On the Hunt for a Model A

On the Hunt for a Model A

I’m checking out an old car tomorrow. It’s a 1930 Ford Model A roadster, and it’s not too far from home. The weather forecast is calling for sun and, to be quite honest, I’m pretty excited about the whole thing. I’ve never seriously looked at a hot rod project. Sure, I’ve worked my way through more than a dozen vintage motorcycles and been around countless cars for writing and photography assignments, but this is completely different. I feel like I’m out of my element. In a way, that’s good. It means this is an opportunity to learn something.

Longtime readers will know that I’ve been researching these old cars for most of my life and saving for a Model A for just about half of it. From what I’ve collected from those who have hot rods, there’s no perfect time to buy one—it’s all about having a vision, finding one you like and just going for it. As I’m sure you all know, that’s way easier said than done.

Scanning through classifieds of any sort can be pretty disheartening. Prices are painfully high, and it becomes immediately clear why so many younger people can’t get involved. It’s just not realistic. I spend way too much time looking at threads about the prices of cars dropping, yet when I check the classifieds there are no deals to be had. Day after day after day. That’s okay, because I’m always searching, whether it’s online or at garage sales/estate sales/in old garages/on two-lane country roads.

While planning my trip down south to see the roadster, I realized that I needed guidance. So, naturally, I turned to the H.A.M.B. for help. In the past few days, so many members offered excellent pointers on what to do when the car is right in front of me. They told me where to look, what to look for and how go about the whole situation. I’m thankful to have you guys—I really am. You can see the thread here.

Whatever the outcome, I know I’m going to look back at this post one day and say, “Wow, what was I thinking?” I’m guessing just about all of you have been in my shoes before. It could be something big. It could be nothing. This hobby is all about fun, but it’s easy to get nervous about this type of thing. My guess is because there’s large sums of money involved. The bottom line is that I don’t want to get ripped off and feel like a fool.

Then I take a step back and breathe. This is about fun. If I drive down there and the car is good, I buy it. If it’s not, I at least got to see and ride in a very cool early Ford. How about that?

Have any advice? Good car buying stories? Bad car buying stories? Tips, tricks or leads on Model A roadsters? Let’s hear them, because we’re just getting started.

Joey Ukrop

Lead image from Mac’s Motor City Garage. It’s not actually the car, although it’s along the lines of what I want to build…

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