Hooniverse Truck Thursday – A 1929 Model A Hot Rod Pickup, with a Twist!


Welcome to another edition of Hooniverse Truck Thursday. The American Hot Rod…. These were usually fashioned from the early Ford Model T, or the Ford Model A, and were the staple of the California Custom Car movement for several decades. The formula was simple; Take a discarded Model T or Model A, install a Ford Flathead V-8 (or a Chevy Small Block during the sixties), add period performance parts including engine enhancements, a more modern braking system, and modern tires, some upholstery work, and a jazzy paint job, and you were cruisin’ on a Saturday Night. This little Truck takes pages from the golden era of Hot Rods, only with a twist….


Take a look at the engine compartment. The usual Hot Rod Formula is to install a modified Ford Flathead V-8, or a souped-up Chevy Small Block. This doesn’t have either, just a modified version of the Ford Model A Four Cylinder powerplant, with period performance pieces bolted on. Some of those vintage pieces include a Mallory Dual Point Distributor, a Thomas Manifold with two carburetors, a finned high compression aluminum head, and cast iron swept-back headers.

The one concession to highway cruising is the replacement of the original Model A transmission with a T-5 Five Speed Manual. Brakes are 48 Ford Hydraulic Units, there is a dropped front axle, and new Firestone wide white bias-ply tires. The seats were re-upholstered with the hides from an old leather sofa, and the paint was meant to replicate the battleship gray paint you may have purchased at a surplus store.

This Truck is in the early stages of a 10 day auction, with a Buy-It-Now price of $29,000. To me that is an awful lot of change for this particular truck, but it is worth something because it is a rare and wonderful beast. See the eBay listing here.

0 Comments

  1. I'll take the truck and the house. I wonder where this is in Albuquerque? Typically you find brick homes in the larger towns in NM, but when you get out to the small towns or rural areas, most houses are adobe. The truck is way cool, and would would probably be a good daily driver. Those GM Guide headlights, I wonder what they're off of?

  2. There used to be a *huge* market for Model T and A (he said T&A, heh heh) hop-up parts back in the '20s and '30s. Even Louis Chevrolet came up with well-known Frontenac performance heads for the T after he left GM. I think this pickup would be worth $29,000 only if it was visually stock with period performance improvements. The customizing cuts the value for most buyers.

  3. Nice, but for that price, it is lacking. I appreciate the sentiment of keeping the motor, but I would much rather have something more modern and reliable. Nothing sucks worse than having something go wrong on your Saturday night cruise.
    That said, leather straps!

      1. Somewhat related story:
        When I was a lad, my parents took me to the electric light parade downtown. We watched, ohhed and ahhhed, and had some cotton candy. When it was time to leave, the battery in the Jeep was dead. It was very late, and my dad walked 3ish miles to my grandmothers house to borrow her car and jumper cables, while my mother and I waited it out. Eventually, he showed up, and we got the Jeep jumped.
        This is one of the mildest Saturday night cruises on our families record.

  4. I fully appreciate and endorse the sentiments and choices made for the buildup, but $30K seems way too high – even if those are OG / OEM vintage parts.
    Love the battleship gray and maroon. Set up a still in the bed and you'd have a fun cruiser.
    My in-laws have a '29 Model A roadster pickup in pieces which I've been trying to eke my way into restoring – this is giving me evil thoughts.

  5. This rod is also unusual for the lack of channeling. I don't typically see them fenderless and perched atop the frame like that.

  6. Maybe at the beginning of the whole "OMG IT HAS WHITE-WALLS AND NO FENDERS!!! I'LL PAY ANYTHING" craze, this would have been worth the coin, but this whole "Rockabilly" thing has peaked, and is slowly sliding down the trend superhighway. Take about twenty grand off the asking price, and you might have a winner.
    I have a friend who has a completely original(except for the paint), unrestored '29 Cabriolet Pickup, and that thing is barely worth 29K.

  7. I don't know much about the hot rod market, so I won't comment on the price, but if I was building an old-fashioned hot rod, this is EXACTLY the kind of vibe I'd go for. Actually, for a while now I've had the idea of finding an old Model A frame and running gear (sometimes you can find them cheap when rodders just want an old A body) and plopping a Model T roadster body on top of it, keeping the four-banger and mechanical brakes. Why mechanical brakes? Because it's for going, not stopping, dammit!

    1. Exactly the same feeling here, except that i'd try to base my hotrod on an old Traction Avant Body.

  8. The photo in the listing which shows a Ford data plate screwed to the driver's side firewall (not the photo included above) is a bit troubling. That's a much later plate (I'm thinking '50s) and it's not in a factory location anyway. Such plates are available as reproductions, so this may just have been a "convenient" way to come up with an accessible version of the serial number, instead of relying on frame stampings.
    The format Axxxxxx suggests it is titled under a Model A engine number, which is a common enough practice, but this becomes a problem if that particular engine is no longer in the vehicle (I've got a similar problem with my '37 Plymouth). Still, if this vehicle's status is ever challenged by a state inspector who knows something about old Fords, this plate will look suspicious. A state-assigned VIN would be the ugly, but correct, way to go instead.

  9. I dunno, even with the a-bit-too-high price and the possible shadiness of the seller, something about this build really appeals to me. It just reeks period authenticity, with nothing standing out as being over the top (OK, the rat rod cliche red wheels might have to go). Heck, the restorer even restrained himself on the upholstery. I don't have to want to buy it to like it.

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