model T Touring car her uncle donated to local historical museum. (All but Charger immaculately restored and used)

    Like 1

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