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Old 10-26-2008, 07:39 AM
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advise on ford model A

I am looking to get a ford model A , I have looked on the internet but every one I come across is already sold. I was wondering if it would be cheaper to buy a "stock" one and build it my self or buy one that is already pretty much done. I don't have a lot of free time... and have a lot of questions , like do you need a different frame or a lot of altercations to the frame to fit a v8 in them? I think I could be wrong that it is more exspensive to build one than to buy one almost done? if any one could give me some sound advice on where I could buy one and what would be the cheapest way . buy one almost done and make it my own, or start form scratch, by the way I am an ase recertified mech and think I have enough knowledge to build one but time and space is and issue...


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Old 10-26-2008, 08:19 AM
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This question can be a tough one ,,,, Broaden your horizon to include prewar Ford say as if you are focused on one make or year it can be real hard to find a good car..There are some well done cars out there that are close to being done that just need some work to make like you want. Get out and about to the local swap meet scene and see what is out there.. Locally I have seen several nice early models that are ready runners for sale at reasonable prices..Some like that should be around where you are..If you are time/space limited then look for something that runs and drives..Building
from scratch is time consuming and/or expensive...

just my take

I have tried most all of it and now do what is known to work..
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Old 10-26-2008, 08:47 AM
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I suggest going to a few of the bigger shows and looking for a finished car. Join the National Street Rod Association. Go here

Or GoodGuys ... go here

For a 1928 to 1931 Ford Model A , in my opinion the National Street Rod Association ( NSRA ) would be the better of the two to join. The NSRA ... has a monthly magazine called StreetScene and it has street rods for sale and it also lists a lot of events and shows. Unfortunately, winter is closing in and most events are over for 2008. There is the Daytona Turkey Run on Thanksgiving weekend ... with over 5,000 cars there but I would suggest just getting the StreetScene for a few months, educating your self and then in the spring be prepared to go to Knoxville TN or York PA for the big NSRA events held there. The NSRA Nationals are held in August in Louisville Ky ... and generally has over 10 vehicles. A lot of them are for sale ...

If you are determined to buy sooner ... there are quite a few online sites with Model A's for sale ... like this one

But I have always found dealing in person ... not over the internet ... buying a vehicle ... is best.

Deuce ... long time 1932 Ford owner ...
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Old 10-26-2008, 09:27 AM
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OK - I guess I can chime in here.

I started my rod project with a '31 Slant Windshield Fordor in 2001. The body was mediocre but easily repaired and since it was a kind of rare Model A in comparison to the other, decided that it was the car for me. The chassis was sold immediately - it needed too much work to be a good foundation for a street rod. I then purchased a TCI Stage 3 chassis. I got everything on that chassis together, then I had a "bright idea" and decided that I really wanted to be on the road in 2003, so I sold it - and for a reasonable profit - and bought a Brookville '30/'31 body. Not the better choice of the two cars, but wont bore you with the details. Roll ahead to 2008, and I'm within a long winter of finishing this car. While I'm no longer a practicing mechanic, but was 'way back then' have found that the ground up build of this car has been a challenge and a major time, space and money eater. A crate motor that needed more Hp, a transmission that needed help, a 9" Ford rear that needed a rebuild, a couple of major errors by both TCI and Brookville (well, there were more then a couple) that need rectifying - motor mounts installed too far back and a firewall that wasn't what I ordered.

So what I'm saying, if you are limited in time and space, a completed or almost completed car might be the best way to go - and adapt that car to what you want it to be in the end. And it will probably save you some money - which is even better

I vote with Deuce and the NSRA Street Scene Magazine. There are many cars offered for sale each month - and the asking price is not necessarily the acceptable price. Another and on line as well is Hemmings Motor News -

Good luck,
Dave W
Irelands child
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Old 10-26-2008, 12:29 PM
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Are you interested in a Model A truck, there's a nice one for sale here:

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Old 10-26-2008, 02:42 PM

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I believe you answered your own question......If you don't have much time now, your not a great candidate for a complete rebuild. These things require tons of time, and that is why so many people choose to rebuild them there selves, they can save a car full of money by doing the work them selves. The average shop rate for a Hot Rod project is between 60-75 dollars a hour, the high end shops get roughly 25% more. Most grossly under-estimate the amount of hours it requires to re-build a Hot Rod. I have been keeping tabs on our hours for a total re-build of a 1933 Ford Tudor Sedan, which is chronicled as Project COBRA'33, The body work alone from stock old car to ready for paint has over 600 hours! The project is roughly half way through the process, and the hours tab is about 1700 so far. Figure that at the lowest shop rate, and you get $102,000. Total it by the higher amount and you get $158,000.00, and that doesn't include the parts, for this project so far the parts bought total over $115,000.00, combined you can see how quickly these cars can add up. Yes, this project is a high end, Riddler Award seeking project. Weather it makes my goal or not, is for us to find out, but the point is to make any type Hot Rod of quality, it takes two things, Time and Money.
It's hard enough to save for the parts, much less the labor, so many, those that have skills, choose to do the labor end, or at least most of the labor, themselves. While I may or may not have a chance at running for a Riddler, It's very safe to assume, I would not be able to even think about the possibility, without doing the work my self. You must also ***** your individual skills, there are things you can do , things you can do well, and things you can do but they might not turn out the best. Everyone has some skill sets, some more then other, some less then others, it's up to you to evaluate those skills and dispense them accordingly. Maybe a buddy has certain skills you do not have, so you might strike a deal with him to do a certain part of your build, or help you with it, and you might help him with a part of his build in kind. I have managed to complete every stage of my build myself, so far. I am a good welder and fabricator, what I am not is a interior person, so hopefully that will be the only area I have to farm out. The key is to make a list of what you feel you can do and what you feel someone else will have to do for you. Every car build should start with a complete and comprehensive build sheet. You need to sit down and figure out what it is you intend to build, what level of build it will be, and how long you are willing to wait for it. Be honest, it is very easy now days to figure out what parts you need, how much they cost and who you should purchase them from. Break the build now to small sections, I like to break them down even further to sub-groups, like engine; fuel system, ignition, cooling system and so forth. A big complicated job becomes very manageable when broken down to small task.
The main thing is to ***** your skills, time, money and space, then make yourself a reasonable build sheet and go from there. The classifieds and E-bay are full of projects that have gone sour. There has to be nothing more dis-appointing then to start a build and have it all go away because of poor planing. Don't be one of those guys. Good Luck
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