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Old 08-03-2020, 03:21 PM   #1
ScriptunasPhoto
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Default Taking the plunge into Model A ownership!

Hi Everyone,

I have had a desire to purchase a Model A since I was a kid. I just came across this one for sale and the price appears quite good. I would really appreciate hearing from the experts here on the forum!

Here is the information. What should I be concerned about, what questions should I ask? For an older restoration, the condition looks nice. Thank you!

Price $10,500

1930 Ford Town sedan Murray coach works with a green Lebaron Bonney Interior with lap rope, side pulls, and window shades and was the first year for the rear seat middle pull down armrest. It has ~150 miles on a 40 yr old frame-off restoration which included new roof and frame wood, and safety glass. The car has been in storage for ~20 years and has developed a rusty leaking gas tank, I have a new head gasket for a head that is seeping outside. The shocks, steering box, transmission were never rebuilt. It will need a battery, a speedometer cable, and a differential leak repaired.
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Old 08-03-2020, 03:27 PM   #2
chrs1961815
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Default Re: Taking the plunge into Model A ownership!

Welcome to the Barn!

My roadster was kind of similar deal with your car, but worse. Older restoration, mechanical things never restored, bad quality work, bad paint. Point is, you will have to take apart the things that are not restored because 90 years of wear is too much. So you have to factor that in. I would be weary about what else they did/did not do if they didn't rebuild that stuff. You can get older restorations like this, drivers, all day long from 7,000 to 9,000. For what the car is, the asking price is too high.
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Old 08-03-2020, 04:06 PM   #3
McMimmcs
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Default Re: Taking the plunge into Model A ownership!

Take your time and enjoy the new acquisition. Hopefully you can get your family and friends involved. You are going to be surprised how much fun it really is.
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Old 08-03-2020, 04:18 PM   #4
Ruth
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Default Re: Taking the plunge into Model A ownership!

From a few pictures it is hard to tell but I like it. I didn't see it mentioned but does the engine turn (not frozen)?

The wood is a major thing with the sedans and if it has been replaced you are ahead of the game.

What is your location? That may effect the price?
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Old 08-03-2020, 04:20 PM   #5
Charlie Stephens
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Default Re: Taking the plunge into Model A ownership!

Get someone from a local club to look it over. How does it run? What is your general location?

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Old 08-03-2020, 04:42 PM   #6
ronn
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Default Re: Taking the plunge into Model A ownership!

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I would keep looking. The car looks nice, but do you really want to deal with a rusty leaking gas tank?


spend a little more and get much more.
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Old 08-03-2020, 05:10 PM   #7
alexiskai
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Default Re: Taking the plunge into Model A ownership!

I concur with others that $10,500 is too much for a car in this condition. For $12K (and often $10K) you'd be able to get one that you can drive home.
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Old 08-03-2020, 05:52 PM   #8
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Default Re: Taking the plunge into Model A ownership!

Agreed with the other comments and I own a 1929 Briggs. Same type of major wood construction and I have replaced all of my roof wood. The remainder of my wood is good and I will document the condition with pictures in case I decide to sell it prior to installing the interior. At any rate you do not know the condition of the wood and it has been covered by the interior and now not visible. Good wood or not. That is the question.
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Old 08-03-2020, 06:03 PM   #9
jb-ob
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Default Re: Taking the plunge into Model A ownership!

An old New York advertising slogan, "An educated consumer is our best customer".

Take your time & enjoy doing your home work about all the different body styles. I would narrow the the field by looking at 1930-31 Fords with stainless steel bright work.

The leaking gas tank is more of a project that you, a first timer needs to tackle as well as possible transmission issues.

I never like a restoration that has the cheapest 'zig-zag' tires, says the restoration was done on the cheap. For your first experience, spend a little more for more car, one which you can wash & drive immediately. Plenty of time later to learn to being a mechanic.

Hope this was helpful, best,
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Old 08-03-2020, 06:06 PM   #10
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Default Re: Taking the plunge into Model A ownership!

I would wait for a car that has had its running gear gone over. Front end, brakes, Springs, shocks, engine and trans.

I would want a safe driving car. You could end up paying $14,000.00 to $18,000.00, but unless you are going to do the work your self. The extra money spent will be well invested.

I would be very concerned about what’s under that paint, and why no one has driven it for so many years.

Good luck.
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Old 08-03-2020, 06:35 PM   #11
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Default Re: Taking the plunge into Model A ownership!

I would not pay more than $6000. For $10,000 you can get a very nice driver that you don’t have to work on. No. No. Not $10,000.
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Old 08-03-2020, 07:05 PM   #12
Gil Sissons
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Default Re: Taking the plunge into Model A ownership!

You have gotten some very good advice in the above postings.
I would for sure find my closest Model A Club. If you need help
finding that look on the MAFCA website. I am pretty sure you
will find a willing and educated Model A owner to help you.
The leaking gas tank is a blinking RED light you should observe.
Many good running Model A's available in the $12,000 range.
Any car that has been sitting for years will have issues.
Good luck and enjoy the journey.

Gil. NoCal
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Old 08-03-2020, 07:52 PM   #13
Mike Peters
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Default Re: Taking the plunge into Model A ownership!

https://www.fordbarn.com/forum/showt...ighlight=sedan
Compare this with the '30 Murray you are looking at. Your '30 Murray has red flags from bumper to bumper. All advice above is spot on. Keep looking.
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Old 08-03-2020, 08:54 PM   #14
ScriptunasPhoto
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Default Re: Taking the plunge into Model A ownership!

Thanks everyone for all of the great info! It is extremely helpful and gives me a good starting point.

I am located in Charleston, WV.

Are there any preferred market places I should keep an eye on for model A's?

I am in no rush and will definitely keep looking and doing my research. I enjoy a good project, but this time I'd prefer a car that that is ready to go or close to it.
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Old 08-03-2020, 09:24 PM   #15
chrs1961815
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Default Re: Taking the plunge into Model A ownership!

I would get in contact with a local club (MAFCA or MARC) and see if any members are selling. In our newsletter, someone is always selling a Model A. Then you are dealing with people who know the cars and probably won't try to decieve you. If all else fails, you could check craigslist in your area.
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Old 08-03-2020, 09:59 PM   #16
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Default Re: Taking the plunge into Model A ownership!

Before even tuning over the motor.
Drain/clean gas tank (do not want to suck varnished gas/rust into the carb), flush/replace all fluids since oil/grease turns bad sitting for that length of time, grease all fittings/zerks, make sure to oil generator and distributor. If stored with water coolant may have rusted radiator/block.
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Old 08-03-2020, 10:44 PM   #17
Charlie Stephens
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Default Re: Taking the plunge into Model A ownership!

One problem with the straight (vertical) window 4 door sedans is that they were built with an extremely large amount of wood. If the wood is bad it is very time consuming and expensive to replace. First place problems will show up is with the fit of the doors so check them carefully. In 1931 they came out with a 4 door sedan that had a slant windshield and very little wood.

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Old 08-03-2020, 11:27 PM   #18
Gil Sissons
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Default Re: Taking the plunge into Model A ownership!

Look at Craigslist Lexington KY
Cars for sale..... type in Ford Model A
Here is a very reasonably priced 1931 Tudor sedan.
Comes with rebuilt motor.... Mitchell overdrive and improved brakes.
Not my car.... do not know the owner.
Just looks like a much better starting point.
Good Luck

Gil. NoCal
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Old 08-04-2020, 12:00 AM   #19
Charlie Stephens
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Default Re: Taking the plunge into Model A ownership!

Contact all of the Model A clubs close to you and see what it takes to be put on distribution for their newsletter with "for sales" in it.

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Old 08-04-2020, 04:22 AM   #20
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Default Re: Taking the plunge into Model A ownership!

Here is a link to a Model A chapter list.

https://www.mafca.com/chapters_list.html


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