It's hard to argue the fact that the '32 Ford coupe, in both three- and five-window designs, is one of the most iconic body styles in the hot rodding world. From the Beach Boys' Little Deuce Coupe to Milner's banana yellow five-window in "American Graffiti," cars like that set the standard for what's popular to this day, and the popularity has only waned slightly since then. In fact, it's probably at a pinnacle given the amount of cars that attend the various car shows throughout the country. Unfortunately, while the cars became more popular, so did all the parts. Demands for bodies, frames, and other parts have climbed to the point where availability is so limited that prices for said items have gone through the roof. It wasn't all that long ago that one could score a cherry Deuce firewall or grille shell for a few hundred bucks. Those days, however, are long gone. With prices for such items at well over $1,000, it's getting harder and harder to find gennie Deuce parts. There is some consolation, though, in the fact that a large number of aftermarket companies are now reproducing everything from Deuce wishbones and Flathead components to complete reproduction '32 three-window bodies. This helps keep the market fairly reasonable, but building a '32 Ford coupe has to be one of the most expensive makes and models to build.

Enter the Model A-the bastard nephew of the '32 Ford. While similar in size and design of the '32, there are a few significant differences. One of the most obvious is the lack of a visor on the '32 coupe; although mainly a simple aesthetic difference, a chopped Model A coupe can suffer from decreased field of vision due to the presence of a visor in comparison to the '32. The overall shape of the top of a '32 coupe is also a bit more streamlined compared to the rather boxy top of the Model A's. Then there's also the fact that while Model A coupes were all five-windows, both five-window and three-window designs were available with the Deuce-something Ford continued until 1936. Details in the beltlines, bodylines, quarter-panels, and cowl and door areas are all slightly different, but the overall shape of the earlier Ford coupes are close enough to their Deuce brethren that they can be a less-expensive route to the same outcome, all the while still retaining that same attitude, stance, and aesthetic for which the Deuce coupe is known.

While it's possible to naysay the fact that Model As aren't exactly affordable, they're like the cubic zirconia equivalent to a diamond in the hot rod world in comparison to their Deuce counterpart. The fact that the Model A was produced for four years in various forms essentially means that there are four times as many Model A coupes out there than '32s. While that's not exactly correct, the years that Model A production span make it easier to find parts due to the interchangeability between the years ('30-31 and '28-29, for example). There has also been quite a following of Model A restorers for years who have socked away parts, bodies, and sometimes whole cars, saving the old tin from the crusher in many cases, only to be cut up by hot rodders years later!

The restorer aspect of the Model A puts an interesting twist on the story when comparing the availability of '28-31 and '32 coupes. While there are a number of restored Model A coupes still putting around in restorers' garages and such, the likelihood of finding a Deuce in the same shape is very improbable. For whatever reason, Model As can still be purchased fairly inexpensively in restored, running condition. This is a great advantage for two reasons. One, it pisses off the restorers, and that's always fun; these guys live and breathe to maintain their cars to the exact specifications set by the factory and any deviation gets completely under their skin, so needless to say, hot-rodding their beloved Model A is a no-no. But more importantly, the complete car can be disassembled, the unnecessary parts set aside to take to the swap meet, and your hot rod project can begin with a complete body, chassis, and maybe even some running gear, although most of the Model A underpinnings are incapable of handling modern powerplants and driving duties. Starting with a restored Model A coupe can be the difference between trying to rescue an almost 80-year-old pile of rust or turning a few wrenches and mating the old body to a modern chassis/driveline combo.

As with any hot rod build, a Model A coupe isn't necessarily easier than building a Deuce, or a '40 Ford, or a '48 Chevy sedan for that matter. The difference is the fact that a bare-bones, no-frills highboy Model A coupe can be done in a home garage for pennies on the dollar compared to any number of hot rods, most importantly a '32 Ford, and still have all the characteristics of the venerable Deuce.