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1930 Model A Ford Roadster

By Vern Parker


From the time almost 90 years ago when Ford introduced the all new Model A the car was a popular success. It still is.

During the four years of production about five million Model A Fords were produced in a wide variety of styles.

The early history of one of the 1930 roadsters has been lost but the car itself survives. According to the present owner, Ron Phillips, his Model A underwent a complete restoration two owners ago.

Once the car was looking better than new it was sold. After a few years that owner in the spring of 2007 decided to sell the still pristine Ford.

That was when Phillips' brother-in-law saw the car for sale in Charlotte, N.C. And notified Phillips of what he had discovered.

Phillips already had a Model A coupe but this roadster was in better condition. Pictures of the car were sent to Phillips and on the word of his brother-in-law the car was purchased with one caveat. The seller had to keep the car until Phillips had sold his own car. The seller agreed to wait.

Three months later, with his own car sold, Phillips borrowed his brother-in-law's pickup truck and loaded the roadster on a rented trailer and towed it home to Stafford, Va.

The 1930 Model A featured 19-inch wheels which could handle 4.75/5.00x19-inch bigger, more modern-appearing tires than those used on earlier models.

In the era before all automobile manufacturers splashed chrome trim on their cars pin striping highlighted the lines of the cars.

The lines of this black Ford are accented by apple green pin striping that matches the color of the 30 spoke wire wheels which support the car on a 103.5-inch wheelbase.

The 200.5-cubic-inch four cylinder engine delivers 40 horsepower to the rear drive wheels through the three-speed transmission which requires double clutching when shifting gears either up or down. Next to the gear shift lever sprouting from the floor is a hand brake lever.

On both sides of the engine hood are 22 louvers to help the engine breathe easier. Assisting the engine to breathe is a two-blade fan behind the radiator. Crowning the radiator is a chrome plated quail ornament.

Side curtains came with the car but Phillips leaves them at home in the garage with the thought that if the weather is inclement enough to warrant using the side curtains he is not going to take his Ford cruising.

In hot weather, however, the bottom of the windshield can be pushed open and the top can be lowered for an abundance of fresh air. “It's like air conditioning,” Phillips says.

The gasoline tank is virtually in the lap of the front seat passengers. Fuel is fed via gravity to the single barrel updraft carburetor.

Stopping chores are relegated to the four wheel mechanical brakes.

Centrally located in the center of the instrument panel is a cyclops eye speedometer. Above the flat glass windshield is the single hand operated wiper to clear the view for the driver.

Phillips has installed a protective gravel guard in front of the radiator. Metal step plates on both running boards are there to protect the running boards when entering the interior which is covered with brown vinyl.

Phillips is pleased that the spare tire on his car is not mounted in a well in one of the front fenders. He prefers the location of the spare on his car at the rear. The rear bumper on cars with the spare at the rear is in two pieces.

The cozy interior of the Ford seems spacious in comparison to the space afforded to the passengers in the rumble seat. After climbing into the rumble seat via two step plates on the right rear corner of the car the occupants have an abundance of fresh air.


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