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-   -   Has Anyone Ever Found an Abandoned Model "A" (https://www.fordbarn.com/forum/showthread.php?t=265536)

ericr 06-27-2019 08:23 AM

Has Anyone Ever Found an Abandoned Model "A"
 

sometimes the internet shows abandoned mining towns etc. in the West and it shows an abandoned 1920s vehicle, usually stripped somewhat.


has anyone ever chanced upon an abandoned Model "A" Ford in the SW desert or elsewhere?


where I live, there were always rumors of a Model "J" Duesenberg on blocks in an old garage but that was apparently apocryphal.

rotorwrench 06-27-2019 08:43 AM

Re: Has Anyone Ever Found an Abandoned Model "A"
 

When I was a kid, there were model A cast offs in ravines and trash dumps near the Arkansas River in western Kansas where I grew up. Along about the mid 60s to the early 70s, folks started snatching them up wherever they found them. One fellow that did a lot of the picking had around 20 frames with near 10 having bodies and running gear. He had an auction in the late 70s and netted around $10K which was a lot of money back then. None of the derelicts I remember being out there are out there anymore. One of them was a 29 Tudor Sedan that a fellow I know picked up and eventually restored. I still have the horn from that car that I picked back in the early 70s. I'm not near one of the older guys on this forum but I still remember a 1930 Tudor Sedan setting for sale in the mid 60s and it set there for years with a $250 price tag on it. Someone finally paid the price though. It was in drivable condition but needed paint. I'd have bought it but I was looking for a 29 Sport Coupe or Roadster.

I didn't see too many when I was working in the desert southwest and rocky mountains in the early 1980s. Mostly just the normal derelict 50s to 60s cars & trucks plus a lot of junk mining & construction equipment.

Purdy Swoft 06-27-2019 10:01 AM

Re: Has Anyone Ever Found an Abandoned Model "A"
 

I found an abandoned nineteen thirty coupe that was mostly a rusted hulk ,within sight of old hwy. five . I stopped at the closest house and asked questions An old guy wearing overalls came out and said that I could have it . I told him that I would have to cut a few small sweet gum trees to be able to move it . He said to go ahead . the car was just mostly a hull . I usually take anything model A that I can get . This was back in seventy nine .

ronn 06-27-2019 10:24 AM

Re: Has Anyone Ever Found an Abandoned Model "A"
 

where I live, there were always rumors of a Model "J" Duesenberg on blocks in an old garage but that was apparently apocryphal.



we had one in the next town over- yes a real Murphy roadster. up on blocks in a shack, where the hermit lived. that was around 1975 and I was just a kid. A fella from CT befriended the guy and bought it for 40k. the hermit had a little rancher built with the money and died within 10 yrs.
Hermit had about a dozen packards on the outside of the property, early to mid 30s up on blcks about 8 ft in the air. guess he was getting ready for the "great flood".

Jeff/Illinois 06-27-2019 10:50 AM

Re: Has Anyone Ever Found an Abandoned Model "A"
 

Farmer in a town near me had a '30 Tudor sitting in a corn crib for ever. You could see it from the road facing out.

Nice car it was all there and of course the SS still shined, had original paint. Interior had been taken over by mice and coons.

Crotchedy old guy he'd get real mad at people stopping to ask if the car was for sale. He eventually died and the car disappeared one nite soon afterwards. Nobody knows who got it. Had to be a thief.

Farm just east of his had a '23 or a '24 Model T Coupe sitting beside a creek bed. It was pretty far gone. This was in the early 70's.

rfitzpatrick 06-27-2019 10:55 AM

Re: Has Anyone Ever Found an Abandoned Model "A"
 

Ever hear of a place called Flat-Rock Alabama? Back in the '60's -- I found a field of
them when I visited a friend as we were on our way to join AirForce

mike657894 06-27-2019 11:17 AM

Re: Has Anyone Ever Found an Abandoned Model "A"
 

mine was was left in a garage untouched for 30 some years. a neighbor down the road from my dads has a tudor with no glass or roof or interior in a barn untouched for 30 years. and a friend of mine bought a place and there is a A with a 50 year old tree grown through it. more just a frame and rotted cowl.

30 Closed Cab PU 06-27-2019 11:44 AM

Re: Has Anyone Ever Found an Abandoned Model "A"
 

Quote:

Originally Posted by mike657894 (Post 1771990)
mine was was left in a garage untouched for 30 some years. a neighbor down the road from my dads has a tudor with no glass or roof or interior in a barn untouched for 30 years. and a friend of mine bought a place and there is a A with a 50 year old tree grown through it. more just a frame and rotted cowl.



Would be cool if you could post a picture of it.

Joe K 06-27-2019 12:13 PM

Re: Has Anyone Ever Found an Abandoned Model "A"
 

I took out an 1929 AA truck (The Waltons type) from within a collapsed shed. The former owner was going to "do something with it someday" - but the roof had rotted on the shed, water poured down on the AA and rotted that fabric roof too, and the water continued to rain down on the 4 speed transmission - which had the top conveniently left off for inspection (possibly to check on the progress of rusting to a hulk?)

I brought a chain saw and we sawed the truck clear of the building and a tilt-bed picked it up whole and brought it to my house.

Tires were rotted and literally fell off the rims during the pick-up. I remember having fear that the cab portion of the truck would "blow away" in the air blast on top of the wrecker since I knew from my own previous experience with square cabs that they are wont to rot out at the bottom and probably there was not much left holding it in place.

The truck itself was reasonably sound. Problem is, I already had a similar 1930 truck as a frame with a motor with 26K original miles on it. The 1929 one had been subject to hard use during its life, and it showed a bit.

The frame had been "strengthened" at the cantilever point with 1/2" steel plates. Whoever did it did it right and included the cantilever footings in the bolting - and additional bolts perhaps 18" either side of the cantilever attaching the sister plates. It was a credible repair - almost an "upgrade" in its depth and execution.

The truck actually had the high speed rear end (a desirable for the Borg-Warner differential) and had "later" brake drums of cast iron (again desirable) - it was a truck of some use and and a previous owner of some interest had been keeping it in repair - at least until its shed interlude.

But sad it was. I decided to scrap it in parts. Certain components of the body were kept, the doors were kept, the gas tank (the later tank with the 1930ish gas fill) and all the mechanical components were kept. The frame went away.

Meanwhile, I was attempting to get back to that 1930ish low miles chassis and do a "reversion" of sorts and put a square cab on it. But - the job changed - my ability to live, much less recreate at home became challenged. You know your lifestyle has changed when you're at home and your time there becomes too valuable to use it on yourself.

So the 1930ish low mile chassis was sold to a buyer in Texas - and the 1929ish Truck wreck parts that were of value went with the Texas buyer. He bought a nice "package" with all the bells and whistles to make himself a very fine truck.

I effectively "bowed out" of "heavy iron."
Discretion is the better part of valor.

Joe K

Hoovercw 06-27-2019 02:40 PM

Re: Has Anyone Ever Found an Abandoned Model "A"
 

I had some property being mined a few years back. I was talking to the foreman on the phone and he said they found four model A cars when they drained a lake. I was halfway out the door to race down there when he followed up that statement with, " We went ahead and buried them in the pit a couple months ago.". I was crushed. They were crushed. He was clueless.

Fullraceflathead 06-27-2019 06:17 PM

Re: Has Anyone Ever Found an Abandoned Model "A"
 

My 1928 Model A Roadster Pickup was found abandon out in the Mojave Desert according to the previous Owner in the late '50's.
It was found in a very deep ravine. It had slid down and the rear axle was broken. It took a large Tow Truck with a Winch to pull it up the steep hillside.
I think it was being used to haul ore from mining out in the Mojave Desert as I removed a lot of sharp rock pieces out of the bed pockets.
The rear axle was replaced and I can see that one side of the rear frame rail has been welded. The front crossmember has a lot of bracing welded on it and weld beads that most likely were once cracks. I bought it 5 years ago from the previous owners son. His father died in the late '70's so we cannot ask any details.
I wish these Cars and Trucks could talk!
There has to be some Great Stories about their History!!!

Synchro909 06-27-2019 07:28 PM

Re: Has Anyone Ever Found an Abandoned Model "A"
 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Hoovercw (Post 1772032)
I had some property being mined a few years back. I was talking to the foreman on the phone and he said they found four model A cars when they drained a lake. I was halfway out the door to race down there when he followed up that statement with, " We went ahead and buried them in the pit a couple months ago.". I was crushed. They were crushed. He was clueless.

Fun thread!
I sometimes wonder how many things we consider to be of value were destroyed when they were just another "that od thing". Then there are things destroyed through ignorance. The latter, as disappointing as it is, is a aprt of life.:mad::(
Back to the thread! I have a firend who travells through the mid west of your country often and has a knack for finding just the right barn. He has several Model As he has bought from farmers, repaired (not restored) and drives. IMO, he is at the very opposite end of the scale from the likes of that foreman.

Joe K 06-27-2019 09:37 PM

Re: Has Anyone Ever Found an Abandoned Model "A"
 

When I bought my property here in Cow Hampshire, the land was undeveloped, but had been a farm until about 1929 when the house on the corner two lots up had burned.

The house fire was notable and was written up in the Portsmouth, NH paper. It was described as a "mutual assist" fire with fire companies from all the surrounding towns working to save the house across the street, and what outbuildings they could.

The land went derelict some time after WWII. Owned but not cared for. The farm buildings collapsed and were carted away.

By the time of my arrival in the early 1980s, the foundation hole was all that remained of the farmhouse on the corner. In this was a "water system" based on a one-lunger engine. My friend and I laboriously removed the engine when I heard the property was for sale and inquired to its removal at the listing broker (she was glad for anything removed which might increase the odds of a sale.)

Adjacent to this house and on the lot closer to mine was the fallen boards of a shed which contained the remains of a Model T. The engine was gone, the dashboard was there, seat springs, and a couple of fenders. The wheels had rotted out although one could see the metal rims laying on their side with a hub more or less in the center of each like a target which hit its mark.

The gentleman who built my house went on to buy the property next door and one of his first tasks was the removal of his front yard "eyesore." There wasn't much left. He asked me if I wanted it knowing I had a Model A.

"I'll pass," I said.

Joe K

Tudortomnz 06-28-2019 12:04 AM

Re: Has Anyone Ever Found an Abandoned Model "A"
 

When I was young in the early '70's, went out in my A to a beach [ Spencer Park, Nth of CHCH, NZ] with some friends & we found in the dunes an abandoned early '28 Tudor, missing most mechanical bits & it had been burned out. We managed to pry some rare bits off it, from memory the rear lamp assembly & fan shroud but everything was very rusted. It would be worth hauling home nowadays. Cheers- Tom in NZ.

barrelnose 06-28-2019 12:34 AM

Re: Has Anyone Ever Found an Abandoned Model "A"
 

Here out in the wheat belt there’s still a bit of A stuff lying in farm tips and out around the fence lines. Drying up like everywhere now though.
Up until only a 10 or 20yrs ago guys would walk all over the A gear to get the later 32+ stuff,how times have changed.
Spencer’s Park brings back many fond memories as a young fella growing up in Chch

chap52 06-28-2019 07:35 AM

Re: Has Anyone Ever Found an Abandoned Model "A"
 

Found one at an old mine site in the Mojave Desert in about 1969. It was already shot full of holes. It was next to a pile of thrash that had several "Log Cabin" syrup cans in it. They too had been used for target practice. Chap

BILL WILLIAMSON 06-28-2019 07:42 AM

Re: Has Anyone Ever Found an Abandoned Model "A"
 

Most were just JUNK, the bodies were shaped by LARGE RUST FLAKES!!!
Bill Illusion

katy 06-28-2019 09:18 AM

Re: Has Anyone Ever Found an Abandoned Model "A"
 

Back in the mid '60s I bought an old farm property, to use for a hunting cabin, it was a 1/4 section w/a small house, a small detached garage and a collapsing log barn and a servicable dug well w/stone cribbing. On the property was about 8 or 10 old cars, mostly '40s and '50s, but there was a nice complete '28 or '29 A coupe. The property had been unused for years, a year or so later I went out there one summer for a visit and all the old cars were gone. Shoulda taken the A home or put it in the garage and locked it but back then I never suspected something like that would happen.
Live and learn.

Dave in MN 06-28-2019 09:39 AM

Re: Has Anyone Ever Found an Abandoned Model "A"
 

The gent I purchased my Phaeton from lived in Las Vegas and made a yearly trek to the Antique Nationals held in Fontana, CA. Right at the border between Nevada and California, he noticed what appeared to be an abandoned car some distance off the road. It was too far to tell what it was but it made an impression on him.

The following year, he took a pair of binoculars with him and stood on his bumper to get high enough to study it. He could tell it was worth investigating so he hiked to the car and discovered it was in very good shape considering the years it had been abandoned. The only rust-out was in the door skin of the left rear door and left front fender where it had received some accident damage.

The next year, while again going to the Antique Nationals, he towed a trailer and drove off the road right up to the Phaeton. He used a "come-along" to pull the car on the trailer. He did not ask any questions...he just loaded it and went on his way. He said he was not sure if the car was resting in Nevada or California but did mention that it was resting on "Federal Land".

When I purchased the car, it had a clear Nevada title as after hearing the story I checked before making the final payment and loading it on my trailer. I often wonder... Is the Phaeton, shown in my avatar to the left, a stolen car?

Oldbluoval 06-28-2019 10:16 AM

Re: Has Anyone Ever Found an Abandoned Model "A"
 

50 years ago was a long time ago....
But finding hulks (and full cars) in the South was common. Unfortunately, southern cars were affected by humidity and hardwood acid from leaves and trees. I've found cars and checked back ever few years and ......still not for sale. I watched one Tudor sedan melt into the earth. Wish I had time-lapse photos; would have been sad.

Watched a 30 Roadster along with a 32 Chevy Master coupe. The lean-to eventually collapsed on them....

I also remember a 33 3 window coupe behind a house on blocks that I couldn't buy. Watched it for 20 years and then one day gone.....hopefully not to a crusher. It was complete but not sure of original engine, etc. But all original interior (a bit ratty)
was there and garnishes! Funny thing is the house is still there and I look every time I go by like it is going to re-appear!!

But that was then and now is now. In those days, the cars were only 30 ish years old!! And I was 20 ish! Yep, that was then and now is now.


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