Stored 50 Years! 1930 Ford Model A

After an 18-year run and 15 million copies built, Ford retired the Model T and replaced it with the “more modern” Model A. The latter car would have the misfortune of being introduced just prior to the collapse of the Stock Market, so the true sales potential of the automobile was probably never met. This 1930 5-window coupe is in surprisingly good shape after being under cover in a garage since 1971. The owner recently passed away, so the family is selling it here on eBay with a no reserve auction sitting at $7,200. This rust-free old car can be found in Riverside, California. Thanks, Larry D, for bringing this tip to us!

Model A production would commence in late 1927, so its first full year would see 713,000 units in 1928. That number would more than double to 1.7 million in 1929, but the beginning of the Great Depression would drop sales to 1.2 million units in 1930 and half that again in 1931, the car’s last year on the assembly line. All-in-all, Ford would see 4.3 million copies of the Model A get into the public’s hands. At least 16 variations of the car would be built, including the popular 5-window coupe like the seller’s car.

This 1930 edition is being offered via an estate sale. It has recently been pulled out of storage after 50 years of indoor hibernation. The car doesn’t run, and no attempts have been made to start it. Because of protective measures and it being an original California car, we’re told it’s rust-free and certainly hard to find anything other than maybe a little surface activity in the photos provided. The old Ford looks to be a complete car except for the front bumper which is MIA.

Compared to today’s engineering standards, these cars were quite simple. The Model A was powered by a 201 cubic inch L-head inline-4 along with a 3-speed sliding-mesh manual transmission that was good for 40 hp and 65 mph. When this Model A car was uncovered, several extra wheels and rock-hard tires were found along with a sundry of parts, which is all available to the buyer to take with the car. When these autos were new, they came with little pink titles in California, which is probably where the term “pink slip” came from. The odometer reading is about 33,000 miles.

Except for the headliner, which is falling apart, this machine really doesn’t look bad for being more than 90 years old. As the years go by, it gets harder to find old cars in this original condition. And the number of people alive who remember when these cars were on the road in numbers is getting to be nearly non-existent. So, what will the demand for these cars be after they reach the century mark?

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  1. Howard A Member

    Hot Rod Lincoln. Most may remember Commander Cody, but it was Charlie Ryan in 1955.

    Like 16
    • Howard A Member

      Oh, also, we in the midwest never heard of “pink slips”, except in the Jan and Dean song, “Little Deuce Coupe”. We always thought they said, “I got a Big Slip Daddy”, thinking it was some kind of special clutch, and wasn’t until years later when song lyrics came out, it was “Pink Slip, Daddy”.

      Like 18
      • Jost

        Heck, I grew up in the northeast and always thought the same like you, I thought the big slip daddy was a special clutch.

        Like 7
      • Jost

        I grew up in the northeast and always thought it was big slip daddy too. Also thought it was a special clutch

        Like 3
      • George

        I thought the “big slip” was was a limited slip differential.

        Like 2
      • RH FACTOR

        Beach Boys

    • Johnny C.

      Check out “Hot Rod Lincoln” by Bill Kircher… best version EVER!

      Like 5
      • Cj

        Bill Kirchen version is good. But I think I like the Asleep at the Wheel version better.

        Like 5
  2. Bmac777 Member

    The Beach Boys did that song.

    Like 14
    • Phlathead Phil

      It was “Commander Cody and the Lost Planet Airmen.” I remember when it was released.

      Like 3
  3. Pat L Member
  4. ChingaTrailer

    Is that the usual master cylinder mount when converting these to juice brakes?

    Like 3
    • Jay

      Good question chinga, I saw 4 A’s in a parking lot the other day and all appeared to have mechanical breaks.

      Like 3
    • David Scully

      As to the master cylinder location – most earlier juice brake conversions were done by replacing the center A-Bone cross member with one out of a deuce (’32) and the master cylinder was placed into a hole cut into the cross-member and all lines ran from there – this also kept the brake pedal on the floor. HOWEVER – this conversion was done using a ’52 and up unit giving you a hanging pedal – so you can at least date the conversion from 1952 and later. BTW, that dropped axle isn’t from Bell Automotive either – I don’t recognize the style. Does anyonr else have a guess???

      Like 5
  5. Larry D

    I have followed this ebay seller for years. He always has interesting vehicles for sale.

    Like 4
    • Steve R

      Thanks, I’ll start following him. This has the look if a really good project.

      It’s no fluke that some people, like this seller, find a steady stream of car. They are out there for anyone willing to put in the time and effort.

      Steve R

      Like 2
    • Steve R

      The seller ended the auction early. I’d bet he was made an offer he couldn’t refuse.

      I sent my buddy that has built several period correct model-A hot rods. He really liked it. Said there was more to this one than meets the eyes.

      Steve R

      Like 1
  6. man ' war

    Such an original looking car that it be best keeping it the way it is! Just get that engine going, get a front bumper, clean it up a little, and drive it on nice days.

  7. Chuckster

    A green dashboard ?

    Like 2
    • Steve Cota

      The dashboard is the gas tank in a Model A, Most likely explanation for this would be the tank came from a different car.

      Like 1
  8. Don Eladio

    This car needs to be hot-rodded in typical ’60’s fashion…all period-correct stuff and a BBC with a 4-speed. Yes, it would be very cool. ala, Milner’s ’32 but, with a tunnel ram and a big block…maybe red?

    Like 4
    • Wilburn Shook

      Why rod it? Just because you can? Restore what needs to be done, repaint it in a nice color, and call it done. Vehicles in this good of shape rarely come along and deserve to be kept in as original shape as possible. I came up during the days of turning these kinds of cars into hot rods. Back then, nobody gave much thought to preserving them as original. Now, we older guys, recognize the error of our ways. Todays cars won’t last as long as this one, that is for sure.

    • Vaughn O’Laughlin

      BBC with tunnel ram? Why not a LS LOL? That would be the worst thing you could do to this beauty. Go find yourself an old Chevy to ruin. If I were to change engines, it would be a flathead Ford.

      Like 4
  9. Corporation

    Focus did Hocus Pocus in 1973 – a world wide hit. Gary Hoey did his take of the hit in 1993. The singer of Focus on a video said that the yodeling didn’t come from the Alps as everyone thinks, but, rather, from a part of Africa and India.
    And I must say that this is a music piece to drive a ‘little deuce coupe’ to or any classic! Unfortunately, Nike uses this classic piece for their promotions on a Ronaldo commercial.

    Like 2
  10. Allen Member

    Boy, I must be a dinosaur. There were still quite a few Model As on the road during my youth in the late ’40s. And the USPS was still running them as postal delivery trucks up until about 1950. This car has been in the hands of someone with some modification dreams: the juice brakes, the missing front bumper, and most notably, the normally louvered side panels on the hood have been replaced with flat sheet metal – and not too neat of a job at that.

    Also, those tires look a lot wider than would have been fit originally.

    Nevertheless, this car is so straight, it seems a shame to hot-rod it. Except perhaps with some appropriate vintage aftermarket stuff available in the ’30s, ’40s and ’50s, maybe?

    Like 6
    • Steve R

      I have a friend that likes “period correct” hot rods, he’s in the process of pre-assembling a 30 model-A. He has several various body styles in the condition as this one and builds them to a particular theme. The one he’s working on now is using all Fenton speed equipment on a 55 265cid small block chevy, including NOS Fenton was exhaust clamps and exhaust hangers. He’s been an avid swapmeeter since he was in Jr. high school in the early-60’s and has a huge stash of vintage speed equipment. The last model-A he built was a roaster pickup with a flat head V8 that had a target date of 1953, with nothing newer than that going on the car.

      Steve R

      Like 7
  11. PackardMike

    Not that it really matters, but based on the splash aprons i would say this is a 1931.

  12. Bill Hall

    Why doesn’t some half decent old car like this model A be either nicely restored or preserved as close to original as possible? If you want a hot rod lots of basket cases to work with and tons of aftermarket parts.

    Like 8
  13. David Scully

    I’m surprised that the ‘hawkeyes’ haven’t mentioned the dropped front axle. As an older guy who has done a few front end axle changes, I can attest to the work required – and as a certified SoCal geezer, I don’t recognize the axle style except to say that it isn’t a ‘dago’ drop (done by ‘Axle Ed’ Stewart in San Diego (1940’s-early 1960s,). This is a nice piece for someone looking for a serious vintage 4-banger hot rod.

    Like 1
  14. TimM

    Real nice car that would be hard for me personally to chop or cut in any other way!! It’s original metal car and they are getting harder and harder to find!! I’m interested if that is original paint because there were not a lot of cars that were painted anything but black!! Henry Ford himself said “ You can get any color black Ford you want” if it is original color I would think it to be a rare find!!

    Like 5
    • Oddballcars

      The Model T was the one that was limited in color scheme, and that was only 1914-1925. By the time the Model A came out in 1928, several colors were available. However, the fenders were always black and the engines were always green. So this one has definitely been painted.

  15. man ' war

    I used to own a 64 GMC Handivan that was exactly the color of this Model A – faded red, but I always thought that it was actually primer red. Sold it back in 2013. That person went and painted it black which looked nice with the exception for all the pin stripping all over the van that he also put on it.

  16. Derek

    That looks really nice; sits well, although I’d maybe bring the back down a wee bit to sit with the front. Good car for someone.

    Like 2
  17. Mike T.

    The radiator shell is a 1930 but Henry had the habit of using up parts so it still could be a 1931. The juice brakes detract from the value for me. Also, why would someone replace side hood panels with solid steel. This cuts down on the cooling ability of the cars engine. The fan blade is not Ford auto; it might be a 1929 Model AA fan which was the only time they put a 4 blade fan on the A engine. They probably had to do that because of the solid hood panels. The wheels are early V8 wheels with 6.00-16 tires. The A had 4.75-19 tires on wire wheels that are now being sold again by Coker Tire. The electric system appears to be a mess and the pop out ignition switch is missing. A hose connects the water return from the block to the lower radiator and the lower coolant pipe with the drain cock missing.

    The good part is that it appears all metal is there and reasonably sound.

    Like 2
  18. Mark

    Get the mechanicals in order and drive it! Has a great stance as is. Leave the resto-mods for the repops. These are only original once.

    Like 7
  19. TouringFordor

    I’m going to say this was built out of parts. The frame is a ’28, since the parking brake is in front of the shift lever. For ’29 through ’31 the parking brake was on the right of the shift lever. I’m sure there are other anomalies if I took time to look.

    Like 1
  20. Bob Mck Member

    I am amazed at what many of you guys know! Impressive.

    Like 6
  21. Kenneth Carney

    We opened for Commander Cody in ’72.
    Great musicians, all of them. As much
    as we wanted to play our rendition of that song, we let them play it as they had a hit with it in 3 states until WMAQ
    radio out of Chicago took them and the
    song nationwide. They followed that up
    with a song called Mama Hated Deisels
    late in ’72. As for this car, I’d leave the
    body red, paint the fenders black, and the rims cream. That is after I safened
    up all the mechanicals and just drive
    and enjoy it.

  22. Russ

    Axel might be 40 ford

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