Subtle Hot Rod: 1930 Ford Model A

In the mid-1920s, after dominating the automobile market for nearly twenty years, Henry Ford finally conceded that his famed Model T was due to be replaced. The competition was beginning to catch up and Ford needed a complete redesign in order to stay relevant. Because he wanted the successor to be more technologically advanced, he focused on the mechanicals of the new car while putting styling on the backburner. Luckily, the design team, headed by Edsel Ford, understood the importance of clean body lines and penned a fresh new look. The first Model A rolled out of the factory on October 20, 1927, but was not introduced to the motoring public until December 2. Our feature car, a 1930 Model A coupe, is located in East Aurora, New York, and can be found here on eBay. After discovering it in a barn in Ohio, the current owner made a few subtle modifications that give it an early hot rod vibe. However, nothing has been done that can’t be returned to stock.

Motivation for the Model A was provided by a 201 cubic-inch inline-four L-head engine, linked to a three-speed sliding mesh transmission. With 40 horsepower, the car was able to reach a top speed of 65 mph but was much more comfortable at around 50 mph. Our feature vehicle displays a clean engine bay, and the engine is described as being in good running condition and easy to start.  While solid and reliable in its current state, a splash of color and some vintage hop-up parts would help to dress things up.

The interior of the Model A was comfortable for a driver and one passenger, and the rumble seat out back allowed for more friends or family to tag along. The Model A was the first Ford to use standard driver controls that are now commonplace today, including a conventional clutch, brake pedal, throttle, and gearshift. The cabin of our feature vehicle looks clean and is said to be a high-quality reproduction from LeBaron Bonney. The ad also mentions that in the 1940s, the second owner of the car carved his initials into the steering wheel where they can still be seen today.

With nearly 5,000,000 Model A’s produced from 1927-1931, you would think there would be plenty to choose from. However, the ravages of time have returned many back to the elements and others have been cut and hacked beyond repair. While replacement bodies can be found in either steel or fiberglass, genuine Henry Ford steel is getting hard to come by. Our feature vehicle offers the new buyer the choice of continuing to make period modifications for a classic hot rod, or easily returning it to stock and sorting out the details to create a rolling piece of history. Which route would you take?

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Comments

  1. bobhess bobhess Member

    Wouldn’t do anything to this car but put a right side taillight on and smaller tires up front. Nice car.

    Like 14
  2. Frank Sumatra

    I would add a note to the write-up regarding the quality of the eBay presentation. Very nice information and images provided by the owner.

    Like 7
  3. CraigR

    Would. Not. Change. A. Thing.

    Like 15
    • Ike Onick

      Why. Do. You. Write. So. Slowly?

      Like 7
      • Larry D

        lol

        Like 2
  4. DRV

    It’s the best period ” rod” I’ve ever seen!

    Like 6
  5. Joe Haska

    I can’t imagine, why you would put this car back to stock. Who knows how many restored Model A’s there are, but I am guessing there are not many period perfect ones as nice as this one is. I have always been a 32,33,34 V-8 guy, but as nice as this one is , I certainly would kick it out of my garage , because of a little 4 cylinder engine.

    Like 5
  6. Sam Shive

    A Blood Red Pin Stripe

    Like 4
  7. Mark

    A poster of this car should be on the wall of every car makers design shop as it puts most modern vehicles to shame.

    Like 10
  8. Ken Carney

    I think I’d put the front bumper back on it to
    protect those original front fenders, add a set of juice brakes for safety’s sake. Boy,
    do I like this car!

    Like 14
  9. Terrry

    If I was going to modernize this car (which I probably wouldn’t) I’d put a 4 cylinder drive train, probably a Mazda Miata complete with 5 speed, just to be different and have something not only snappier but economical to drive. I’d also put modern disc brakes on it.

    Like 3
  10. Kenneth Morgan

    What a beauty

    Like 4
  11. Stephen Miklos

    Great looking ride. 4 cylinder does not do it for me. Staying with Ford engine go with a hot rod set up flat head V8. Maybe with a blower on it. Change the trans to a 5 speed. Update the brakes and have fun. Oh… In stall seatbelts. Then it would be a Bitchin Ride!! 😊

    Like 1
  12. mainlymuscle

    Many times ,someone will comment ” I’d have to rob a bank to buy this ”
    I would have to rob a bank IF I bought this !
    So Gangsta !!

    Like 4
    • marlon w smith

      Ha Ha !!!

      Like 1
    • Marlon W Smith

      🤣😂🤣

      Like 1
    • Frank Sumatra

      WINNER!! I was surprised it was not photographed in front of a bank.

  13. Danny V. Johnson

    It says 1930, but somehow, it appears to be a ’31 with ’32 or later wheels and “Balloon” tires. It’s a nice car, though. Like he said, put the right tail light on it and replace the front bumper and go.

    Like 2
    • bobH Member

      Front bumper is there… Location of install is mixed up.

  14. DeeBee

    First project, drop in a flathead, suitably dressed in period hot-rod equipment.

  15. Mark from Atlanta

    This is a fine machine. I’ve always liked Model A’s sporting later-model spokes from early V8’s.

    Like 1
  16. Frank

    Perfect as is! A Hot Rod the ultimate stupid decision for a quality 1930 Model A.

    Like 3
  17. Dave G

    Current bid $22,100.00

  18. Larry D

    Make it a hot rod. It would be worth more.

    Like 1
    • Frank Sumatra

      Wrong. It would be a dime a dozen.

      Like 3
      • Larry D

        Like a friend of mine in the car business says, “An original car is a big O.” I asked if that was for Original. And he said, “No, it is for Oh no.”

        Like 1
  19. Jack Gray

    Great looking automobile, only wish I could afford to put in a bid. I’d even go to New York to pick it up, haul it back to Florida and leave it just the way it is. Make a great “parade ” car at Olde Town!

  20. Danny

    Beautiful, I’d probably take the V8 hubcaps of it.

  21. Kenn

    Danny V Johnson, I have one just like this – well, not just like this ’cause mine needs complete restoration – and it is, in fact, a 1930 machine with the later V8 wheels and tires. It “modernizes” the look, which I like. Bought it in 1952 or 53, drove it through college and kept it during moves to Florida, Indiana and back to Michigan. Used in many parades in Florida with politician now-ex wife in the rumble seat. Took to car shows with the following sign in the window: “This is how Henry meant the car to be used. Feel free to touch.:

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