1930 Ford Model A pickup - SOLD
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  • Overview & History
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This bright red pickup has a blue collar look that we find immensely appealing, and it’s just the way Model As are supposed to look.

If you’re an old car person, you really should own a Model A Ford once in your life. If you’ve always overlooked them because they look slow and under-powered, guess again. If you’ve decided that you want more room, you’re missing the point. In reality, properly restored Model As like this 1930 Ford pickup are simply joyous to drive. There’s the perky, happy exhaust note, the strong low-end torque, and the agile steering, all of which make them a great deal of fun. It’s easy to see why Ford sold millions of them and why they endure almost a century later—they’re just plain fun. Your grandfather probably won’t tell you that he was having fun while using his for work, but he probably was and just didn’t know it because cars weren’t supposed to be fun back in 1930. But today, if you don’t smile while sitting behind the wheel of this bright red pickup truck, well, there’s something wrong with you because this is happiness on wheels.

This particular little truck has a great story behind it. It’s been owned by the same family for decades and that’s their family business printed on the sides of the wooden stake panels. It’s a lumber mill and those planks were indeed milled at their facility many years ago. The business is gone now, but the truck was treated to a full frame-off restoration in the 1990s. The restorer was a stickler for details and made sure that it was very correct, not a glamour restoration with chrome add-ons and whitewalls, but to return it to the way it looked while in service at the lumber mill. As a result, this bright red pickup has a blue collar look that we find immensely appealing, and it’s just the way Model As are supposed to look. The red paint is certainly better than Ford was applying in 1930, and given Henry’s particular disdain for bright colors it probably wasn’t a standard color choice, but with commercial vehicles you could have anything you wanted for your business. So bright red it is and it works just as well here as it did in later years. The finish is smooth and glossy and you’ll easily see that the body fits together extremely well. There are no sloppy gaps on the doors, the hood swings open and closed on well-oiled hinges, and even the tailgate snugs up and doesn’t rattle. Someone was definitely sweating the details here.

In 1930, Ford introduced what they called “rustless” steel, which is what we call stainless steel today. They used it for radiator shells, headlight buckets, and other places where other makers were using chrome, and it provided a durable, long-lasting shine. You might be forgiven for thinking that all 1930 Fords came with shiny radiator shells and headlights, because that’s how most are restored, but the black finishes shown on this truck are actually 100% correct. The industrial-looking radiator shell sports a bright blue Ford badge and a chrome radiator cap, but it has a purposeful look that really works. The headlight buckets are also original and it’s worth noting that they are mild steel, not painted stainless, meaning that they’re original and not repros. Running boards were plain steel, not rubber-coated as on passenger cars, and while it was optional, the shiny front bumper is indeed correct. A single sidemount was included on trucks, since it was the only logical place to put the spare and you only got one taillight, so that’s how this one was restored. The bed sides and tailgate were steel, but the floor was still wooden and yes, the factory simply painted them instead of giving them the usual stain and varnish treatment you usually see—that’s why this one has won all those awards you see on the radiator. The stake sides are removable if you don’t like them, but we think they add a finished look and the lettering is decals that can be removed and replaced with anything you’d like. And despite being commercial-grade, this little truck still manages to look handsome from any angle.

The interior pretty much defines the term “minimalist” but it’s quite well finished and comfortable. Black leatherette on a simple two-piece bench seat means it’s cozy for two passengers but not uncomfortable. Rubber mats on the floor are low-maintenance, and the standard controls should be familiar to anyone who has driven a Model A in the past. This is a late 1930 model, so experts will spot the round speedometer and later instrument panel, which again, is totally correct. All the gauges work, as do the lights and horn, with only the vacuum wiper being a little sluggish. The windshield tilts out for added ventilation, which you’ll surely appreciate since the gas tank fills the cowl, and the window and door cranks are lovely little castings that look more upscale than you’d expect. Yes, the driver’s crank broke the day the truck arrived when someone bumped it with their knee, but we’ve got a new one on order and it’ll be in the truck when it ships to a new owner.

Mechanically, there’s just nothing you can do to keep a Model A from running. They’re rugged, simple machines that are not only reliable but easy to work on, so this is a great place to start if you’re one of those people afraid of old cars and not knowing what to do. Thanks to full rebuild to factory specs, this one runs beautifully, starting almost instantly with a quick pull of the choke during cranking. If you watch the video, you’ll hear a lot of intake noise, which is due to the fact that this wonderful little motor idles at about 300 RPM, which is rather amazing all by itself. It also has that distinctive exhaust note that makes Model As so beloved and if you’re looking at their specs on paper, you’re not getting the real story. 40 horsepower seems modest, but these are incredibly torquey engines that will happily pull the lightweight pickup around in high gear for anything but a dead stop. It’ll run at 45-50 MPH all day and with a giant radiator up front, this one never seems to get fussy. It’s dressed in proper Ford Green engine enamel with a Zenith updraft carburetor and the familiar flat copper spark plug leads. It’s kind of remarkable that the bare exhaust manifold isn’t rusty and pitted, which suggests proper storage for the past 20 years, and there is none of the usual seepage between the head and block. The water pump is a modern sealed-bearing unit so you don’t have to grease it and it won’t drip and the original generator is still making plenty of electricity. The only notable modification is the fuse on the starter, but that’s just a good idea on any Model A. With a few small touch-ups, this pickup could be ready for the show field once again.

The transmission is a familiar 3-speed manual, but there are no synchros so you should brush up on your double-clutching. The clutch is quick and light so you’ll be shifting like a pro in no time and it’s easy to master. Brakes are still mechanical, and don’t let anyone tell you that you need a hydraulic brake “upgrade” for safety, because these brakes will practically put this little truck on its front bumper. The exhaust is new, the splash pans are still intact, and the finishes are exactly the way they would have been back in 1930. There are a few very, very minor signs of use but they could all be erased with a rag and some cleaner in an afternoon. Painted black wheels are the right choice and carry correct 4.75/5.00-19 Firestone blackwall tires for a commercial look.

This car has won just about every major award such a vehicle can win, including an AACA (Antique Automobile Club of America) National First Prize (Junior and Senior) as well as a Senior Grand National First Prize. Even more significant is the MARC (Model A Restorer’s Club) Master Restoration Award, which is one of the most prestigious awards a Model A can win. Other goodies include a custom carpet mat to protect the bed and a few books and spare parts.

This is a very well-finished Model A with great history and a fanatical attention to authenticity. If you’ve driven other Model As and found them sloppy and clumsy, that’s not how they’re supposed to be. Come try this Model A on for size instead and discover what a correct Model A should feel like. Besides, the world loves a bright red pickup and you’ll quickly find that everyone is your friend when you drive this handsome little Ford. Call today!

Vehicle: 1930 Ford Model A pickup
Price: SOLD
Stock Number: 114057
Mileage: 843
VIN: A3644836
Engine: 200 cubic inch inline-4
Transmission: 3-speed manual
Gear Ratio: 3.55
Wheelbase: 103.5 inches
Wheels: 19-inch wire wheels
Tires: 4.75-5.00-19 Firestone blackwall
Exterior Color: Red
Interior Color: Black leatherette
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