Know How Then & Now: 1930 Model A Project – Part 1
It is amazing how far automotive technology has advanced in the last century. The cars and trucks that travel our roadways have features that would have been straight out of science fiction just a few decades ago. Today you can purchase a car that can keep itself within a lane on the highway while also following the vehicle in front of it at a precise distance regardless of speed. All this happens with just the touch of a button. Very impressive even by today’s standards, yet even these new features will become standard in time. But with all of the technological wizardry we have now accepted as normal, it may come as a surprise that many modern cars still have much in common with their distant ancestors. How much you ask? To answer that question we would need an old car.
Through pure luck we acquired the use of a 1930 Ford Model A coupe owned by Ashley and Matt Kossoff. The Kossoffs own The Retrofit Source and are no stranger to the automotive hobby. This particular 1930 Model A was recently passed to down to Ashley from her grandfather, Eugene Bruce. While her grandfather was not the original owner, he enjoyed the car for several decades after acquiring it on a whim for the princely sum of $100. The Model A was always kept in running condition and has seen its fair share of parades over the years. Little touches of grandpa’s home-grown repairs are evident here and there on the car. At one point, the original wood and fabric roof panel was replaced with a homemade tin piece, no doubt to help keep out the cold Pennsylvania winters. These little repairs are great reminders of the trade skills that Eugene, a plumber and self-made businessman, used to provide for his family.
The plan is to take this wonderful family treasure and give it a second life. It was decided early during project planning that this would not be a show quality restoration to factory original condition. Much of the charm of the car lies in its character. Ashley has fond childhood memories of the car in pretty much the same condition it is in now, so to change that would be a shame. We are taking a different route with a sympathetic restoration that will leave the car cosmetically intact. Some parts will be refurbished, some will be replaced, some will be upgraded, and some will be updated. The goal is to have a fun, reliable vintage car that the Kossoff’s can enjoy and hopefully pass on to the next generation.
To do that the NAPA Know How Blog chose veteran car builder Bryan Fuller and his crew at Fuller Moto. Bryan and his team have been instrumental in helping us identify what on our 1930 Model A should be fixed, what should be replaced, and what should be left alone. Along the way we will report our progress here on the NAPA Know How Blog while also teaching you how your own car works. Time and technology may have moved on, but there are many automotive principles that are just as true today as they were 85 years ago.