day at the shop I was minding my own business when I got a call from a
customer, the conversation went like this "Hey Tim, you need another
Model A?" I says "NO! what ya got?" Well he tells me of a 1930 Roadster
that was in a garage in Reedley CA, just a few miles north of me, that
the people needed it gone so they could clear the property for sale. I
had to go check it out at the very least. I told him to give my phone
number to the lady selling and I got a call from her immediately so we
set up a meeting. I figured in my mind what was a fare price and what I
would offer before I even saw the car but when I got to the place where
it was stored and saw the car I knew I had to have it.
in this garage since 1974 was about as clean and perfect of a 30 Model
A roadster as I've every seen. In pieces.
was dismantled in 1974 for reasons unknown but you could tell that it
had not been out as all the pieces were hanging from the garage door
tracks so the door could not be opened. The owner of the car, Floyd
Hammond, had passed away in 1995 and the property was idle since then.
Floyd's son had moved to Florida and had finally decided to sell the
property as he figured he wasn't going to return to CA. Can't blame
him. It also should be known that Floyd's hose had burned down sometime
in the 80s and instead of rebuilding he just added a bathroom to the
garage and moved in with his roadster. Floyd was quite the character as
I learned from his grand daughter, the woman I purchased the car from.
we came to an agreement on a price after a little haggling and I got
the car along with a few other items in the garage, lots of interesting
stuff in there. Here are a few shots of us digging the car out.
Floyd's Model A sees daylight for the first time in 46 years.
the video of us loading it up
you can see, the car was pretty complete with a good top and interior
parts. We hacked it together with a few bolts just to make it easier to
load and transport.
learn a little about Floyd. He was a kid that grew up in Nebraska and
moved to CA as a young man. I couldn't get the family to nail down an
age of the man but we found a certificate of attendance in the garage
from a Nebraska elementary school dated 1920 from the fourth grade. I
figure with that he was born around 1910 and was 85 when he passed in
1995. He was the owner of a shell service station in Reedley and later
a locksmith and a park ranger according to his grand daughter. There
was tons of key blanks and a few cutters for copying keys strewn around
is a sketch of Floyd drawn by a local artist. I'm thinking the artist
was female as I was told Floyd was quite the ladies man in his later
years (he was a widower) and had a reputation around town. Probably why
he never got around to rebuilding his roadster.
bought the car in 1950 and at that time he proceeded to restore it. I
have receipts for paint work. tires, the addition of very welcome cowl
vents (cost $90 to install), upholstery, a new top and a rebuilt engine
for $129.28 from Rutter Arrmy machine shop in 1953. The shop still
exists. All tolled he spent close to $1000 on the car and I don't know
what he paid for the car. I think he really loved that Roadster.
was Floyd's coffee cup that sat on a shelf of a coffee shop in Reedley
for many years, when Floyd would come in on a regular basis the
waitress would pull it down and fill it for him as he would sit down.
Just the way things were back in the day. My plan is to keep Floyd's
old roadster looking pretty much like it looks on his old cup
back to the Roadster. After getting it to the shop and looking it over
I decided that this was a car that didn't really need much. Looks like
a good clean up and bolt it back together would do the trick. Pulled
the engine out, cleaned up the frame a bit, rattle caned it and
installed the Banger that I had just recently pulled from my 31 pickup
for a better Hopped up banger B motor. The banger that came out of the
truck was no slouch though.
"new" engine going back in has a "B" trans and a lightened flywheel
with a V8 clutch. The original engine has a matching # to the VIN on
the frame so I will keep it and possibly rebuild for re installation
one day. Never much cared about "matching numbers" but if you got it,
what the heck.
it was a matter of bolting it together, lots of bolts! Lining up body
blocks, fitting fenders, fitting doors and so on. Not too bad but time
consuming. After a few days we had a fairly complete car.
I got a muffler installed and the windshield attached it was time for
the first long drive. 20 miles from the shop to my house on an early
Sunday morning through the country.
Swapping one roadster for another.
Driving into the sunrise.
Wonderful drive and ran flawlessly. Had to stop and take a few pictures on the way.
Of course when I got home I had to take the wife and the dogs out for a drive, they all approve.
One more thing, I couldn't help think I had seen this car before. Maybe some celebrity driving it at one time?
car also came with a top, although it's probably 60+ years old, just
like the upholstery, it looks pretty good. Found all the mounting
hardware in the coffee cans too.
had mentioned that I got a few other things out of Floyd's garage, one
was a set of Lincoln Zephyr wheels, hub caps with whitewall tires
mounted. I figured I would try them on for size. While doing the swap I
noticed that in the cans of junk that came with the car there was a set
of wheel spacers (needed to mount disc wheels on Model A hubs) all
marked RF-LF-RR- and LR. Also the wheels had pin strips that were the
same color as the striping on the car. I think that Floyd must of had
these wheels on the car at one time. I think they look great! Wife says
"it makes it look faster". I'm good with that.
Without hub caps.
that's the story, I bought the car in the middle of May this year, had
it as a driver about a month later and I've been having a blast in it
ever since. Wonderful driving, rust free, dent free (for the most part)
1930 Model A roadster. Love it! They are out there, keep looking. Or it
may just drop in your lap.