by Tim McMaster
One 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.

Parked in this garage since 1974 was about as clean and perfect of a 30 Model A roadster as I've every seen. In pieces.

It 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.

Well, 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.

Watch the video of us loading it up

As 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.

Let's 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 the garage.

This 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.

Floyd 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.

This 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

So 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.

The "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.

Next 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.

After 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?

The 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.

I 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.


So 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.

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All artwork, text, design, and photos, are Copyright 2008 by Tim McMaster.