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Old 01-31-2011, 08:37 PM   #1
mathew21
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Default Help a Newbie thinking about buying a 1929 Model A

Hello Everyone,
I have always wanted a Model A . Well I have the opportunity to buy a 1929 Model A Sports Coupe. The Car has been taken apart by the owner who has now fell ill. He told me he has everything to put it back together and more. He's a friend of a friend so I do believe him. He stripped the frame and painted it. The body is very solid. He has had most of the Chrome redone. He has brand new tires for it.

Now here's the dilemma I am not a mechanic. I have never worked on a Model A before. I used to ride in my Grandpa's when I was kid if that counts for anything. If I took it apart I know I could put it back together. Since I did not take apart I know it's going to be harder. He has reassured me it's not that hard and he has manuals he will give me that will assist in the reassemble process. I am blessed to have a lot of mechanic friends.

I guess the question I'm asking are their manuals that show good detail of how to reassemble? Does his asking price seem fair? ($5,200). One more question I hate to ask but I have to. I am a bigger guy well wider guy. 5" 8" but around 250 lbs. Will I fit in the car OK to drive it? The good news is I'm slowing loosing it I was 40lbs heavier this time last year.
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Old 01-31-2011, 08:55 PM   #2
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Default Re: Help a Newbie thinking about buying a 1929 Model A

It looks like a special couple. $5000, is the engine and drivetrain good? Title? I'd buy it, if so.

Take it one step at a time and ask a lot of questions, no question is to small. The guys here will always give you the best advice. You'll probably get more info then you'll expect!

The green book and the model A restorers book is good to have. Here's a link to a bunch of books. http://www.modelatrader.com/books.html. Others will have better suggestions for literature.

We all had to start somewhere. I know I've learned a lot and will not ever know it all.

Oh yea, I'm 6'2" @ 260. I fit...ha ha
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Old 01-31-2011, 08:59 PM   #3
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Default Re: Help a Newbie thinking about buying a 1929 Model A

BUY IT! I have a 28 sport coupe that I bought last year and it is great! I have had to do a lot to my car and have spent a fair amount of cash but it is the most fun I have ever had! My wife and I love to ride around in "Gracie" and we have become active in our local Model A club. enjoy!
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Old 01-31-2011, 09:00 PM   #4
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Default Re: Help a Newbie thinking about buying a 1929 Model A

Oh, Im 5'9" and 230. I fit just fine!
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Old 01-31-2011, 09:02 PM   #5
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Default Re: Help a Newbie thinking about buying a 1929 Model A

Tinker nailed it pretty good, but I'll add my 2 cents as well.

That body looks really nice and you don't see Special Coupes that often. I'm 6-1 around 225 and I have no problem fitting into a Coupe at all.

I think that's a fair price, especially if the fenders look as good as the body. The fact that the chrome work has been redone will save you a good amount of money. Originally the headlight shell and headlights were nickeled, but for a driver car chrome is OK too. It certainly doesn't need polishing like nickel does.

Can you post some more photos?
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Old 01-31-2011, 09:02 PM   #6
Jim Parker Toronto
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Default Re: Help a Newbie thinking about buying a 1929 Model A

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Looks like good value to me. I'd take it, join a club, and get some help doing it, and make some new friends. You don't say where you are from, but chances are, there is a club nearby, just itching to help!
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Old 01-31-2011, 09:13 PM   #7
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Default Re: Help a Newbie thinking about buying a 1929 Model A

I test drove a 29 Coupe and at 6ft and about 285# the steering wheel stuck me in the gut. It was fine going straght but turns took some effort, I now own a 30 coupe and have about a two inch clearance from the wheel. I don't know why but I guess there is more room in the 30? at least that is my gut feeling:-) Others here may enlighten us.

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Old 01-31-2011, 09:23 PM   #8
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Default Re: Help a Newbie thinking about buying a 1929 Model A

Mat21, Jump in, get your feet wet, and have the time of your life! By the time ya get it back together you will be anouther few pounds lighter just from missing the snacks workin on the A. Good Luck, Monte
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Old 01-31-2011, 09:29 PM   #9
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Default Re: Help a Newbie thinking about buying a 1929 Model A

sounds like a very good deal ...the condition of the body looks good....but I would look for any patch panels....ask the history of the car ...how many owners and any paper work---since he spent possibly a grand re-chroming,,, the price is worth it!
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Old 01-31-2011, 09:57 PM   #10
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Default Re: Help a Newbie thinking about buying a 1929 Model A

Matt, I'm a new owner, and also not a mechanic. (I have a '29 Sport Coupe.) I considered restoring a "project car" before finally settling on a finished one. As a new owner, I chose the finished car because I questioned my longterm commitment to the process -- both time and money.

And now I've learned that even my restored car consumes plenty of time.

I've decided that if my passion for the hobby lasts, my next "A" will be a frame-up restoration. That will allow me to drive my good car while building the next one.

I think the "A" is so simple anyone can build one. Even me.
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Old 01-31-2011, 10:31 PM   #11
Tom Wesenberg
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Default Re: Help a Newbie thinking about buying a 1929 Model A

I don't know of any better hobby than to own, work on, and drive an antique car, and Model A's are the easiest to get information and parts for.

Sounds like you are really doing great with the diet and by the time you get the car together it'll fit even better.

Ditto what Jim Parker said. Joining a club and attending national meets is the best source for information and help.
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Old 01-31-2011, 11:09 PM   #12
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Default Re: Help a Newbie thinking about buying a 1929 Model A

A '29 Sport Coupe makes a good looking car. From what I see in the pictures, it looks like you will have a very nice car when finished. I would buy it for that price and I am not looking for another project.

As stated before, join a club and you will be surprised at all the help you will have. Great people too. These cars are very simple but you can also reliably drive them all over the place. They really area lot of fun.

My opinion, Chris
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Old 01-31-2011, 11:17 PM   #13
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Default Re: Help a Newbie thinking about buying a 1929 Model A

Looks good, fair price!

Welcome!!!
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Old 02-01-2011, 12:13 AM   #14
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Default Re: Help a Newbie thinking about buying a 1929 Model A

I agree with the people that stated it is a special coupe. I have a 28 special coupe I am getting close to finishing. They are an attractive car. It is definitely not a sports coupe - I had one of those in my younger days. You know that you can move the seatback back 1 5/8". That is what I did on my car. Ford has a half page in their service bulletins on how to do it. You need to make a fairly simple pair of lower brackets and move the 1/5/8" x 1/5/8" piece of wood behind the seatback to behind the front lip of the package tray. If you need more info on how to do it, let me know.
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Old 02-01-2011, 01:00 AM   #15
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Default Re: Help a Newbie thinking about buying a 1929 Model A

Hi Newbie, First of all I don't believe the car is a Sports Coupe. From the pictures it looks like a Special Coupe. I did a Special Coupe 15 years ago from the ground up and loved the car. Finished it will have a completely padded top and look very sharp. I made the mistake of putting side mounts on it. They looked like I wanted them to but severely limited the width the doors would open to about 11". It turns out that '28 and '29 coupes weren't supposed to have side mounts (only closed cars) even as a option. I too am a "Well Fed Fred" and getting in and out of a coupe who's door only open 11" was trying.

Coupes are okay but not as roomy or comfortable as sedans. You can get a bit of extra leg room by eliminating the package tray behind the seat but leaving it alone isn't really all that bad.

Secondly I am no master mechanic. I am only a pretty fair tinkerer but I have managed to put together four beautiful Model A's over the last forty five years. However, if my engine stops turning I can deal with only limited problems before I have to rely on the good graces of my friends and the promise of free beer. You learn what you need to know and most of the time Model A's are gentle teachers. The beauty of this hobby is that it unites really different people from many different backgrounds to a common cause and interest. If you are a car guy and are infected with a lust for rust...we can talk.

You didn't mention the condition of the engine. I hope it is rebuilt and assembled and not in boxes. Things could get expensive there if you don't get some expert advise from a hobby Model A master. Engines start at about $3000 and go up from there. That might be a sticking point to consider. The price you mentioned could very well be a fair and reasonable price or it could be not so good. Find the local Guru of all things Henry and jointly look over the deal and carefully look into what is in those boxes.

Best of luck!
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Old 02-01-2011, 04:48 AM   #16
mathew21
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Default Re: Help a Newbie thinking about buying a 1929 Model A

Wow Thanks everyone you guys sure know how to make a newbie welcome .I know he stated the engine is complete and running I'm not sure about being rebuilt I will have to ask him. I very seriously considering buying it, I'm going to view it in person Saturday. My only obstacle now now is to get my Wife on board. She wants me to buy Sedan instead of a coupe.
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Old 02-01-2011, 05:07 AM   #17
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Default Re: Help a Newbie thinking about buying a 1929 Model A

Special Coupe

Sport Coupe

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Old 02-01-2011, 05:15 AM   #18
mathew21
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Default Re: Help a Newbie thinking about buying a 1929 Model A

Thanks for the pictures. I think it is a Special coupe also. I might have quoted the gentleman that owns the car wrong when I said Sport. I have been searching the whole country looking for a project A in my price range.
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Old 02-01-2011, 06:06 AM   #19
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BUY IT !!!!

I'v been looking for one for my budget and they are hard to find,

You will have a great time learning.

Enjoy
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Old 02-01-2011, 06:40 AM   #20
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Default Re: Help a Newbie thinking about buying a 1929 Model A

"My only obstacle now now is to get my Wife on board. She wants me to buy Sedan instead of a coupe."

Uh, ummm, get the special now, become familiar and buy a sedan later.

Oh I wish all problems were this easy to solve.

GW
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