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Interview

1930 Ford Model A Tudor Two-door Sedan

Story and photos by Jerry F. Boone

For the casual observer, Darrel Freimuth’s Model A Ford is more than just a beautifully restored representative of Henry’s legendary Lady.

With Freimuth giving the tour, it becomes a rolling piece of history.

“Today you get in a car and just assume you’ll have no problems,” he says. “When these cars were built, you were expected to have some mechanical ability.”

Freimuth opens a trap door behind the front seats to reveal a recessed box full of tools and parts used to keep the 70-year-old Ford on the road.

“With what I carry, I can fix just about any problem that might leave the car stranded,” he says.

That’s considerably different than today’s modern motorists, most of who fix their automotive problems with a cell phone and credit card.

Freimuth is a bit of a home-grown expert on the early Fords. His collection includes two Model Ts and a trio of Model As, in addition to a few far less popular cars.

He admires the A for its style and simplicity, and for what it meant to the automotive revolution.

“I think there were 26 different models,” he says. “There were coupes, touring cars, sedans and pick-up trucks. And even within the body styles, there were variations.”

His blue two-door sedan is one of his favorite body styles.

“The four doors used the suicide door in the rear,” he says. “I always figured that was kind of dangerous of you wanted to carry the grandchildren. In this one they can ride in the back and I don’t have to worry about them.”

He says part of the appeal of the Model A is that they are still relatively plentiful and the pieces are fairly easy to find.

But that’s both good and bad news to the collector.

“It means that kids can still get them and put big V-8s in them, and slowly eats up the number of originals that are left.”

Freimuth bought the Model A fully restored, and then did a few modifications (like adding turn lights and fuses) to make it more roadworthy.

“When I got it, it was like a new car,” he says.

Plus, the price was right.

(Click photo to see restoration photos)

“The previous owner had spent a lot of time and money getting the car done,” he says.

Maybe too much.

Freimuth says the project resulted in one if those legendary “it or me” ultimatums from his wife.

So Freimuth got the car, and the previous owner got off the hook, and another piece of history remains on the road.

Recommendations
Click on any item below for more details at Amazon.com

Jim Schild
Restorer’s Model A Shop Manual
Motorbooks, Paperback, 1985-06-28
This may be the most accurate, well-illustrated restoration and maintenance guide available. It contains step-by-step procedures on everything from tinkering to frame-up restorations. It includes details on original and reproduction parts, special fixes and problem areas.

Jim Schild
Collector’s Originality Guide Ford Model A
Motorbooks, Paperback, 2009-12-04

In this paperback reissue of the highly popular hardcover book, author and photographer Jim Schild walks through all of the details of the Model A’s four-year production, providing collectors with everything they need to know to identify, classify, and restore these fabulous cars. Filled with gorgeous color photography, this book has been and continues to be a must-have for all Model A fans.


Jim Schild
Original Ford Model A
Motorbooks, Hardcover, 2003-05-23
This book provides detailed OEM specifications and more than 250 photos of Model A’s in restoration, giving enthusiasts a hands-on connection with the car. Jim Schild is author of nine books, five of them focusing on the Model A and restoration, and is publisher of The Auto Review.

Ray Miller, Glenn Embree
Henry’s Lady: An Illustrated History of the Model A Ford (The Ford Road Series, Vol. 2)
Evergreen Press (CA), Hardcover, 1972-06
This book is a comprehensive photographic study of the 1928 to 1931 Model A Ford. In over 1000 photographs, the book displays the characteristics of the cars on a model year basis.

Beverly Rae Kimes
The Cars That Henry Ford Built
Automobile Heritage Publishing & Communications LLC, Hardcover, 2004-10-31
Join award-winning historian and author Beverly Rae Kimes as she presents lively historical text that captures Henry Ford growing and aging as his cars grew and aged, each lock-stepped together through history. Over 100 full-color photographs further bring the man and his creations to life, and include every model Henry Ford produced from the Quadricycle he put together as a young man in 1896 to the famous V-8 Ford on the production lines four and a half decades later during his failing years.
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