Real Steel

Can Someone Identify This 1930/1940 TOW HITCH on a Ford Model A?

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This tow hitch is mounted on my 1930 Ford pickup.  It appears to have never been removed from the truck.  It looks extremely well made and it's most likely a commercially produced sample, as opposed to a home-made or small shop sample.  

 

I recently received comments from a gentleman who stated that he also had the exact same hitch attached to his unrestored Model A pickup in 1970.  This would confirm that these hitches were commercially available at one time.

 

Does someone recognize this hitch?  I'm sure the company produced similar samples for other car makes.  I'm mostly looking for a manufactures name.

 

 

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1 hour ago, 1937hd45 said:

Nice hitch, but a truck that nice should have a full photo feature. Bob

 

Thanks Bob...it's nice of you to say that.  I'll post a few photos this spring after I've 'corrected' 87 years of owners fudging with it.   Below are a couple of photos as it drives today.

 

I'm working on a project right now that puts some parts back to their original configuration, namely the radiator shell, the headlight buckets, and the cowl band.  All of those parts are now stainless steel, which is correct for a Model A car or deluxe truck...but not correct for my basic little pickup; they should be painted carbon steel.  The project has been a cruel task master and resource sucker.

 

The trailer hitch has been a big mystery to me.  Somehow I feel it may be associated with the extremely rare factory-installed right-side  spare tire.  All my attempts to solve this mystery have hit dead ends.

PIC Side view at school.jpg

Pic 4 Crop.jpg

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4 minutes ago, keiser31 said:

Yours is the only other Model A truck I have seen with dual sidemounts besides the one I had....

 

 

Actually, mine is right side mount only.

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8 hours ago, Real Steel said:

 

Actually, mine is right side mount only.

Oh....I misunderstood. Sorry. Then mine was the ONLY factory dual sidemount Model A truck I have ever seen.

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8 hours ago, Real Steel said:

Actually, mine is right side mount only.

 

Can you imagine the Ford salesmen when that truck left the dealership.

"Whew! I thought we'd never sell that job."

"Yeah, imagine him standing in a 4 foot ditch wrestling that spare out, already torqued out of shape from getting a flat."

 

Bernie

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4 hours ago, Roger Walling said:

 I have a hitch just like that, although I never knew it was for a hitch as the ball was not on it.

 

 I keep it in my metal stockpile for when I need a curved piece of steel.

 

 

You should dig it out - probably could sell it to a Model A pickup owner for a good deal more than scrap price.

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12 hours ago, Real Steel said:

 

Thanks Bob...it's nice of you to say that.  I'll post a few photos this spring after I've 'corrected' 87 years of owners fudging with it.   Below are a couple of photos as it drives today.

 

I'm working on a project right now that puts some parts back to their original configuration, namely the radiator shell, the headlight buckets, and the cowl band.  All of those parts are now stainless steel, which is correct for a Model A car or deluxe truck...but not correct for my basic little pickup; they should be painted carbon steel.  The project has been a cruel task master and resource sucker.

 

The trailer hitch has been a big mystery to me.  Somehow I feel it may be associated with the extremely rare factory-installed right-side  spare tire.  All my attempts to solve this mystery have hit dead ends.

PIC Side view at school.jpg

Pic 4 Crop.jpg

 

 

Nice truck!  I like 'em shiny but I also like 'em with the patina they've earned over a lifetime - kinda like my scars and warts.  :D

 

AFAIK, Ford didn't offer a trailer hitch, although there undoubtedly were aftermarket ones.  While the left-side spare was standard, right-side was unusual but not unheard of - it was an option, possibly a no-cost one.  Actually it makes more sense - less obstruction to driver's door and probably safer to dismount on non-traffic side (at least in LHD countries ;)).

 

You may already know this but the radiator shell for both 30 and 31 pickup is the same as 30 passenger, except black-painted steel instead of stainless - it does not have the indented top portion like 31 passenger.  Trucks did use the same radiator badge as passenger - blue enamel for 30 and stainless for 31, and I think the same crank-hole cover.

 

It's amazing how many trucks were "upgraded" to the passenger parts - seems there are more with stainless than painted nowadays.  So much so that the correct parts, especially the cowl band, are hard to find and expensive.  We never did find them for our pickup - finally ended up painting some stainless ones.

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I have a similar one that fits Model T rear spring clamps.  Same heavy flat bars with a twist to suit the spring curve but it ends with a flat plate with a hole since typical hitch were pins in a fork at the time.  As I recall dad had it on his 15T and used it to tow the 33B to the welding shop in the Forties.  The reach is a bit shorter than yours, maybe 16 inches.  Dad might have made it himself, but it is much heavier than he normally built things.  He probably found it in a scrap yard.  Could have been made at a local metal shop.  People were a lot more self reliant in those days and didn't rely on a factory to make everything.  And items were a lot more cruder too.

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50 minutes ago, CHuDWah said:

 

 

Nice truck!  I like 'em shiny but I also like 'em with the patina they've earned over a lifetime - kinda like my scars and warts.  :D

 

AFAIK, Ford didn't offer a trailer hitch, although there undoubtedly were aftermarket ones.  While the left-side spare was standard, right-side was unusual but not unheard of - it was an option, possibly a no-cost one.  Actually it makes more sense - less obstruction to driver's door and probably safer to dismount on non-traffic side (at least in LHD countries ;)).

 

You may already know this but the radiator shell for both 30 and 31 pickup is the same as 30 passenger, except black-painted steel instead of stainless - it does not have the indented top portion like 31 passenger.  Trucks did use the same radiator badge as passenger - blue enamel for 30 and stainless for 31, and I think the same crank-hole cover.

 

It's amazing how many trucks were "upgraded" to the passenger parts - seems there are more with stainless than painted nowadays.  So much so that the correct parts, especially the cowl band, are hard to find and expensive.  We never did find them for our pickup - finally ended up painting some stainless ones.

 

I see you know your pickups! :)

 

Your point on safely changing the tire when the spare is mounted on the right side is good one.  The 30-31 A's don't have the door-to-spare tire interference problem like the 28-29 A's. 

 

I'm curious about the Ford option for a tow hitch.  I haven't found anything about that.  Do you have more info?

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6 hours ago, Roger Walling said:

 I have a hitch just like that, although I never knew it was for a hitch as the ball was not on it.

 

 I keep it in my metal stockpile for when I need a curved piece of steel.

 

That accounts for a total of three hitches of this type so far.  Clearly not made by a local shop or do-it-yourself'er.

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6 hours ago, Roger Walling said:

 I have a hitch just like that, although I never knew it was for a hitch as the ball was not on it.

 

 I keep it in my metal stockpile for when I need a curved piece of steel.

 

Could you please post a photo of it?

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Here's what you drop on that hitch.

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A Smith Motor Compressor. There is a transverse 60 gallon air tank that goes into the rounded panels. I had that right around the turn of the century. Should have kept that, too.

Bernie

 

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Wow! what a great looking truck, thanks for the additional photos. Whatever updates and corrections are planned I hope they don't change the overall look of the truck. ANYTHING can be restored, that truck needs to stay as it is. Bob 

Edited by 1937hd45 (see edit history)

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2 hours ago, 1937hd45 said:

Wow! what a great looking truck, thanks for the additional photos. Whatever updates and corrections at planned I hope they don't change the overall look of the truck. ANYTHING can be restored, that truck needs to stay as it is. Bob 

 

This truck will not be restored, no way!  Only modifications made by PO's (such as the radiator shell, etc) will be put back to the factory correct version.  Within reason, I will use original used Ford parts, or NOS parts, or NORS parts.  Only a few items will be new, such as tires, distributor parts, gaskets, etc.  Any new parts will be USA if possible.

 

The theme for the truck is "The War Years"...how would the truck have looked and have been used in the early 40's.  Well used, patina, a few circa 1940 replacement parts, basic, simple.  

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12 hours ago, Real Steel said:

 

That accounts for a total of three hitches of this type so far.  Clearly not made by a local shop or do-it-yourself'er.

you like to use it to back up a bend your hammering out right ?  have you ever used a i'm not sure the right name but its for connecting a cable to another cable at a 90 deg. turn  they must be forged because i have one big one I like to shape metal on top of   It has the shape im always looking for wile shaping steel .Be for I use to use a twist like the hitch in this picture . kyle

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Here is a photo of a similar hitch on a Model T from a 2010 forum post.  This T hitch is shorter than the one shown above on my A, but the hitches may be from the same manufacturer.

 

The 2010 author states that the hitch is an "original accessory", but no other details are given.

 

For you Model T folks out there, does this ring any bells?

 

http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/118802/167267.html

 

 

 

 

 

Tow Hitch on Model T - is shorter.jpg

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