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Projects '29 Model A Roadster - First Hot Rod

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by ZerroHalfcup, Feb 6, 2024.

  1. ZerroHalfcup
    Joined: Dec 6, 2022
    Posts: 63

    ZerroHalfcup
    Member

    I have to preface this by saying I've owned this car for just over 2 years as of late January '24, but I decided that I'd share the build on here. To start, this car is my introduction to traditional hot rods. I had heard of TROG and I knew what a 32 ford was from random street rods, but finding this car made me start a deep dive into what was actually being built in the 40s and 50s.

    At the time, I was looking for a 68-72 Pontiac Lemans or GTO because I grew up around muscle cars. My dad actually found the ad to this car and sent it to me. I sent the owner a message and 3 hours later I was loading the car onto a borrowed trailer. I knew absolutely nothing about it, but I knew something about it was special and I had to have it if someone didn't beat me to it.

    This is the picture from the FB marketplace ad that made me fall in love with it.

    Screenshot_20240206_114716_Facebook.jpg

    The other pictures from the ad are also here. Overall, it was a fairly solid car. It still needed attention but it was a good start.

    Screenshot_20240206_114722_Facebook.jpg Screenshot_20240206_114728_Facebook.jpg Screenshot_20240206_114737_Facebook.jpg Screenshot_20240206_114743_Facebook.jpg Screenshot_20240206_114748_Facebook.jpg Screenshot_20240206_114759_Facebook.jpg
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2024
    Tim, Latigo, chryslerfan55 and 18 others like this.
  2. ZerroHalfcup
    Joined: Dec 6, 2022
    Posts: 63

    ZerroHalfcup
    Member

    The next day I started to really look the car over in more detail and research what I had. I had absolutely no knowledge of what a Model A was in relation to a Model T, or that a Model B was specific to the 4 cylinder variant.

    FB_IMG_1643387333780.jpg

    The unknown of all of that I think is what started to also draw me in. I wanted to know everything I could about what this would have looked like stock, how they would have been driven and what would have been done if some kid got their hands on it in 1950 and wanted a hot rod. Being 26 at the time of buying this, I was really fired up about the idea of still being some 20 something year old in a roadster that looked like it came right out of 1950.

    That led to me buying a later banjo rear out of a field in TN that was used as a trailer axle. The plan was to either rebuild it or just use the juice brakes. Neither of those have happened yet because FB marketplace is a terrible blackhole of temptation, but more to come.

    20220206_153624.jpg

    FB_IMG_1643387339095.jpg
     
    Tim, chryslerfan55, Okie Pete and 7 others like this.
  3. dln1949
    Joined: Nov 30, 2012
    Posts: 147

    dln1949
    Member

    Well congratulations on your lack of impulse control, looks like a great start on a new career. Your on the right page for building an old style hot rod out of old car parts, look at the pics, read the comments and be prepared to get commended and scolded as your project proceeds. Oh by the way, it’s a 28 roadster, not a 29. Get dirty and have fun!
     
    Cooon, oliver westlund and Speccie like this.
  4. ZerroHalfcup
    Joined: Dec 6, 2022
    Posts: 63

    ZerroHalfcup
    Member

    Thanks, I've always enjoyed my knack for bad ideas and worst decisions. What do you notice as a giveaway that it would be a 28 instead of 29? I assumed it was 29 since that's how it was titled, and the engine block, frame and gas tank all indicate an early 1929 assembly date. It doesn't mean parts or the body could have been swapped around throughout it's life, but curious of what caught your eye.
     
    chryslerfan55 likes this.

  5. dln1949
    Joined: Nov 30, 2012
    Posts: 147

    dln1949
    Member

    It has always been my understanding the body mounted tail light was 28, but our boy Henry ( Ford) was frugal so parts overlapped. Let’s call it late 28, early 29. Engine # and frame # match? If so must have been very low mileage car or been sitting for many, many years.
     
    chryslerfan55, winduptoy and Outback like this.
  6. Outback
    Joined: Mar 4, 2005
    Posts: 2,405

    Outback
    Member
    from NE Vic

    A great start, many of us who are familiar with A's would love to start with a car as good as that one!
    Check out the 'Monthly Banger Meet's on here lots of great info!
     
    ZerroHalfcup and winduptoy like this.
  7. Jeff34
    Joined: Jun 2, 2015
    Posts: 910

    Jeff34
    Member

    Congrats! Looks like a good start!
     
    ZerroHalfcup likes this.
  8. brady1929
    Joined: Sep 30, 2006
    Posts: 9,267

    brady1929
    Member

    Congrats.
     
    ZerroHalfcup likes this.
  9. 05snopro440
    Joined: Mar 15, 2011
    Posts: 1,575

    05snopro440
    Member

    28's also didn't have the outside door handles.

    Let's face it, it doesn't matter. It's titled as a 29 and has outside door handles, that's good enough for me.
     
  10. 05snopro440
    Joined: Mar 15, 2011
    Posts: 1,575

    05snopro440
    Member

    Congrats! Interested to see your build progress! I'm starting on a 28 Model A Roadster Pickup.
     
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  11. ZerroHalfcup
    Joined: Dec 6, 2022
    Posts: 63

    ZerroHalfcup
    Member

    I'll get some pictures and double check everything. From memory, I believe they all matched and I believe they were early 29 so I wouldn't be surprised if there was some leftovers used. Thanks for the callout on the light though, I never would have noticed that.
     
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  12. ZerroHalfcup
    Joined: Dec 6, 2022
    Posts: 63

    ZerroHalfcup
    Member

    I definitely will. From what I've seen so far, those are a great wealthy of knowledge.
     
    Outback likes this.
  13. ZerroHalfcup
    Joined: Dec 6, 2022
    Posts: 63

    ZerroHalfcup
    Member

    Thanks, I'm eager to see how your AV8 build comes along.
     
    Jeff34 likes this.
  14. cederholm
    Joined: May 6, 2006
    Posts: 1,748

    cederholm
    Member

    Very cool! ...I'm well into a '29 AV8 build myself. I look forward to your progress.
     
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  15. Martinbuilt
    Joined: Mar 23, 2023
    Posts: 51

    Martinbuilt

    Great car to start with. Looks really solid, everyone loves roadsters.
     
    ZerroHalfcup likes this.
  16. Rickybop
    Joined: May 23, 2008
    Posts: 9,640

    Rickybop
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Congratulations. Great project.
    Makes me smile to hear you talk about doing the necessary research and schooling yourself.
    Enjoyable subject, no?
    I always found it much more interesting than geography LOL
     
  17. alanp561
    Joined: Oct 1, 2017
    Posts: 4,634

    alanp561
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Nice find. Some days, you just get lucky:). Glad you took the jump.
     
    ZerroHalfcup likes this.
  18. ZerroHalfcup
    Joined: Dec 6, 2022
    Posts: 63

    ZerroHalfcup
    Member

    Thanks to everyone for the warm welcomes. I did some digging and while I can't definitively confirm on the frame, I'm assuming it's very likely that everything is all original. Based on the ford garage website, it's an early '29 car.

    I'm sure it may upset some restorer that it isn't all going back to original but that ship sailed 20 years ago from what I was told. The story I was told from the family I bought it from is their grandad bought it when he came home from WWII. It was eventually given to his daughter where she drove it around west/middle Tennessee and tried jumping dirt mounds in it. It was eventually parked and sat for 20 years until that ladies daughter got it and decided it was better for someone else to take care of it.

    20240208_153248.jpg

    20240208_153507.jpg

    20240208_160912.jpg
     
  19. ZerroHalfcup
    Joined: Dec 6, 2022
    Posts: 63

    ZerroHalfcup
    Member

    I did also get some wood blocks to mount the body and start figuring out where that should be before it all gets blown apart.

    20220211_222828.jpg

    20220305_110617.jpg
     
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  20. Jeff34
    Joined: Jun 2, 2015
    Posts: 910

    Jeff34
    Member

    Hey @ZerroHalfcup, can you share more about exactly where you found the serial number and date on the frame? Thanks!
     
  21. Great looking roadster, it appears to have remnants of the original T & G "Plank" style wood floor up front as opposed to plywood, neat...

    View attachment 5966564
     
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  22. ZerroHalfcup
    Joined: Dec 6, 2022
    Posts: 63

    ZerroHalfcup
    Member

    For sure, mine was on top of the driver side frame rail, immediately after the two front bolt holes to mount the body. In the previous picture, the bracket that makes an L away from the frame is this rounded eyelet on the side of the frame below. The arrow is pointing to the area on top of the frame that it was stamped. You can see the inside of the engine mount in the previous picture as well. I hope this helps.

    20220305_110617_2.jpg
     
  23. ZerroHalfcup
    Joined: Dec 6, 2022
    Posts: 63

    ZerroHalfcup
    Member

    Thank you, I think it would be cool to have more of the floor left but this is all that remained. It has now become a wall hanger in the shop, but I still think it's a neat piece.

    20220207_193105.jpg
     
  24. continentaljohn
    Joined: Jul 24, 2002
    Posts: 5,532

    continentaljohn
    Member

    Congratulations looks like a great hotrod project
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2024
    winduptoy and ZerroHalfcup like this.
  25. panhead_pete
    Joined: Feb 22, 2006
    Posts: 3,487

    panhead_pete
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Apologies if its been mentioned prior but if not get the title or what ever you need sorted out in your name as a key priority.
     
  26. ZerroHalfcup
    Joined: Dec 6, 2022
    Posts: 63

    ZerroHalfcup
    Member

    No worries, I already have the title back and in my name. Thankfully in Tennessee it's a pretty easy process.
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2024
    Okie Pete, winduptoy and Tim like this.
  27. Rob28
    Joined: Oct 25, 2014
    Posts: 229

    Rob28
    Member
    from Calgary AB

    Looks like a good solid start to your project. Like others have said the outside door handles tell me it’s a 29. I did a 28 on pinched 32 rails. Nothing beats driving a roadster on a nice day
     
  28. ZerroHalfcup
    Joined: Dec 6, 2022
    Posts: 63

    ZerroHalfcup
    Member

    I started to go through the engine to see if I could just do a quick cleaning, re-gasket and re-assemble. After pulling the rods and finding the babbitt like this, I decided it probably needs a lot more than a good cleaning if my goal for this engine was longevity.

    20221016_171854.jpg

    20221016_171910.jpg


    While scrolling through marketplace for a solution, the best case scenario happened. Only 4 hours away was a running and driving "model a". A friend of mine is building a 30 PU so he bought the firewall from me, and another friend is building a 32 PU so he bought the bed. It was a win for all of us since that left me with a ready to go frame to drop my body on.

    20221105_131806.jpg
     
    Tim, chryslerfan55, Okie Pete and 9 others like this.
  29. hfh
    Joined: Oct 22, 2012
    Posts: 477

    hfh
    Member
    from Western MA

    You’re off to a great start! Enjoy the process.
     
    winduptoy and ZerroHalfcup like this.
  30. ZerroHalfcup
    Joined: Dec 6, 2022
    Posts: 63

    ZerroHalfcup
    Member

    I think that I'm a patient person until the potential of driving my new to me roadster is within arms reach and patience and reason goes right out the window.

    20221113_160624.jpg

    I got the body swapped over thanks to help from my dad and it is really starting to look like a proper car now. Better pictures are to come. During this process, I noticed a crack on the front crossmember of the original frame and decided to yank the engine and front axle. This front cross member was smoked.

    20231229_195326.jpg

    I did a double check over every corner of my new frame and it checks out good. This made me feel even better about getting the new frame and drivetrain.
     

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