1931 Ford 255-A Special Delivery - $44,900
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Make no mistake, this is a real 255-A with documentation stretching back to 1932 where it is identified on registration documents as “sedan delivery.”

I’ve been playing with Model A Fords for 45 years, ever since my father bought a 1930 Model A roadster in 1974, and even I have to admit that my first thought was that this 1931 Ford Model 255-A “Special Delivery” was the figment of some talented restorer’s imagination. But then I did some research and realized that it’s not only legitimate, but it’s also one of the rarest of all Model As with either 680 or 904 being built, depending on who you ask. In the Model A world, that’s pretty darned rare. It was also expensive at $695 dollars when you could buy a steel-bodied panel delivery for about $400. It is similar, but offers several significant differences from the standard woody wagon, most notably two doors with wind-up windows and a pair of barn-style doors in back. If you’re a serious Model A fan, perhaps you recognize it and if not, you’ve just received the same education I did when I first saw this lovely little truck.

Featuring an extensive (and expensive) restoration that includes a completely reconstructed wooden body exactingly reproduced by a professional pattern-maker who was building the truck for himself. And make no mistake, this is a real 255-A with documentation stretching back to 1932 where it is identified on registration documents as “sedan delivery.” And yes, the engine numbers match. Nice, right?

At any rate, it’s just gorgeous. I don’t know what this kind of workmanship costs, but the quality suggests this is a six-figure restoration and it’s certainly a worthy vehicle. According to sources, all the Special Deliveries were Manila Brown like this one, and it’s a good choice. A soft complement to the wood while still looking elegant with the contrasting black fenders. They all had a single sidemount, which was customary on commercial vehicles, but it makes the Special Delivery look dressy, particularly with the whitewall tires. Finish quality is exemplary, with the fine-grained Maple and Birch wood showing exceptionally tight joints and correct patterns. You’ll note the 255-A was a little taller than the standard station wagon and features roll-up front windows, the hardware for which is virtually unobtainium today. The grille shell is the standard 1931 Ford stainless steel piece with painted inserts that match the bodywork, although to be 100% authentic, the lower one should be black. However, it’s also worth noting that that’s just about the only fault we can find on the entire car. The front bumper is brightly polished, the stainless headlight buckets are indicative of the 255-A’s position as an upscale vehicle, and there’s a single taillight hanging underneath the bodywork in back. All the original reinforcing brackets for the bodywork are intact—again, virtually impossible to find or replicate—and even the neat little rubber corner pads are in place, designed to keep the doors from damaging the wooden bodywork. This is a fascinating little truck.

The interior is plain and spartan, as you’d expect, but it’s also beautifully finished. Black long-grain vinyl, which Ford called “leatherette,” is the upholstery of choice and there are two wide seats that combine into a single bench. The controls are standard Model A, from the big hard rubber steering wheel to the little round accelerator pedal to the center-mounted instruments. Everything inside the car is new or freshly restored and the 62 miles showing on the odometer are since the restoration was finished, so it remains very crisp. There’s a dome light with a little switch above the windshield and the ceiling is simply beautiful. The cargo bay is almost too nice to carry anything rougher than pillows with durable oak planks and neat metal fenderwells. Twin doors open outwards, unlike the wagon with its traditional tailgate, and with individual windows and unique latch hardware it’s more proof that this 255-A is 100% legit.

Mechanically the Special Delivery is identical to every other Model A on the road, and that’s certainly a good thing. Better still, this is the car’s original engine and carries the same serial number showing on that 1932 Albany, NY registration. The indestructible 200.5 cubic inch inline-4 was fully rebuilt and runs superbly, and it would be a mistake to judge it by its specs. It makes 40 horsepower, but that doesn’t tell the story—it’s all about torque and it makes Model As a joy to drive on the road. Quick, nimble, almost eager, it’s why these cars have been favorites for, well, almost a century. It’s quite correctly detailed, with olive green paint on the block, a Zenith updraft carburetor, and proper flat copper leads for the spark plugs. The water pump features a leakless bearing and stainless shaft, a smart upgrade that doesn’t hurt authenticity, and the 2-blade fan is correct for a 255-A. The only other notable deviation from stock spec is a fuse on top of the starter, but that’s just smart. Note the red coolant hoses, the proper hose clamps, and fresh wiring throughout. It starts easily with just a single pull on the choke and settles into an easy idle without any real fussing with the mixture or the spark. And it sounds great!

The only transmission available in any Model A is a 3-speed manual without synchromesh, so you’ll need to brush up on your double-clutching. Out back, the 255-A has 3.55 gears, so it zips along at 45-50 MPH without seeming to work too hard. Brakes are mechanical, so be aware of your surroundings, and the suspension is rugged but rides well enough to be comfortable around town. The chassis is as well detailed as the rest of the truck, showcasing correct hardware and finishes and aside from a little corrosion on the battery box, it’s in pretty much new condition. Even the exhaust system is the right one, with the single tailpipe aimed down just behind the rear axle to prevent damage to the wooden bodywork. Correct 19-inch welded steel wire wheels are refinished in black, which was the only choice, and carry 4.75-19 Goodyear whitewall tires.

This Model A is a fantastic combination of rarity, authenticity, and quality, and the price reflects all of those things. On the other hand, it’s also a bit of a bargain for one of the rarest of all Model As with a show-quality restoration. Take a closer look, then give us a call.

Vehicle: 1931 Ford 255-A Special Delivery
Price: $44,900
Stock Number: 115151
Mileage: 00062 (since restoration)
VIN: A3915954
Engine: 200 cubic inch inline-4
Transmission: 3-speed manual
Gear Ratio: 3.55
Wheelbase: 103.5 inches
Wheels: 19-inch wire wheels
Tires: 4.75-19 Goodyear whitewall
Exterior Color: Manila Brown
Interior Color: Black vinyl
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