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Projects '31 Model A Coupe followed me home. Now What?!

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by BlownMerc, Jul 13, 2016.

  1. BlownMerc
    Joined: Mar 23, 2010
    Posts: 146

    from Jerome

    I have known of the particular coupe for ever since I can remember. It used to sit down the road from my parents house, I remember looking at the car out of the rear window of my parents Pinto until it slowly drifted out of sight. Some years ago it was finally put in a barn and I had not seen the car for probably 20 years. I had tried to buy the car several times, but got the same old line. "I am going to fix it up one day"... In a casual conversation a couple of months ago my Dad mentioned to the owner over breakfast that "my son would really like to have that car" A few days later, there I am staring at my dream buried under every type of junk you can imagine. A dollar amount was thrown out there, but the owner politely declined. Two weeks later my Dad ran into him again at breakfast and told him "Tell your son I will take his offer" I was completely floored!

    Cool part is, his dad bought it for him in 1953 when he was 16. They took out the motor for a rebuild and never got the car back together. Even better is they bought it from the original owners who happened to be their neighbors. So this car has been owned by 3 different owners (including me) living it's life on the same road. (I live 3 miles from the original owners house)

    My 11 year old daughter is super excited to help me work on it. I told her if she keeps her grades up and behaves, we will drive it from Michigan to California when she graduates.

    Sorry for the long winded story, but I am just amazed how it all unfolded.
    Moral of the story: DON'T GIVE UP!

    Now! Chop? Channel? '32 frame? I am open to suggestions!

    Attached Files:

  2. brady1929
    Joined: Sep 30, 2006
    Posts: 8,529


  3. dentisaurus
    Joined: Dec 11, 2006
    Posts: 388

    from Boston

    cool project. old school V8 upgrade?
  4. BlownMerc
    Joined: Mar 23, 2010
    Posts: 146

    from Jerome

    Jury is still out on what motor. Will definitely be a Ford though!

  5. Ric Dean
    Joined: Dec 20, 2007
    Posts: 477

    Ric Dean
    from Central NY

    Good going, sounds like it was meant to be, not long winded at all.
    A deuce frame is the way to go and there is a dedicated frame being made just for Model A Bodies.
  6. boutlaw
    Joined: Apr 30, 2010
    Posts: 1,230


    Very cool story, persistance pays off......Body looks to be in great shape....You appear to be 6 ft or so and these coupes are small. Im 5'10, and mine is chopped 4.5 inches, which is a bit much. Something to think about..Glad you're sticking with FoMoCo power......You got 6 years before graduation and the TRIP, so you better get after it.....Good Luck, great find....
    AHotRod likes this.
  7. RoadkillCustoms
    Joined: Jul 10, 2008
    Posts: 270

    from Mesa, AZ

    Three owner car! Great story. Now What? Everything!
  8. Ya.great story. Looks like a solid start. You have the trunk lid?
    Who cares what we think. Build your coupe your way. Fenders. No fenders. V8 or banger. ........
  9. Alger
    Joined: Oct 8, 2013
    Posts: 51

    from Sacto

    Cool story and great looking car for a project, looks like your daughter will be learning to weld. I hope my kids are as interested in my projects when they're that age. I'll be following this one.
    Ron Funkhouser likes this.
  10. mike bowling
    Joined: Jan 1, 2013
    Posts: 3,556

    mike bowling

    Very nice; your daughter's first car, a hot rod coupe!
    (that's what I'm thinkin' anyhow!)
  11. Dino 64
    Joined: Jul 13, 2012
    Posts: 1,956

    Dino 64
    from Virginia

    Lot's of options to make your's and you daughter. Take your time, plan it out. IMHO 32 rails with 3 to 3/12" chop. That's my plan.
  12. BlownMerc
    Joined: Mar 23, 2010
    Posts: 146

    from Jerome

    Any good suggestions for patch panels? The whole bottom of the car needs replaced.

    It is actually a rumble seat car, but the lid has a pretty big dent.
    Avgas likes this.
  13. Hot Rod 50
    Joined: Jul 30, 2007
    Posts: 498

    Hot Rod 50

    It's just me but I like an A bone high boy. The 32 rails are just to chunky for me but it really depends on the hight you want sit at. Super low with a more modern ford engine then a 32 is the way to go. Flathead or y block. A frame with dropped axle and T spring. 650 and 750 bias plys.

    Nice score. Persistence pays off.
  14. AHotRod
    Joined: Jul 27, 2001
    Posts: 11,275


    Great Job landing the car !

    Unless you want to have a sore neck and a backache, don't chop it. (based on driving mine for almost 30 years)

    Put a reliable drive train in it, design and build it to be driven long distances.
    You then will be happy with the end result and enjoy it with your family.

    You have been around here for 6 years, you must have a "Style" in mind.
  15. Cool, Welcome to the club. :)
  16. xpletiv
    Joined: Jul 9, 2008
    Posts: 938

    from chiburbs

    I usually hate it when someone just can't wait and needs to chop something, but how about 1 1/2 inches? Just a wee bit to look a little different, but not enough to drive you crazy on a long trip.
    rmcroadster likes this.
    Joined: Dec 27, 2009
    Posts: 1,236


  18. waxhead
    Joined: May 11, 2013
    Posts: 1,173

    from West Oz

    Cool story. I vote for no chop, or if you want to chop it, try to get a ride in a few chopped ones before you chop yours.
  19. 55zephyr
    Joined: Sep 5, 2013
    Posts: 113


    Nice story, good luck, enjoy building it.
  20. The best thing you can do with that POS coupe is trade it to the beaner for his rode hard and put wet '29 Sedan. :D

    Cool story. If you are smart you can keep the girl motivated by letting her help you with it if she keeps her grades up. I went all Tom Sawyer on my granddaughter and let her work on the willys only if she got good grades. She was a year behind her class and an F student. She graduated with her class, top 10 in a class of 250 (or so). :D

    OK its not about me, cool story. You could channel the width of the chassis and no chop just to be different. ;)

    No matter what happens you will always have quite a story to tell. :cool:
  21. Babar40
    Joined: Dec 4, 2009
    Posts: 314

    from Florida

    I agree with the Beaner. Quite a history to tell and quite an adventure about to unfold. Whatever you do to it, it will be the right thing to you. Congrats and get moving!
  22. A 2 B
    Joined: Dec 2, 2015
    Posts: 146

    A 2 B

    Cool story! It will be a great father/daughter project. It is a game of knowing what you want to achieve, what you want to spend and how long you are willing to wait in order to acquire the parts you need at a reasonable price. Watch the forums and classified ads as well as the local swap meets. Gathering/locating parts will be one aspect of the project where your daughter very well might out shine you. For me, parts sourcing has always been half the fun.
    Prioritize the individual projects once you have the master plan formulated in your mind. Chopping the top is something IMHO, that should be done later, rather than sooner and reversing the process is seldom done.
    My A Coupe is a Genesee County car. In Michigan, there still is an over abundance of parts, both original or repro/aftermarket which gives us lots of options. Good luck and have a blast with it!
  23. mike bowling
    Joined: Jan 1, 2013
    Posts: 3,556

    mike bowling

    You can get patch panels from any of the restorer catalogs ; all around the same price. BUT the stampings aren't "crisp" on the body lines , and they usually require a bit of tweaking to get everything matched up. The worst are the rear quarter panels in the back where they sit on the heavy rear subframe X member. Lots of ficky fick needed there.

    My approach is to get the doors hung, get the big and little beltline under the window opening to line through , then line the patch panel bottoms up. On a lot of these stampings, the feature lines will vary 1/8 to 3/16 of an inch.
    Time and patience ( and just tack things till it ALL looks good)

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jul 14, 2016
    kidcampbell71 likes this.
  24. wedjim
    Joined: Jan 1, 2014
    Posts: 420

    from Kissimmee

    Keep in mind that these things were fairly sloppy brand new. Anyplace In between riddler award and stock is ideal.
    treb11 and mike bowling like this.
  25. mike bowling
    Joined: Jan 1, 2013
    Posts: 3,556

    mike bowling

    ^^^ What he said- when they put these together, "fit and finish" wasn't a big factor ; Rolling them off the line was the main concern. They're great little cars though- I just bought another one to play with. ( coupe #4, all 30/31's)
  26. Great story! Cool little A bone. Like everyone said, do it your way. A chop should be one of the last things you do. But the first thing I did when I got my A, T, and 34 delivery home was to hack saw the top off. ha ha Ron...
  27. Dino 64
    Joined: Jul 13, 2012
    Posts: 1,956

    Dino 64
    from Virginia

    You gonna chop this one ?
  28. oldwood
    Joined: Mar 13, 2010
    Posts: 959

    from arkansas

    I bought this one last year and posted my story of a '31 that I couldn't afford. Great find and tell your daughter that life is short and grades are a BIG deal.

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    kidcampbell71 and wedjim like this.
  29. Russ Tee
    Joined: Sep 2, 2012
    Posts: 106

    Russ Tee
    from Florida

    Great story and it looks like a good start to a cool project.
  30. Bib Overalls
    Joined: Aug 3, 2001
    Posts: 4,071

    Bib Overalls

    If you decide to go with the 32 frame keep these guys in mind . They can build you a frame and adapt the body to it faster than you can think about it.

    For your trunk/rumble seat lid Brookville can fix you up. Rumbles are good on an unmodified stock frame but really don't work right with 32 frames or stockers with rear kickups.

    I have been working on my 31 coupe for years and have suffered burnout a couple of times. First time was body work and the second time was paint prep. I am back on track now and if I had to do it again I would have sent it out for the body work and frame adaption.

    I got my frame from Gary Maxwell at Blackboard Hotrods. A work of art.

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