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Old 12-06-2010, 09:43 AM   #1
wrndln
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Default Model A horns

I have wondered about this for some time. It seems like Sparton horns typically sell for much more than Stewart Warner, Ames or the other type horns. It seems that the average selling price on Ebay for Sparton horns is in the $265 range. The other brands of horns typically sell for $150 to $165. Are Sparton horns really that much better than the other brands Ford used - i.e a sound better? I have never had a Sparton horn, so I don't know much about them. Just curious.
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Old 12-06-2010, 09:58 AM   #2
TomW
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Default Re: Model A horns

My EA Labs horn seems to have a nice rich tone - just like other originals I've heard. Some of the repros sound a bit tinny to me.
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Old 12-06-2010, 10:03 AM   #3
Tom Wesenberg
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Default Re: Model A horns

I think the SPARTON tag adds to the looks and value some, but I can't say that one horn is that much better or better sounding than the other.

My 29 Tudor had one of those 6 volt chrome "Made in Japan" horns when I bought the car. It actually had an excellent sound, and I was able to sell it on ebay and get enough for it to buy a real Model A horn.
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Old 12-06-2010, 10:16 AM   #4
Steve Ciccalone
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Default Re: Model A horns

The fine point guys who really know would rather eat dirt than use a Sparton on a show car. No matter how good the tag is, it never seems to satisfy the judges. They killed the original Sparton horn tag on my unrestored coupe at French Lick that had been on that car since 5/30. Same with Ames horns on the very early cars. There is a tag on the bell that can't be restored and will lose points. I plan to use early EAs on my 11/27 and 12/27 cars. IMO don't waste your money. A nice working Stewart Warner is just as good.
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Old 12-06-2010, 12:07 PM   #5
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Default Re: Model A horns

Steve is right go with any horn other than a sparton if you are going into fine point judging. The judges did not like the tag on my original A, it is an original horn with the original tag just like Steve's.
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Old 12-06-2010, 05:47 PM   #6
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Default Re: Model A horns

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I was at A&L last week and couldn't believe the # of parts and manufacturing steps that go into making a horn. There must have been 500+ horns in various steps of manufacture. I was like a kid in a candy store. Great people.
Paul in CT
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Old 12-06-2010, 06:01 PM   #7
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Default Re: Model A horns

On my 8/22/28 I have a E.A. with no problems..On my 3/18/29 I have a G.I.M. It, I think sounds just a little better.. But @ a show this fall (judging) called it a re-pro..They are kind of hard to find...
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Old 12-07-2010, 12:22 AM   #8
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Default Re: Model A horns

i like the4 stewart warner sound my self
the Ames can get you in trouble as the stamp is not deep,and if the judging is indoors they wont see it
we lost points on an original Ames that was stamped twice on the horn and once on the bracket,they said it was a repro,and it only had one coat of thin black paint on it,indoors they couldnt see the trademark
Gims also may loose points because the stamp can be anywhere on the motor section,and if they dont see it at the six o clock positon they give up and call it a repro
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Old 12-07-2010, 09:41 AM   #9
Ray in La Mesa
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Default Re: Model A horns

Not a show car guy but I love the sound of the Stewar Warner best, you just have to remember that the armature nut holding the vibrator on is LEFT HAND threads.
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Old 12-07-2010, 10:21 AM   #10
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Default Re: Model A horns

Quote:
Originally Posted by mot View Post
i like the4 stewart warner sound my self
the Ames can get you in trouble as the stamp is not deep,and if the judging is indoors they wont see it
we lost points on an original Ames that was stamped twice on the horn and once on the bracket,they said it was a repro,and it only had one coat of thin black paint on it,indoors they couldnt see the trademark
Gims also may loose points because the stamp can be anywhere on the motor section,and if they dont see it at the six o clock positon they give up and call it a repro

You beat me to the punch mot!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I wonder who that was!

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Old 12-07-2010, 12:48 PM   #11
Keith True
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Default Re: Model A horns

I think a lot of horns bring big money just because they say Sparton.A lot of people think that Sparton was THE horn for an A.I bought two horns cheap because they were not Spartons.The seller did try to be nice,he said,you do realize that these are not A horns right?I said no,what's different? He said they are not Spartons and that is all that were used on the A.I told him others were used,but he said,that's OK,if they are not Sparton people offer me half.
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Old 12-07-2010, 07:03 PM   #12
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Default Re: Model A horns

Dumb question
If Sparton's were on the original A's, how come Judges take off points for it?

Wouldn't that drive the price for Sparton's down?
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Old 12-07-2010, 08:16 PM   #13
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Default Re: Model A horns

Sparton horns are the greatest ever! Regards from a biased member of the MARC Sparton Horn Chapter Jackson, MI
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Old 12-08-2010, 09:19 PM   #14
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Default Re: Model A horns

I used Stewart on my 180a for fine point judging. And yet i have a mint Sparton horn w/ correct tag but that will go on my driver. I'll put a repro tag with the correct date for my driver which is 5 month earlier. :>)
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Old 12-09-2010, 05:23 PM   #15
John Butts in CT
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Default Re: Model A horns

I'm partial to the sound(s) of the EA Labs horn that's been on my Tudor since new.
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Old 03-14-2011, 10:45 AM   #16
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Thumbs up Re: Model A horns

I have restored horns for resale for many years and I have restored all of the five manufacturers of horns. Spartons because of their hype and label seem to be the best seller, but personally I much prefer the Stewart/Warner(S/W) for several reasons and they are as follows, the S/W's I purchase or receive for restoration always seem to have really decent looking motors(a few exceptions though) due to the one piece cap that fits tight and eliminates a lot of environmental damage to the motor, the motor retaining band is much wider and supports the motor quite well, the oiler caps on the later S/W's are covered and eliminates a lot of dirt getting into the armature bearings, and lastly, I have done many horns and the Stewart/Warner seems to have a more consistent and decent ahooga sound. I run a S/W on my 1930 Roadster and it consistently works even when the engine is not running.

It is hard to believe the judges are being so picky on labels. Originals weathered Sparton Labels are ALL black and only the date is usually readable, the reproductions labels made now are decent and one can get a stamped label from A&L back east. If the judges are so smart, why don't they offer some solution to the Sparton Label issue? Additionally, many AMES,S/W and GMI have very faint stampings on the horns from the factory, and this is how they were sold as new. If a stamping is faint on a rust free horn, that is how it was made. For judges to be judging manufacture stamping depth is just plain wrong, incorrect, and basically dumb. They should restore a 100 horns like I have done and they would see that there are issues made from the factory that cannot be addressed or controlled.

If I were to rate horns on performance, from best to worst, I would rate S/W, then Sparton, followed by AMES and GMI together, and EA at a distant last. I am not an EA fan. I have done them for restoration, but have never gotten the sound out them as I do with S/W's and Spartons and generally their condition seems poor since most are found back east. All of my comments are based upon what I have observed from the many restorations I have done. Yes, I am a Stewart/Warner fan.
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Old 03-14-2011, 11:31 AM   #17
d.j. moordigian
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Default Re: Model A horns

wcolo,

" If I were to rate horns on performance, from best to worst, I would rate S/W, then Sparton, followed by AMES and GMI together, and EA at a distant last. I am not an EA fan. I have done them for restoration, but have never gotten the sound out them as I do with S/W's and Spartons and generally their condition seems poor since most are found back east. All of my comments are based upon what I have observed from the many restorations I have done. Yes, I am a Stewart/Warner fan. "

Are you saying that the horns are regional? My car was built in San Fransisco in
mid 1928. Which horns were typical for a SFA mid 28, any idea? Also, I'm look for
an EA motor base/with a motor...that has a nice stamp.

Thanks, Dudley
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Old 03-14-2011, 11:56 AM   #18
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Default Re: Model A horns

I have 4 horns on the bench now. Two Spartons and 2 SW's. Planning to sell the Spartons and use keep the SW's for my Delivery snd for Dad's special coupe. Now that the temps are getting warmer all will be going over to a local shop so I can beadblast them and bring them home to paint and assemble. Likely will be about another month before all are ready.My biggest delima is what to do with the dates on the repop tags. I may leave them off and send them with the horns so the buyer can stamp his own dates on them. The early EA horn I had seemed to have the best sound. Rod
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Old 03-14-2011, 12:09 PM   #19
wcolo
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Default Re: Model A horns

I buy all over the country if the horn is decent and I can see a picture of the horn and especially the motor. I have discovered that most EA are back east, Spartons and Stewart/Warners all over, and AMES and GMI are basically west. I am not sure the reason, but it must have to do with the assembly plants and were they were located plus the location of the manufacturing location of the horns. I do know the EA horn has a Brooklyn, New York address, and back east is where most of them are located, not my favorite horn.
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Old 03-14-2011, 12:16 PM   #20
wcolo
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Default Re: Model A horns

A & L Parts Specialities(860-693-0112) have prestamped Sparton labels, run a little more than the standard ones available, but not much. Be very careful with those S/W horns, the armature shaft has a reverse thread on the part of the shaft that holds the ratchet gear, if you twist like you are used to twisting, you will twist the nut off along with the thread, a bear to make work again, and the complete armature units are not available as replacements. I have seen more than one ruined armature on S/W's. I do restore owner horns.
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