Special Delivery: 1930 Ford Model A

1930 Ford Model A Mail Car

As those of us in the northeast hunker down for quite the winter blast, it seemed fitting to write up a vehicle that was designed to withstand the harshest of climates and terrains. I’ve noticed this oddball 1930 Ford Model A kicking around the internet for a while now (we even did a short feature on it here several years ago), and I fear it falls into a category of vehicles that is almost like a purgatory for the truly unusual and noteworthy. It was converted into a high-riding mail truck to traverse the rugged terrain of rural Montana, and still wears its utilitarian charm proudly. But will it ever find a buyer? Check it out here on eBay in Bozeman, Montana, with bidding a tick above $5,000. Thanks to Barn Finds reader Mike B for sending this along.

Milton Hill's Model A

I do give the seller credit for clearly going overboard in his research of this homebrewed mail car. He has truly exhausted every inch of this vehicle’s history, but there’s still room for more information about what the car will need to make amends for many years of hard work delivering mail to rural addresses. It seems like there are some cosmetic issues with the interior, the top doesn’t fold down and the braking system is antiquated at best. The engine isn’t original, but as the seller points out, Model A’s were not cars to be concerned with matching numbers when their original purpose was basic, cheap and durable transportation.

1930 Ford Model A Interior

Around here, the most interesting vehicle operated by a mail carrier would be a right-hand-drive Subaru Legacy wagon. Many of these have been phased out and are residing in area junkyards. For a while, I was pretty big into the Subaru scene and considered finding one of these forgotten mail vehicles to extract the dashboard from for use in a true RHD conversation. While it never happened, it did give me a lot more respect for mail carriers as those junked Subarus racked up some serious miles. I can’t imagine what it would be like to deliver the mail in a top-heavy and unwieldy beast like this ’30 Ford, but the original design was apparently effective in getting mail to folks in rural communities.

Modified Model A

When I look out my window, I see snow being swirled into thick drifts by the wind and plow trucks struggling to keep up with the torrential downpour of flakes. I’m supposed to get two packages tomorrow via the Postal Service, but I’m not expecting them to show up. Perhaps if they had this baby Big Foot, attached to a desirable 1930 Ford Model A convertible body, they’d consider venturing out to my domicile to bring me my deliveries. I know if I had access to a rig like this, I’d make every excuse I could to go drive it in Mother Nature’s worst. Would you do the same, or is this former mail delivery vehicle destined for display in an exhibit?

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Comments

  1. MH

    I love these. I live in Minnesota and have see many like this. Very interesting vehicles. Still see them way up north.

  2. stanley stalvey

    Suddenly, I get the urge to Plow.! haha..

  3. That Guy

    Finally, a practical use for a Donk’d ’72 Impala! :-)

  4. Robert J.

    I know I’ve been looking at too many car ads because I posted this car on my Facebook page the last time it was up for sale several years ago.

    Also, it doesn’t matter where bidding is if it has not met reserve. Just saying…

  5. Horse Radish

    Amazing detail in the story
    To say the seller went slightly “overboard” with his description is an understatement.
    Judging by his description (mostly, the length of it) he is so far into it, he would never want to let this car go for what anybody would want to pay…….

    • Alan (Michigan)

      +1 on that assessment.

      Over $15K and not hit the reserve.

  6. jim s

    i to do not think it will be sold. i think the seller is making a good faith effort by listing it but does not plan on letting it go. it has been on the internet for years. nice find.

  7. GlenK

    Unusual and uncommon doesn’t always mean high priced. If reasonably priced someone might become its new caretaker. If we make these cars too far out of line the younger generation will have no interest but a passing glance. As with sellers like this, his widow or family will sell it too late for any real interest.

  8. JW454

    I see some spirited bidding has brought it up to 14K. I was looking at a very very nice completely road ready ’31 rumble seat coupe last Sunday for the same amount. I think I would have picked the coupe over this one.

  9. Rosso1600

    There’s a whole book the owner seems to have written about this unusual car, maybe he should publish it. He seems to have so much investment in its history I reckon the reserve is going to be as high as the description is long. Interesting read though.

  10. DREW V.

    Love these and the Model T’s with the ski conversion on the front…

  11. Elliott Member

    Bidding @ 14.2K and reserve not met! :-) (oops! didn’t see JW454’s update!) :-)

  12. JW454

    That’s OK Elliot. It was only at 14K even when I saw it. It must have had a couple more fans chime in on the bidding by the time you stopped by.

  13. thefatkid

    That has Race of Gentleman written all over it! If you have not seen or heard about the Race of Gentleman follow the link. It was one of the coolest events I have been to.

    http://blog.hemmings.com/index.php/2014/10/06/back-to-the-basics-the-lure-of-the-race-of-gentlemen/

  14. MikeH

    Is this guy crazy?? The bid is now 15.1K with the reserve not met. Eighty year old tires in good condition?? They’ll disintegrate at anything over 10mph. The tires alone, if they can be found, will cost a small fortune.

    • Rosso1600

      Yeah Mike, I agree, these tires were originally only designed for farm implement use anyway so maybe even 10MPH is a bit optimistic. I also remember reading that Coker said any tires or tubes stored for more than about 10 years should not be used on the road. Owner says these are over 79 years old, and look at the radial cracks in them.

    • chrlsful

      back then, when made? high rubber content (from da tree, ya know?) lasts 4 ever. No sun or O2 damage. We have tractor times from the 30s that R still good.

      Love the big wire rims but, yes, me too, would put on Super Swampers 48ers or sumpin just cuz they’re worn dwn…

  15. z1rider

    I don’t think the tires will be an issue. Those look very similar to the kind of turf tires a tractor used for mowing at a golf course would use.

  16. z1rider

    This Model A has made an appearance on Yahoo’s home page. That appears to have really jumped the bidding. It’s $30,000 now to which I say “good for him”. But, shockingly it still hasn’t met reserve to which I say, “REALLY?”

  17. Rosso1600

    A day and a half to go and it’s at $31.000 WOW!!. Good luck to the seller, wonder what either of the high bidders would do with this car? Reserve not met yet, who else thinks it’s worth as much as the seller does? Do the 2 current high bidders?

    • brakeservo

      “Reserve Not Met” means only that his friends and neighbors are bidding to what they’ve been asked to do.

  18. Harvey

    I would drive the hell outa that baby. Even put some sand tires on it and take it to the beach. This car is built to be driven. Not stuck on a display in some d bags garage and looked at twice a year

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