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Old 11-28-2016, 06:09 PM   #1
Dirtrack49
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Default Introduction and Fordor Question

Hi All,

This is my first time on the Model A forum and I am here to introduce myself and ask all of your opinions on a particular vehicle currently for sale on eBay.

My history with car collecting dates back about 40 years. I am currently an owner of a 1926 Model T Touring, 1949 Ford F1 and a 2014 Ford F150 Crew Cab. I have been working on a 1966 Mercedes 230SL for several years. It is currently in driver status. My next project will be the 1949 F1 or possibly completing a Grega GN1 Aircamper. I am not only addicted to cars, but airplanes too. And the collection goes on, but I need to get to this next item.

For years now, I have been looking for a very well done Murray or Briggs fordor. I have finally made a spot for another car by selling one recently. The car is being offered on eBay. http://www.ebay.com/itm/1929-Ford-Mo...m=311746244230
It is also for sale at the dealer in Amarillo, TX. This car appears to be a very well done restoration to me. However, my expertise in Model A's is very limited compared to many of you here on the forum.
The only thing that I would prefer over this car, would be one that has a sidemount spare.
If possible, can anyone give me some insights as to the originality of this vehicle?
TIA
Tom L.
Tehachapi, CA
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Old 11-28-2016, 06:55 PM   #2
Brianfrench65
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Default Re: Introduction and Fordor Question

Appears to be a nice car.

Sidemounts tend to limit the drivers door opening, making it a little harder to get in / out. Also, sometimes you cannot install or remove a fully inflated spare into the fender well.

If you can, go see and drive the car.

Good Luck;
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Old 11-28-2016, 07:03 PM   #3
Kevin in NJ
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Default Re: Introduction and Fordor Question

Well here is my probably controversial opinion.

Do not buy it, too many flags.

It looks pretty. The interior looks sharp, well I am not sure about the headliner.

It is not fully restored. It is just a nice paint job, interior and a bunch of repro parts.

As a whole you look for attention to details. I will start with the painted over patent data plate on the firewall. The electrical connections are modern crimp connectors in a bunch of places. The drive side passenger door handle droops. This all starts sending me down the road of needing lots of little things (think some $$$) to fix some problems.

The first thing I like to ask is what top speed is the car comfortable to drive. If it is properly restored then running 60 MPH all day long should feel comfortable. That was how they could be run new and all the A's we have owned were driven that way with stock drive lines.

I already know the answer. It does 45 MPH. The engine vibrates cause it was not rebuilt properly because it has a float a motor rear mounts (they have to be done like they are race car engines when it comes to balancing). There are no shocks which means the springs are dead or the car would not feel safe to drive over 25 MPH. I could not tell from the picts, but I would guess the brakes are less then sort of ok.

I would guess you would spend $8k to $10k to make the car safe and reliable to drive. This is based on what I know other people have paid to make their 'restored' cars safe and reliable.

Do not consider buying a car unless you can drive it and look at it. You also need an experience A guy to look at it. By experienced you want the guy who has bone stock A's and thinks nothing of driving all day long at 55 MPH, not easy to find.
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Old 11-28-2016, 07:03 PM   #4
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Default Re: Introduction and Fordor Question

Welcome to the Ford Barn Tom. Very pretty car! I'm no expert, but the things that catch my eye is the carburetor looks to be a Tillotson and they were an aftermarket add-on. I think the radiator shell looks like chrome and not the bright nickel I believe the 28-29's are supposed to be?
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Old 11-28-2016, 07:05 PM   #5
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Default Re: Introduction and Fordor Question

Beautiful car. I would expect a price well north of $25K. Would definitely want to look it over with someone who knows the Model A s before spending that kind of money. Can only see so much from pics. Expect to hear tons of armchair quarterback opinions, remember, you asked for them! In all seriousness though, look it over with an expert.
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Old 11-28-2016, 07:32 PM   #6
Dirtrack49
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Default Re: Introduction and Fordor Question

Thanks for the quick replies. That is the kind of information I need.
Kevin, thanks much for pointing those important items out.
I have a car friend who rebuilt his Blindback in 1973. He is young at 81 and finds things that I would never have notice on A's.
Sounds like we might of saved some money and time on a wasted trip to Amarillo to see the car.

Thanks again,
Tom
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Old 11-28-2016, 07:41 PM   #7
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Wink Re: Introduction and Fordor Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin in NJ View Post
Well here is my probably controversial opinion.

Do not buy it, too many flags.

It looks pretty. The interior looks sharp, well I am not sure about the headliner.

It is not fully restored. It is just a nice paint job, interior and a bunch of repro parts.

As a whole you look for attention to details. I will start with the painted over patent data plate on the firewall. The electrical connections are modern crimp connectors in a bunch of places. The drive side passenger door handle droops. This all starts sending me down the road of needing lots of little things (think some $$$) to fix some problems.



The first thing I like to ask is what top speed is the car comfortable to drive. If it is properly restored then running 60 MPH all day long should feel comfortable. That was how they could be run new and all the A's we have owned were driven that way with stock drive lines.

I already know the answer. It does 45 MPH. The engine vibrates cause it was not rebuilt properly because it has a float a motor rear mounts (they have to be done like they are race car engines when it comes to balancing). There are no shocks which means the springs are dead or the car would not feel safe to drive over 25 MPH. I could not tell from the picts, but I would guess the brakes are less then sort of ok.

I would guess you would spend $8k to $10k to make the car safe and reliable to drive. This is based on what I know other people have paid to make their 'restored' cars safe and reliable.

Do not consider buying a car unless you can drive it and look at it. You also need an experience A guy to look at it. By experienced you want the guy who has bone stock A's and thinks nothing of driving all day long at 55 MPH, not easy to find.
feels safe without shocks? yeah my car does that. I have been pricing different shock options and thought my springs might be a concern. i guess we can take the might out. And it went 45 with two leaking rear cylinders. lots of time later still lots to do.

my car had lots of original parts. all the ones that didnt fall off the car yet.
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Old 11-28-2016, 10:42 PM   #8
Kevin in NJ
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Default Re: Introduction and Fordor Question

Just for point of reference.

My 30 fordor did not come with shocks. It wanted to run 50, but did not have brakes. Well you requested a stop and it tried its best for a long time.

I redid the front axle, front and rear springs, and the brakes.

Then the car would stop, but much above 25 and it got bouncy enough you were reaching the limits of control. That was the working springs. My brothers coupe was the same way when we pulled the shocks to re-seal them. Without shocks it just was not good to drive above 25.

Put shocks on the fordor and it ran 55+ all day long with one hand on the wheel.
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Old 11-29-2016, 01:01 AM   #9
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Default Re: Introduction and Fordor Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin in NJ View Post
Well here is my probably controversial opinion.
...
I would guess you would spend $8k to $10k to make the car safe and reliable to drive. ...
on what will that amount be spent ?
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Old 11-29-2016, 01:34 AM   #10
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Default Re: Introduction and Fordor Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by 3.6rs View Post
on what will that amount be spent ?
Maybe I can answer that a little,

" it has a float a motor rear mounts" That means it vibrates so what does a complete rebuild of the engine cost, 5K?

"There are no shocks which means the springs are dead.." The installation of shocks and replacement of springs. Shocks are $1200 and springs, $450. So far that's $6650 and that's only three things on the list.
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Old 11-29-2016, 01:48 AM   #11
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Default Re: Introduction and Fordor Question

The ad states, "No expense was spared on the restoration.
The restoration was done to original specifications"

Well that's not true, so what else is hidden in there?
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Old 11-29-2016, 02:00 AM   #12
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Default Re: Introduction and Fordor Question

The front brake rod springs are installed wrong, and the rears are on the wrong side of the mounting bracket. He's got the fronts mounted to apply the brakes, rather than return them to the off position.

The bumper clamps are the cheap aluminum ones that break easily.

The headliner is poorly installed.

The light switch if 90* off.

I wonder if the tank was even flushed out. They should have cleaned the glass bowl before taking the picture.

With so many red flags it appears to be done for maximum profit and quick turnover, rather than a goal of maximum points in judging.
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Old 11-29-2016, 04:19 AM   #13
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Welcome to the Fordbarn!!
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Old 11-29-2016, 10:51 AM   #14
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Default Re: Introduction and Fordor Question

That's the kind of information I need. Things that I would have never picked up on until later on while going over the car and doing maintenance and repair items.
Two questions:
1. I noticed this car does not look like the Town Sedans I have seen. Is this some type of standard fordor that was the beginning of the line in 1929? What model number? Briggs or Murray body?
2. When saying that the springs are dead because there are no shocks on the vehicle, I am not sure what the correlation would be. Can someone explain further?

Thanks again for all of your help.
Tom L.
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Old 11-29-2016, 11:05 AM   #15
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Default Re: Introduction and Fordor Question

When the springs are worn out, which is common, the car does not bounce much. It rides harsh. Two things happen with the springs. They get weak, usually the fronts are most affected. So the springs are sunk down. The other is the springs do not slide well between each other. This can be because of rust between the leaves, wear at the ends on the lower spring, and no lubrication between the leaves.

So you fix the springs, now the they bounce real good. The light body starts hopping and a nightmare to drive. Now you need shocks. You can get rebuilt originals, but you best buy from a known rebuilder. The repro originals tend to turn into decorations after a while. Your new options are the Stipe reproductions which are great but cost like $1000 (well worth it). Then there are some tube shock conversions that some work well supposedly, I have heard mix reviews about some of them.
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Old 11-29-2016, 11:37 AM   #16
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Default Re: Introduction and Fordor Question

Hi Tom,

All good cautious advice above.

Asking questions is always wise for first time buyers buying Model A's.

FWIW:

a. If not already done, check "MAFCA Classified" for several 4-doors listed for sale at present.

b. Besides E-bay, Googling helps ....... I found my 1930 Briggs Town Sedan on about page 19 of Google ............ listed on a site found by sheer luck ..... in a Military Dodge Truck Museum near Fort Hood, Texas.

c. Nothing like shopping to "see", "feel" & "experience" what is available at what prices ..... and always try to drive it to avoid being sorry for having taken a chance by trusting some individual who may be "acting" dumb ...... "acting" dumb these days is popular ..... we pay high salaries to our elected officials who "acted" dumb & won acceptance of our vast majority ....... selling cars is not much different.

d. In a short period, you will begin to feel more confident after shopping.
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Old 11-29-2016, 11:47 AM   #17
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Default Re: Introduction and Fordor Question

Ford made both Fordor's & Town Sedan's; many differences cosmetically.....Town Sedans have cowl lights, armrest in rear seat, pinstriping in certain areas, woodgrained dash rail & window garnish trim, and nicer upholstery. I would also suggest that before you buy a Model A, that you familiarize yourself with the differences between the different models and also between the 1928/29 & 1930/31 models. This one looks like a classic case of someone doing a superficial "restoration", instead of a proper one. A nice shiny paint job, and new interior dazzle, but as others have pointed out, a lot of important details are either not addressed or done wrong. If you want to buy a nicely restored car, ready to enjoy, then you need to find an owner that has documented all that was done, along with receipts. I bought my 1930 Town Sedan from someone who had spent 10 years doing a complete restoration, both mechanically & cosmetically, and he had hundreds of photos plus a whole large envelope of receipts. The photos were both before and after. When you find one that looks right, try and have someone from a local Model A club go with you to both look at it and drive it.
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Old 11-29-2016, 12:37 PM   #18
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Default Re: Introduction and Fordor Question

Often mentioned herein:

Worse case Model A "Body" scenario is to acquire one that looks good ....... however, it was parked out of doors often .... in a rainy high humidity area ........ on damp ground ....... where rain entered the side glasses & rotted out the four doors ...... roof leaks rotted out the header, top wood, and body framing ....... check out prices of wood kits that need countless hours of trimming in order to fit properly.
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Old 11-29-2016, 01:07 PM   #19
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Default Re: Introduction and Fordor Question

Rubber valve stems paid great attention to details..not
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Old 01-29-2017, 02:57 PM   #20
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Hello Tom, I also live in Tehachapi. Did you buy the car? We have a collection of A's in the family. I would love to see the car. All the best.
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