The resurgence in popularity...
The resurgence in popularity for the Model A Ford is undeniable, and for good reason, as they make very cool hot rods.
It began on a very subtle level, like arriving back at the office from a major event and noticing there were another couple Model A features in the camera bag, or walking the fairgrounds and stopping for a closer look at more very cool Model A coupes. But it was our trip to the Lonestar Roundup this past spring that cemented the thought and raised this question: could the Model A be the new Deuce?
We can already hear those loyal to the king crying out in protest, but hear us out on this. Sure the '32 Ford has long reigned as official king of hot rodding, particularly with those of us who have been at this hot rod game for over 30 years. But what about the young guns who are coming up, young rodders who have added a lifestyle commentary to their interpretation of the great American hot rod? These folks have embraced the Model A like the older hot rodders latched onto the Deuce. But what are the reasons behind the movement?
Can the Model A Ford go toe...
Can the Model A Ford go toe to toe with the Deuce? Well the Deuce might always be king, but the Model A is still a close contender.
The obvious answer is financial-young guys have less money to spend and the Model A is now, and always has been, much more affordable than the Deuce. We understand that part of the attraction, but it seems to go deeper than that. It seems a lot of younger hot rodders want the Model A, it is not a matter of "settling for a Model A" (as this writer did in 1969 when a stripped Model A coupe body and chassis were purchased for less than $100. At that time a Deuce body in the same condition would have commanded 10 times the price, so the Model A coupe was the perfect car for me).
We saw this older amateur...
We saw this older amateur restoration for sale at a swap meet for $13,500 and you could drive the car. A Deuce five-window coupe in similar condition would command an addition $50,000. This coupe could be swapped on a hot rod frame and be ready to go, selling the original chassis to finance the build.
The Model A with the overlapping doors, and other less-than-precise fitments makes a perfect platform for a rat rod, patina rod, or new old-school rod (now there's a great term). The Model A has a lot going for it, not the least of which is the vast numbers of them produced between 1928 and 1931; compare that to the Deuce, which was Ford's only one-year-exclusive body style until the '60s. When you compare the numbers it's a wonder there are any Deuces around today.
But beyond availability and reasonable prices, the Model A has taken on a new status with hot rod builders everywhere, young and old alike. Consider this, because the Deuce is so valuable they are generally built to a very high level. That means to stand out in a crowd of '32 Fords you must either have documented history or an amazing build. Not so with the Model A, build one to a high standard and it is more likely to be noticed alongside many other Model A Fords. And while it is fun to say there are no rules in street rodding all you need to do is break one while building a Deuce and you know that simply is not true. Generally there are limitations to acceptable modifications applied to a '32 Ford, while liberties can be taken with the Model A. Like it or not there is a certain gold chain versus blue collar feeling between the Deuce and the '28-31 Fords.
Even Model A roadsters are...
Even Model A roadsters are relatively affordable and cars like this original '30 Ford are showing up at swap meets on a regular basis, and they are often priced to sell.
Whatever the reasons, one thing is very apparent. The Model A has enjoyed resurgence in popularity in the past five years and we are seeing more diverse cars, new and interesting modifications, and virtually every body style produced has been converted into some great hot rods. The Model A may never dethrone the king, but it certainly has joined the royal family. Let's take a closer look at some of the production facts and figures, costs and investments, along with some great tech ideas that might help you get an A-plus when you attend new old school.
Model A vs. the Deuce
What are they Worth?
We thought it might be interesting to do some comparison shopping for similar body styles and see exactly what is out there for sale. While we might be on a slight pro-Model A slant here, make no mistake the Deuce is still a car that will command good money and sell quicker than many Model A Fords. There is a strong collector base for the venerable Deuce that will not end any time soon, so as an investment it is still hard to compete with the '32 Ford.