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Old 07-08-2019, 08:02 PM   #1
Johnnya101
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Default Should I pass on this A? Or would I miss out on something?

I'd like to purchase a driver A, and one came up for sale locally for cheap. It needs some work. I believe it's a 160B? 1931 Ford A Town Sedan?


Was told it runs. Looks to have nice patina. Was told it was garaged.



$4500.



I would rather have something a bit more turn key, but it is cheap. Is thid some super desirable car I would be missing out on? Is that a really good price?


Title should have been should I get it or is it worth it. Looking for a driver, and this needs some work to get it to that point which I don't mind, but is this a good or rare body style at all?






Last edited by Johnnya101; 07-08-2019 at 08:13 PM.
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Old 07-08-2019, 08:19 PM   #2
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Default Re: Should I pass on this A? Or would I miss out on something?

4500 for a survivor? you only live once,jump!!!
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Old 07-08-2019, 08:19 PM   #3
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Default Re: Should I pass on this A? Or would I miss out on something?

Depends on the work it needs. Things add up very quickly when systems have not been touched for a while. From the pictures, it looks to be original from the exterior and from the upholstry. Town Sedans are less common than a usual Roadster or Tudor (55,000 were made in 1931 in the USA). From what I have now, I would say 4500 seems to be on the high end. I'm sure others with more experience will have input. I would share some more pictures if you could.
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Old 07-08-2019, 08:29 PM   #4
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Default Re: Should I pass on this A? Or would I miss out on something?

If you want to make it run and leave the rest as-is, that is probably ok. However, if you want to fix it up, you will be in it for the long haul, both for time and money. They sky is the limit. (so it seems).
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Old 07-08-2019, 08:34 PM   #5
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Default Re: Should I pass on this A? Or would I miss out on something?

Yes, what Bill said. Intentions to the restore the car versus drive it the way it is are completely different scenarios. These days, It is difficult to restore a car (especially an A) and come out on top if you go to sell. It may be a LITTLE easier if it is an original driver and you don't have money in it. Be careful.
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Old 07-08-2019, 08:36 PM   #6
Johnnya101
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Default Re: Should I pass on this A? Or would I miss out on something?

So far everyone has been on the money of what I have been thinking. Yes, looks like a decent survivor to me as well. He said the doors open and close okay, so hopefully no wood issues...?


The headliner isn't a deal breaker. I can do that. The interior I wouldn't mind... If it could be cleaned. Can you even really deep clean those seats and stuff? They look grimy and greasy.



Any super easy ways for the guy to test the wood or is it something I have to be there to test underneath with a knife poking around and such? He seems to not know much about As.


I don't mind driving a car like this as is as long as that interior can be cleaned up. I love the patina on it. Would leave it as is but try and preserve the rust to stop it getting worse. Would I be better off trying to find a Tudor or something in better shape, or is something like this worth it to save? Just want a decent driver for driving. I know I can get a ride or coupe for around $8k all day long with a decent driver quality interior... Or I can get a neat looking survivor Fordor but with a beat interior.
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Old 07-08-2019, 08:36 PM   #7
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Default Re: Should I pass on this A? Or would I miss out on something?

Survivors are generally in better condition than a 40 year old amateur restoration.It does depend on what you want out of the car,a mechanically correct survivor,preserving as much of the original stuff as you can is an inexpensive way to have a desirable car. Wood body subframe condition on a fordor is critical,if the body isnt tight or the doors sag run.
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Old 07-08-2019, 08:39 PM   #8
Will Ziegler in LI NY
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Default Re: Should I pass on this A? Or would I miss out on something?

Not a 160B, the 160's have a slant windshield. It looks like a 1930 fordor. These have a wooden body structure and doors with a sheetmetal skin. If you go for it take that into consideration.
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Old 07-08-2019, 08:46 PM   #9
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Default Re: Should I pass on this A? Or would I miss out on something?

Looks like I'll pass on it. Looking at those interior shots worries me. That water staining could be signs of water and wood rot. Really don't want to have to deal with that.


Seller said it was a 31, knew there was something off!
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Old 07-08-2019, 08:48 PM   #10
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Default Re: Should I pass on this A? Or would I miss out on something?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnnya101 View Post
I'd like to purchase a driver A, and one came up for sale locally for cheap. It needs some work. I believe it's a 160B? 1931 Ford A Town Sedan?


Was told it runs. Looks to have nice patina. Was told it was garaged.



$4500.



I would rather have something a bit more turn key, but it is cheap. Is thid some super desirable car I would be missing out on? Is that a really good price?


Title should have been should I get it or is it worth it. Looking for a driver, and this needs some work to get it to that point which I don't mind, but is this a good or rare body style at all?





With an engine oil pump sitting on the front floor, it may be there for a reason !!..
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Old 07-08-2019, 09:40 PM   #11
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Default Re: Should I pass on this A? Or would I miss out on something?

If your close by go check it out,slam the doors,see if they sag..Michigan hardwood is amazing stuff,a friend has a 31 slant windshield that is tight as a drum,wood 88 years old.
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Old 07-08-2019, 10:09 PM   #12
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Default Re: Should I pass on this A? Or would I miss out on something?

Since the wood is on the body, it is hard to check the integrity of it because it is covered. Best trick is the doors.
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Old 07-08-2019, 10:15 PM   #13
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Default Re: Should I pass on this A? Or would I miss out on something?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Railcarmover View Post
If your close by go check it out,slam the doors,see if they sag..Michigan hardwood is amazing stuff,a friend has a 31 slant windshield that is tight as a drum,wood 88 years old.
The '31 slant window sedan was basically a steel body. It had the same amount of wood as a coupe (which is very little).

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Old 07-08-2019, 11:15 PM   #14
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Default Re: Should I pass on this A? Or would I miss out on something?

Yes, it looks to have potential & is basically more original & complete than most that come up. The Fordors are popular now, room for friends & items with the rear doors. The doors do have lots of wood, but main body not too much more than some other A bodies. Open each door; if doors open & shut with no hinge/body movement, leave well alone & it is good. Any old original interior is going to look bad by now. Can be cleaned if no dry rot & get some covers made for seats. I saw a late '30 Town sedan recently, seats had been redone, but doors still original/worn but looked appropriate.
If you want a long term project, fix it to run & drive & do jobs as you feel inclined. If you just want to drive now & not work on an old car, pass on it & look for a better/. more expensive car. The price seems very reasonable to me here Down Under. Cheers- Tom in NZ.
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Old 07-08-2019, 11:22 PM   #15
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Default Re: Should I pass on this A? Or would I miss out on something?

26 YEARS AGO I PAID $4500 for a Murray town sedan and drove it for a while as was. The headliner fell on top of me and I had a time getting it to stay up. had to keep the doors closed. Body was really nice and it ran okay. I felt it was too nice of a car to be driving without some restoration and I didn't feel I had the knowledge or the tools to do it justice so I sold it for $5600 to a guy who had restored some other cars. He felt it was within his capabilities and was an excellent candidate for high point restoration so we were both happy. Never saw it again and that was the last car I bought that wasn't an everyday driver in my thinking. (I can live with them as is and enjoy that I can keep them running well. None are show machines, all have been a joy to own. If I tire of one I sell or trade it for another. Try to keep two or three around for variety and some day may buy a point care to drive if I can get one at the right price.
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Old 07-08-2019, 11:30 PM   #16
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Default Re: Should I pass on this A? Or would I miss out on something?

Here is my 2 cents worth. The wood is critical for this car the door comments are correct, the interior is not that big of a deal as long as mice have not gotten to it. IF they have then you will have to replace stuff just to get rid of the smell. As long as the mechanical are in good shape the price is great for a survivor. They ride super well because the car is heavy. Check on the roof though as it looks like something happened in the back rear quarter.


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Old 07-08-2019, 11:31 PM   #17
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Default Re: Should I pass on this A? Or would I miss out on something?

Yes, they do have quite a bit of wood...



Quote:
Originally Posted by Railcarmover View Post
Michigan hardwood is amazing stuff, a friend has a 31 slant windshield that is tight as a drum, wood 88 years old.
Slants do not have nearly as much wood as a flat window fordor.
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Old 07-09-2019, 04:48 AM   #18
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Default Re: Should I pass on this A? Or would I miss out on something?

in the end, all depends on what you want and sounds like you dont want the work............
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Old 07-09-2019, 05:09 AM   #19
BRENT in 10-uh-C
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Default Re: Should I pass on this A? Or would I miss out on something?

I guess in my mind, the person who is interested in buying this car needs to clearly define their idea of the term "Driver".

All cars are 'Survivors' if they have not been sent to a scrap yard, so don't let names get in the way of creating emotions. The brutal reality is most hobbyists do NOT have the time, skill, or money to restore, -or even return this vehicle to a true 'Driver' level status. From my experience, there will be wood work needed to make the body safe & sound. The picture above represents about 100 hours to turn planks of wood into the state you see there. The wood in many areas is interlocking which means you just don't move a rotted piece without potentially disturbing an adjacent piece. Next, if this vehicle is to be driven much with the family, a new interior, -or at least a partial interior would likely need to be installed to keep the occupants enthused about being seen riding in it. Trying to get brads into wood that is harder than Chinese Arithmetic is a real struggle.

So my advice is you are seeking a 'Driver' level vehicle, this is not the vehicle even if it were presented to you for free. If you are someone seeking a 2,000 hour project that will challenge you in both mechanical and wood disciplines, this would probably be a good candidate. Just my 2 cents.
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Old 07-09-2019, 05:10 AM   #20
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Default Re: Should I pass on this A? Or would I miss out on something?

I would pass. Figure $5,000 will be a start on fixing it up to drive. Most front ends need rebuilding, brakes,tires,radiator work,wiring,battery. Value of car then will still be $4500.
8,000 will buy you a running driving car.
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