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Old 07-21-2019, 01:31 PM   #1
Johnnya101
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Default QUICK - 1930 Fordor Body Wood Condition Check?

Hi guys,


Checking out a 1930 Fordor really soon... Should have posted this sooner.


Anyone have some quick checks for checking body wood condition in a 1930 Fordor?


Car was from Texas and stored dry so it should be fine but would hate for it not to be.


Will also add I noticed one rear door I saw has the beltline not aligned with the body. It appears the whole door is shifted slightly down. Could bad wood cause that, or worn out hinge?

Last edited by Johnnya101; 07-21-2019 at 01:46 PM.
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Old 07-21-2019, 01:44 PM   #2
Gary WA
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Default Re: QUICK - 1930 Fordor Body Wood Condition Check?

Look underneath front to back, door jambs, bottom of doors, under front seat, rear seat.
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Old 07-21-2019, 01:50 PM   #3
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Default Re: QUICK - 1930 Fordor Body Wood Condition Check?

Check the rear doors for fit and looseness. The hinges are mounted on the body and the screws are into wood. If the wood is weak or rotten the doors will sag and will flex. Look close. Replacing the wood is a lot of work. I did that in the car on my avatar. Had to replace all of it. Took me about 3 years.
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Old 07-21-2019, 02:08 PM   #4
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Default Re: QUICK - 1930 Fordor Body Wood Condition Check?

I would also say to check the rain gutter for security. If they are loose I would suggest that indicates bad wood behind them which runs from the front to back above the door.
Is this a Standard or DeLuxe Fordor? Where are you located? Where is the car now/State? If you haven't worked on Model A's it would be a good idea to contact a local club for some possible assistance and expertise!
Just my nickels worth.
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Old 07-21-2019, 02:13 PM   #5
Johnnya101
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Default Re: QUICK - 1930 Fordor Body Wood Condition Check?

It's a town sedan. Car was bought about 30 years ago presumably from Texas (Texas plate). Paint looks like amazing original or a very good correct repaint. Original interior. Car is in VT. I have already contacted my local club president about it. I plan to call him while I'm there too.
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Old 07-21-2019, 03:48 PM   #6
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Default Re: QUICK - 1930 Fordor Body Wood Condition Check?

if doors sag- run. all four doors should open and close nicely.
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Old 07-21-2019, 04:55 PM   #7
Johnnya101
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Default Re: QUICK - 1930 Fordor Body Wood Condition Check?

I ran. All doors sagged and had huge issues, creaking wood, huge gaps. Hood had large gap at top and got a huge 1 inch gap at bottom and overlapped on radiator. Clogged trashed radiator. Mice infestation. All bad tires. Overall trash. Told the guy you wouldn't be able to give it to me for free. He is out of his mind for wanting $5k. Oh, and the top was rotted and leaking. Maybe a parts car. None of the doors opened or closed without hitting the body.



If you see a red and black 1930 Ford town sedan in northern VT for sale, RUN.
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Old 07-21-2019, 06:05 PM   #8
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Default Re: QUICK - 1930 Fordor Body Wood Condition Check?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnnya101 View Post
I ran. All doors sagged and had huge issues, creaking wood, huge gaps. Hood had large gap at top and got a huge 1 inch gap at bottom and overlapped on radiator. Clogged trashed radiator. Mice infestation. All bad tires. Overall trash. Told the guy you wouldn't be able to give it to me for free. He is out of his mind for wanting $5k. Oh, and the top was rotted and leaking. Maybe a parts car. None of the doors opened or closed without hitting the body.

If you see a red and black 1930 Ford town sedan in northern VT for sale, RUN.

Did you expect an even half decent car for $5K?
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Old 07-21-2019, 06:23 PM   #9
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Default Re: QUICK - 1930 Fordor Body Wood Condition Check?

Well, for $5k I expected one that needed work to get going and some interior work and stuff. It was a non running car with an okay but beat interior. And a Fordor which is least desirable. Not a $10k car, not $9k, not $8k. $5k wasn't too good to be true for it. In the ad. In person it was scrap.
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Old 07-21-2019, 08:17 PM   #10
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Default Re: QUICK - 1930 Fordor Body Wood Condition Check?

" And a Fordor which is least desirable." In my opinion I don't think that is really true. Look at the advantages of a Fordor, i.e. has roll up windows when you are on a rainy trip and much more room to put your belongings easily under lock and key.

Just my thoughts.
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Old 07-21-2019, 09:07 PM   #11
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Default Re: QUICK - 1930 Fordor Body Wood Condition Check?

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Originally Posted by Cape Codder View Post
" And a Fordor which is least desirable." In my opinion I don't think that is really true. Look at the advantages of a Fordor, i.e. has roll up windows when you are on a rainy trip and much more room to put your belongings easily under lock and key.

Just my thoughts.
I have found it interesting that most old four door cars are worth less money than say their two door counterparts, while the Model A is an exception. Fordors are only worth more because they are more unique with the different bodies, less produced than tudors, are easier to get in and out of, and are sometimes more classy.

Tudors were Ford's biggest sale during the Model A run, they were a family car, which is in contrast to Fordors being the family cars in the 40s to the 60s.
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Old 07-22-2019, 06:24 AM   #12
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Default Re: QUICK - 1930 Fordor Body Wood Condition Check?

a good fordor today is worth more then a tudor, in my opinion.


wasnt that way 10 years ago......
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Old 07-22-2019, 11:44 AM   #13
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Default Re: QUICK - 1930 Fordor Body Wood Condition Check?

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a good fordor today is worth more then a tudor, in my opinion.

wasnt that way 10 years ago......

Very true. Many people who own Model-As like to take their friends to dinner or to a show. Tudors, -or especially rumble seats are not attractive for mature adults. Everyone having their own door for entering & exiting a vehicle is worth the premium.




Something that I have been preaching for the past 20 years, ...and folks are slowly starting to agree with me now is that it is VERY foolish to 'restore/refurbish' a Model-A these days re-using the original wood. Even a Convertible Sedan or Cabriolet that appears to have sound wood during the repainting or re-upholstering process quickly goes downhill once the car is driven because the wood has lost its elasticity. The vibrations and flexing that these vehicles encounter during even normal driving conditions causes the body wood to split where the body nails, upholstery brads, and all the screw fasteners in the joints all loosen. Then trying to stay ahead of this with all kinds of band-aids or MacGuyver fixes just takes all the fun out of owning the car for most people. At that point the car just sets not being driven. (Do you suppose that is why the car Johnny looked at has been in "dry storage" all these years?)


Also, the paint materials costs, the upholstery material costs, and the time (labor) that is all lost if the wood must be replaced is just too great IMO to take a chance. IMHO, cars being restored some 20+ years ago which had 60 year old wood was marginal and you could get by with it. Now this same wood is nearing 90 years old from the time it was cut from the tree. Personally I would never, -and I mean NEVER purchase a restored Model-A (no matter if it is a Roadster or a S/W Fordor) that did not have the original wood replaced during the restoration. The risk of this mindset of saving a few bucks by not replacing the wood is just not worth the investment loss on down the road when the owner or his estate is trying to sell the car. Johnny just saw first-hand evidence of this.
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Old 07-22-2019, 02:02 PM   #14
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Default Re: QUICK - 1930 Fordor Body Wood Condition Check?

A friend of mine restored number of Model A cars & pickups including a Murray body 29 fordor. He saved this car for last because he knew it was going to be the most difficult that he would ever do. It was his fathers car so it had a lot of sentimental value to him and his family. The sheet metal has to be carefully removed since there are a lot of tacks and screws that hold the structure together. His sheet metal was in excellent shape and all the fittings were good but the wood had rotted pretty badly. He purchased a kit (it was so long ago I can't remember who from). Some of it fit well and some of it didn't but he had the tooling & skill set to be able to fabricate correct fitting pieces for those that didn't fit well and thankfully it was only a few parts. He got the sheet metal to fit like a glove and his shimming was relatively minimal to adjust the body for cowl and door fit. I think he had about two years of nights & weekends invested in the work but it really came out nice. He used the modern glues and wood finishes to make it last better and of course, it will always have a place indoors. He passed away a few years back and left it to his son. Thankfully he is as interested in model A Fords as much as his father was.


The coupes and open cars may be more popular but the fordors are downright elegant for their time. They certainly take longer and are more expensive to restore but they are worth it to me. Ford didn't produce as many fordors as they did other models with a few exceptions so they aren't commonly seen at rallies and shows but there are some nice ones out there.
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