1929 Ford Model A Roadster Pickup
This handsome little worker has an all-of-a-piece look that suits its blue-collar roots just fine.
Ford’s Model A roadster pickup remains one of the most versatile and fun body styles available, and they’ve only just recently come into their own as a desirable collectors’ item, too. With all the utility of a functioning pickup bed, plus agile handling, a torquey little engine, and the joy of a folding convertible top, this great little trucklet means you don’t need to explain to anyone why you bought it. Take it to Home Depot on Saturday and do your shopping, then show it on Sunday and you’ll realize that a vintage commercial vehicle will pay for itself quite quickly, but you won’t even notice because of how much fun you’re having.
This 1929 roadster pickup was restored about 15 years ago with the express intent of being a promotional vehicle for a logistics company. They used it for company events and in parades to promote the company, and with their lettering on the handsome oak stake sides, it probably did a great job. That company was sold to another company, who has no use for the little truck, so it is now available. And although it was restored in the 1990s, it hasn’t been used much and still looks right. The commercial green paint has an honest shine that isn’t so glossy that you’re worried about it all the time, and a talented hobbyist could probably erase the minor orange peel in the finish to really take it to the next level. However, I kind of think that would be a disservice to this handsome little worker, as it has an all-of-a-piece look that suits its blue-collar roots just fine. It fits together well, the black fenders are shiny, and all the brightwork was finished in chrome instead of nickel for a bright look and low maintenance. The bed is filled with pretty refinished oak boards and those functional stake sides, and the lettering you see on them is comprised of decals, not paint, so you can remove it if you don’t like how it looks.
The interior is black leatherette on a simple bench, and the basic look is completely in line with the affordable Ford’s job. Commercial deliveries around town were easy and you didn’t have to worry about the boss’s fancy truck while you were on the job, so plain door panels and a rubber mat were standard equipment. The rest of the dash will be familiar to anyone who has owned or driven a Model A, with a center-mounted instrument panel and hard rubber steering wheel. For some reason, the steering column was left in primer, but the rest of the interior is finished pretty much the way they were new. All the gauges work except for the odometer, so we can’t verify mileage, and the gauge panel is a quick shine away from looking like new. The original roadster pickups used lift-off cloth tops, which were just about as cheap as Henry could make them, but this one features a new Lebaron-Bonney folding top assembly that truly makes the roadster pickup work like you’d expect and a wonderful sunny day driver. And while it’s not shown, there is a rear window that was in the up position during the photo shoot.
Mechanically, there’s not much about the Model A’s four-cylinder engine that can go wrong. We recently installed a fresh Zenith carburetor to replace the aftermarket unit shown in photos, along with a new set of exhaust manifold gaskets, so it’s ready to run. It starts quickly and easily and runs the way all Model As should. Lots of torque, a happy exhaust note, and an eager feeling on the road are characteristic of the breed, and this one is no exception. Brakes are firm and do their job reasonably well and the suspension, while a little bouncy due to the pickup truck bed in back, feels rugged. The chassis was restored to drive, but it shows no signs of previous damage or rot, and all the factory-style equipment is still in place with no deviations. There’s light surface scale on the underside of the floors, which were left unpainted, and the correct exhaust system is a bit crusty, but there’s nothing that will keep this Model A from being a reliable and trusted friend for years to come. The wheels are standard 21-inch welded wires and they wear blackwall tires that look right on the commercial-grade truck.
Nicely sorted, recently tuned, and ready to enjoy, this is a value-priced roadster pickup that can be enjoyed immediately. Prices are on the move for these models, and with the folding top, there’s really no reason not to get out there and start having fun with one of the world’s most popular collector cars.
Note that this car is currently registered in New Hampshire, which does not issue titles to cars older than 25 years. This Model A is sold on a current registration and bill of sale, which is all you need to acquire a title in all 50 states.