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Old 07-23-2016, 11:38 AM   #1
sawyer
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Default Wanted a roadster

Hey guys I'm looking for a little advice, I'm not new to old cars currently have 5 on the road and am a mechanic by trade but I've always wanted an A model roadster and I'm starting to get serious about getting one. I've always thought a '31 was the most desirable but don't really know why, not saying that's the one I have to have but what's the difference in the first A's and last? What should I look out for? But the biggest thing is price seems that they are all over the place. I want a good driver not a perfect #s matching museum piece. I found a '29 roadster that looks very decent with another rolling chassis with the engine trans cowl and various other parts for $15500 which doesn't seem to bad of a deal but I'm not sure if '29s aren't that desirable and that's high, saw a nice '31 in CA for about the same price, so if you all would lend me some of your expertise I would really appreciate it. By the way I am in Virginia as I know location factors in on the price as well. Thanks Mark
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Old 07-23-2016, 11:52 AM   #2
ronn
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Default Re: Wanted a roadster

Hey Mark,
welcome! you have good taste and would guess the roadster is probably the most popular of all styles.
The 28-29 look a bit more like model T's and usually sell for a little less then the 30-31's.

The 30-31's are very popular and just to note, saw one an hour ago on CL in NH and it was 9500. without a top and looked like a fun car!
you will need to decide which style you prefer and set a budget. Quite a few out there. Popular color for the 30-31's is blue with straw wheels and tan interior.
Take your time buying, and ask many questions. GL!
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Old 07-23-2016, 11:58 AM   #3
Patrick L.
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Default Re: Wanted a roadster

I guess it depends what you prefer. Many like the early ones over the later years, and, the other way around.
The 30/31s do have a bit more room in them if thats a consideration.
To me, it would depend on condition and cost. I prefer to get more for my dollar as long as I could live with it. Some times, you just gotta have what you gotta have though. I prefer the STD over the DlX, but, there are ways around that issue.


There were a couple nice ones available here that I was very interested in just to have one to drive while the present one was being redone if and when that happens. May still do it. It might be nice to have both early and late just to see which is liked 'more better'.

Last edited by Patrick L.; 07-23-2016 at 12:24 PM.
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Old 07-23-2016, 01:30 PM   #4
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Default Re: Wanted a roadster

Buy some books and join a local and national club. There's probably just what you're looking for within 100 miles of where you are sitting right now.
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Old 07-23-2016, 01:32 PM   #5
Steve Wastler
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Default Re: Wanted a roadster

Depending on where you at in Virginia, you may want to attend a meeting of the George Washington Chapter of Mafca, they meet every third Wed. in McLean. You can check the club at www.gwcmodela.com, I'm sure you could get some hands on info and leads....
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Old 07-23-2016, 04:34 PM   #6
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If you can afford a few extra bucks buy a Cabriolet. They are so much better. Wayne
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Old 07-23-2016, 05:39 PM   #7
apbright
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Default Re: Wanted a roadster

I was in your shoes exactly four years ago. Fully agree with others' comments, i.e. read books, find local MAFCA club and meet people, see cars.

I would argue preferences between 28/29 vs. 30/31 are largely about taste. Parts availability is about the same between the two generations. Very early '28's have some quirks making them interesting mainly for historical, not drivability reasons. Late '31's have some stock reliability improvements, but most any Model A can be retrofitted with those (e.g. steering column brace on dash rail, not gas tank). Deeper experts will put my knowledge to shame - and thus I defer to your nearest MAFCA chapter.

I would argue against giving into the 'fever of a find;' most every body style - even Phaetons and A400/Convertible Sedans - seem to come up for sale on MAFCA or Hemmings every three months or so.

Hope you find a good one!
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Old 07-23-2016, 06:05 PM   #8
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Default Re: Wanted a roadster

I prefer the 28/29 because the 30/31 looks too modern for me.,

Do not buy an early 28 unless it is very cheap as the braking/emergency braking system is lousy .
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Old 07-23-2016, 07:20 PM   #9
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Default Re: Wanted a roadster

A Model A roadster with the top down on a warm summer evening is the ultimate Model A experience. Not that I am prejudice or anything.
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Old 07-23-2016, 07:55 PM   #10
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Default Re: Wanted a roadster

In Michigan I see them for sale around 10,000 for a nice driver roadster.
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Old 07-23-2016, 07:59 PM   #11
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Default Re: Wanted a roadster

I think a lot of the fun is in the fix up. here is a truck 3500 he says engine and trans redone. looks like it needs paint interior and electrical. wish my finances could afford it. https://detroit.craigslist.org/mcb/cto/5667854930.html sorry no roadsters to find in my area today just a 32 for 84000 geeeesh.
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Old 07-23-2016, 08:02 PM   #12
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Default Re: Wanted a roadster

found this one for 15k and it looks like a blast but its not stock https://lansing.craigslist.org/cto/5647696135.html
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Old 07-23-2016, 08:26 PM   #13
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Default Re: Wanted a roadster

Quote:
Originally Posted by mike657894 View Post
found this one for 15k and it looks like a blast but its not stock https://lansing.craigslist.org/cto/5647696135.html
A hot rod at best. Most A guys wouldn't give it a second look! Wayne
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Old 07-23-2016, 08:28 PM   #14
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Default Re: Wanted a roadster

Quote:
Originally Posted by mike657894 View Post
found this one for 15k and it looks like a blast but its not stock https://lansing.craigslist.org/cto/5647696135.html
A good one to take a pass on. Wayne

Last edited by C26Pinelake; 07-24-2016 at 08:59 AM.
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Old 07-23-2016, 09:01 PM   #15
MVal
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Default Re: Wanted a roadster

We have a 1930 Delux roadster and like it very much having put over 50K miles on it. Think the biggest difference is the look--the '28-9 looks more like a "old time car" whereas the 30-1 look "more streamlined and modern". Some will say the larger radiator on the "30-1" could be a benefit?
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Old 07-23-2016, 10:20 PM   #16
Mike V. Florida
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Default Re: Wanted a roadster

Within reason you can't spend too much, you can just buy too early.
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Old 07-24-2016, 08:41 AM   #17
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Default Re: Wanted a roadster

Sawyer,
I'm blessed to be in possession of one of each, a Canadian built Sept 1929 roadster and a Canadian built Feb 1931 Deluxe roadster
My baby is the 1929, the 31 is my fathers but I have had it for years at my shop in storage.
My 29 was a true barn find and at the time I wanted a 30-31 but fell in love the day I brought her home when she started after being stored for twenty years.
I know a lot of fellas have 30-31s but you don't see a lot of 29s around and that alone makes her special.
May sound weird but my 29 to me has character
I look at her as the 31 would never have existed if the 29 hadn't come first.
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Old 07-24-2016, 09:22 AM   #18
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Default Re: Wanted a roadster

I have a late 28 and love it. I have a 30 Town Sedan that I love, too, but the roadster is just a hoot. I am 6'2" and have no trouble in the roadster. Getting in and out is always a bit of a contortion, but with the top down, the roadster is much easier. I live in MD and am active in the George Washington Chapter of the Model A club. A great group, if you are nearby. I bought both of mine off of CL and got good ones at decent prices.

Last edited by mhsprecher; 07-24-2016 at 09:23 AM. Reason: fix typo
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Old 07-24-2016, 09:31 AM   #19
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Default Re: Wanted a roadster

As the saying goes, if you want to know difference between a Roadster and a Cabriolet, go for a ride in a rainstorm. A Cabriolet is a rich man's Roadster, Wayne
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Old 07-24-2016, 10:18 AM   #20
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Default Re: Wanted a roadster

I believe the 30/31 roadster has fewer wooden supports which may be a concern for you.
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