1928 Ford Model A Sport Coupe - $19,900
     
  • Overview & History
  • Specifications
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Add in a well-maintained older restoration, lots of accessories, and an overdrive, and you get an easy-going old car that’s ideal for touring and casual shows.

Where would our hobby be without the erstwhile Ford Model A? Reliable, easy to maintain, very pretty, and available in a dizzying array of body styles to suit any buyer’s needs, what better place to start collecting cars? For decades, these neat little machines have been the cornerstone of the hobby and I continue to maintain that if you don’t have a Model A in your collection, or at least own one at some point in your life, you’re not really a car guy. They teach you everything you need to know about old cars—driving, maintaining, and participating—without asking for anything in return. They’re bulletproof reliable, they have pleasant road manners and competent suspensions, and they’re so simple and familiar you can fix almost anything on it with a smart phone and a screwdriver. For all of those reasons and more, we are very fond of this handsome 1928 Ford Model A sport coupe.

This is an early production Model A with many of the early features: single drum taillight, red rubber steering wheel, centrally-mounted parking brake. That all by itself makes it kind of a neat find. Then there’s the sport coupe body style, which is somewhat unusual, particularly on such an early car. Add in a well-maintained older restoration, lots of accessories, and an overdrive, and you get an easy-going old car that’s ideal for touring and casual shows.

The colors are called Chicle and Copra Drab, and while the name sounds pretty clumsy, the combination is just lovely on the handsome sport coupe. The sport coupe body style is easily identified by its cloth non-folding roof with landau bars, ostensibly designed to look like it folds but does not. Together, the color and the formal body style give this affordable Model A a very upscale look. The restoration is perhaps 30 years old, finished in the 1990s and it shows some signs of use and enjoyment, but nothing that needs immediate attention and you could enjoy this car for another two decades with nothing but a coat of wax now and then. Fit and finish are quite good, suggesting a quality car before the restoration and we see no signs of botched bodywork or substandard workmanship (if something was going to let go, it would have by now). The finish has a soft shine that looks quite right on the 90-year-old Model A and aside from a few micro-blisters and tiny chips from road use, it remains quite attractive. The simple straw-colored pinstripe matches the wheels and really brightens the look without seeming over-done. The top canvas is in excellent condition, with a flip-up rear window so you can visit with rumble seat passengers. Most of the trim is nickel, as original, so it has that muted shine that looks appropriate and you could really brighten it up with some elbow grease on a Saturday afternoon. In back there’s a handsome trunk and luggage rack, and dual sidemounts give the humble Model A a very substantial look. This is really an appealing little car.

The interior is finished in green leatherette, which is Ford’s word for vinyl. It looks great and wears like iron, so it should look this good for many years to come. In the spirit of the Model A, the patterns are simple, the materials are sturdy, and there’s a no-nonsense attitude throughout. Note the big red rubber steering wheel, the familiar center-mounted gauge panel (all gauges operational), and the usual spark and throttle levers on the steering column. Additions include aftermarket turn signals on the column and a Borg-Warner overdrive unit whose controls consist of the T-handle on the floor (for the free-wheeling system) and a button mounted on the steering column (to activate the overdrive). The system takes some familiarization but once you understand its use, you’ll enjoy pretty effortless 55-60 MPH cruising in this Model A. An authentic rubber mat covers the floor and the simple door panels contrast nicely with the bright chrome hardware. In back, the rumble seat is upholstered to match and makes a great place for youngsters to enjoy the fun of an old car.

Mechanically, all Model As are virtually identical, powered by a 200 cubic inch 4-cylinder engine. It’s almost painfully simple, from the small Tillotson updraft carburetor to the distributor that uses flat copper leads to fire the plugs. This one runs superbly, starting easily with just a little choke and idling at about 400 RPM. It wears correct Ford Green engine enamel and remains almost entirely original spec, although it does have a few upgrades including the modern leakless water pump, a fused main power circuit, and the aforementioned Tillotson carburetor. The wiring at the base of the steering column is for the turn signals and on-board battery charger, but the remainder of the car is quite original and still uses cloth-covered wires. There’s also an accessory Auto-Lite manifold heater that surely helps keep the cabin a little bit warmer on cool spring and autumn nights. If you’re familiar with Model As, there’s nothing here that will surprise you, and if this is your first foray into the world of old cars, you can see just how insanely simple this machine really is. Don’t worry, it’s a snap to keep it in top health—that was the whole idea, right?

Underneath, there are no surprises. The 3-speed manual transmission isn’t synchronized, so it demands a quick double-clutch between gears, but that’s easy enough to master in the first few minutes of driving. The overdrive was neatly integrated into the torque tube driveshaft and there are 3.78 gears in back, so it’s nimble around town and plenty quick thanks to the torquey little engine. That overdrive permits relaxed cruising at any speed and this coupe is quite comfortable at 55-60 MPH where the engine doesn’t seem to be working very hard. Just remember that the brakes are still mechanical and while adequate, they’re attached to skinny little tires, so you’ll need to drive smart whenever you’re in this car (or any old car—that’s what I mean about the Model A teaching you about driving old cars). The ride is comfortable and Model As have a robust, durable feeling that translates into confidence on the road. The exhaust system is correct, offering that familiar Model A sound, and the 4.40/4.50-21 Denman whitewall tires are a nice accent that really make this Model A look well-dressed.

Still not expensive, still fun to drive, still inexpensive to maintain, this Model A delivers a fun old car experience that few other cars can match. Thanks to a few smart upgrades, it’s wonderful on the road and never feels obsolete, which is an important factor for many of today’s buyers. And the handsome looks of a sport coupe will be popular forever, giving you few excuses not to put this car in your garage. Call today!

Vehicle: 1928 Ford Model A Sport Coupe
Price: $19,900
Stock Number: 116004
Mileage: 19,446
VIN: 550877
Engine: 200 cubic inch inline-4
Transmission: 3-speed manual + overdrive
Gear Ratio: 3.78
Wheelbase: 103.5 inches
Wheels: 21-inch wire wheels
Tires: 4.40/4.50-21 Denman whitewall
Exterior Color: Copra and Chicle Drab
Interior Color: Green vinyl
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