1930 Model A Ford Fordor
1930 Model A Fordor (5 views) Restorations Gallery      M60 Home

About 34 years back, I decided I didn't need my '74 Honda Civic. So, I sold it and relied instead on my Motobecane bicycle. The main reason I sold the car, which was a fine little auto, was not only that I never drove it, but also because every time I looked at it I saw a pile of cash I could use to buy a Model A Ford. I started looking for a buyer for the Civic and a Model A for yours truly.

Until I was 17 and enlisted, I was a diehard hot rod kid. You know: magazines, model kits, dragging around under the hood and under the family car. It was pure bliss figuring out how it went together and what all the parts of the puzzle were and what they did. But, then I enlisted and being in the military changed all that. Uncle Sam sent me off (with a copy of Hot Rod magazine, Rod & Custom magazine, and Car & Driver) to a fine old university up East to study Chinese.

Missing my high school friends, I wrote to a girl who was in Austin at The University of Texas. I ended up marrying her roommate, whose father was a dentist and collector of Model A Ford automobiles. He had a yard full of 'em, mostly wrecks but all beautiful to me. He was a fine man, and soon I was totally hooked. When we went down to Harlingen I got up at dawn to go sit in a '30 coupe and watch crop dusters spraying the fields. In the afternoons and evening I would sit in the wrecks and sort out what made them alike and what made them different, other than beaucoup rust.

Not long after discharge, I managed to buy my first Model A, a great little '29 coupe in very ragged shape. It is the car I'm sitting in as it is being towed off from where I found it, parked by a dry creek in Austin, with a very unfriendly Doberman staked right beside it. My ex was a patient and tolerant soul, believe me, and put up with a lot of Ford over our years, like tires under the bed and parts squirrelled away all over the house. I had to sell that Model A and a terrific unrestored '28 Special Coupe when we divorced, both of us victims of the Vietnam war.

OK, yada yada yada a couple years pass and I can't get those two Model A Fords out of my mind. Thus, bye bye Honda. I had heard of a Ford in a boat shed in Baytown, Texas. I called the owner and we closed the deal over the phone. All I had to do was get there and get the Model A back to Austin.

What to do? I borrowed a boat trailer and a pickup, drove to Baytown (which is near Houston), winched the Ford aboard, and drove home, wallowing and weaving all the way back. But we made it!

After nearly a decade, she comes back into the sunlight. This is a magical moment for any old Ford guy, for sure. Looking good viewed from passenger side. The body, hood and fenders are all in faded black, and there is no interior but the back seat springs. I sit on a VW bus seat for all the years I own this wonderful car, and it works just fine. The bright yellow wheels and scrubbed up Maypop tires with their wide whitewalls add to her splendid looks.
A couple photos of the engine as found. This was taken from the passenger
			side. The car wasn't running. This is the second of two engine photos, this one taken from the driver
this photo shows the work to be done on the car. There was nothing from the front seat, for even the frame was from a later Ford. at first I drove her sitting on a bucket. Later I added the luxury of a VW seat bottom. The Model A instrument panel barely had the basics. Some might say it decidedly did not have the essentials
When I first brought her home, we lived in a nice, old-fashioned apartment not too far from the university campus and, for me, the benefit of being just up the street from the ballet studio, which is where I spent most of my free time. Later, I bought a house in far southwest Austin and had a garage at last. She was a ready and willing Ford, dependable albeit a little scary at speed with the ten or 12 inches of play in the steering and mechanical brakes that looked a lot better than they worked. She took the concept of play in the linkage to a whole new level. This is a long view down the back rear corner to the shiny stainless radiator shell. Her antique car plates were stolen once so I usually took them off if I stayed anywhere overnight. The beauty of this car immediately took my breath away whenever I looked at her like this. Selling her, even as part of a trade for the '29 blindback Fordor, was a very wrenching experience. It has been several years and I still miss her.
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