Jump to content

Interesting Model A project


Recommended Posts

Thought this may generate some interest or discussion. Not sure if this has been done before but someone replicating the Model A victoria convertible style custom designed by Gordon Buehrig during his time at ACD. The car is being built from a cabriolet body just as the original was in the ACD shops. This was Buehrig's personal car,as even as chief of design at Duesenberg, such a car was out of reach..

I will try to post some pictures later, I understand the bodywork is done and it is getting close to the paint and upholstery stage.

My question is, how would AACA classify this car? A one off, but the body is being built to spec in the same fashion as the original. So would it be eligible for AACA competition? What about CCCA eligibility is an application is done - I believe they accept rebodied Classics now. One one hand it is a Model A, on the other hand it is a faithful rebody of a design by one of the greatest, and arguably best known designer of the Classic era. Proper materials and workmanship.

I do not believe the original exists anymore, but anyone who has seen the car in either Buehrig's book Rolling Sculpture or in the Model A publications can see this is a really great looking car.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes. It was a good looking car. I'm surprised someone hasn't replicated it way before now.

Interesting thought on how it coud be classified for AACA events. If the real car still existed, I doubt it would be accepted by the Classic Car Club as a "Full Classic," even with its "custom" coachwork (there are a couple of Fords that have been accepted by the CCCA already, but they have V8 engines). Even Ford Model A town cars are not accepted by the CCCA as "Classic."

So... (and I speak with an unofficial opinion here) even though AACA has accepted rebodied " CCCA Classics," I doubt there would be a place for this in AACA judging events.

I'd love to see it when it's done though. And please post some pictures as soon as you can.

Link to post
Share on other sites

The only people that would give a car like that acceptance would be Hot Rodders, AACA types would cry the loss of an original cabriolet cowl and doors, MARC people may have a hitman hired by now. Personally I look forward to seeing the actual finished car as long as it stated to be a recreation.

Link to post
Share on other sites

A thoughtful hot rodder might try to fit a supercharged Auburn 8 in the engine bay. grin.gif

Even as an "A" owner I realize these cars are not Packards or ACD cars or whatever. There are quite a few semi-complete bodies out there - As & Ts as I am sure you know. I agree a cab cowl & doors going to a project like this (or a traditional hot rod..) is a fine use for the parts..

I am interested in what coverage MARC & MAFCA give this project. Speedsters, hucksters and one off commercial type bodies are usually accepted, but generally not for fine point judging.

I am hoping to get some more pictures of his progress to post soon ~

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 weeks later...

This thread started me thinking, would the AACA accept the original car if it was still in existence? Granted Gordon Buehrig designed this car, however it would still be a modified car and would not have been delivered from Ford looking like this. Do who and when a car is modified make a difference?

Link to post
Share on other sites

If a known designer designed it and it was built in the ACD shops I would consider it a custom bodied vehicle like any other and as such I think the original would be welcome in AACA competition but not the recreation.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Leonard. Subtle modifications that add up - the mark of a truly great designer. I think the car looked even better after the modifications - especially the wheels and tires. The big blackwalls really work on this car. Love Buehrig's own words on the satisfaction and quality of this car. Remember, he had access to all the ACD cars he wanted, and he drove them a lot from what I have read.

If the original existed today, I absolutely think CCCA would include this car as Mr. Restorer32 is obviously using his skills at understatement when referring to Buehrig simply as a "known Designer" grin.gif

Regardless, that would be one expensive Model A!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Ha - no argument there, Restorer32. I should have said "subtle changes in appearance" I recognize a small difference in appearance could be the result of major work on this or any other custom car.

Hoping to get the fellow who is doing the recreation to send an update. I guess there were some challenges in researching some of the details as very little other than what is in Rolling Sculpture and an old MARC or MAFCA article exist on the car. Some of the technical challenges include elongating the hood so it fit right at both ends, adding hood louvres, etc.

Restorer32 - BTW, I wonder if you and the other Packard guys got a similar impression - I think Buehrig's drawing above looks a lot like something Ray Dietrich would have drawn up?

Link to post
Share on other sites

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Steve_Mack_CT</div><div class="ubbcode-body">If the original existed today, I absolutely think CCCA would include this car as Mr. Restorer32 is obviously using his skills at understatement when referring to Buehrig simply as a "known Designer" grin.gif

</div></div>

It would certainly be an interesting topic. Would it open up the Ford Model A Town Cars to classic status as well? As mentioned, the Buhrig car has the leg up with a "known designer."

Link to post
Share on other sites

Personally I think the towncars belong in CCCA, West. Brewsters are there, and although I have only seen a couple Brewsters they are not superior to the A towncars in coachwork, in my opinion. The basic even for 1930 powertrain no doubt keeps them off. It is, however, adequate for the car, although I have never ridden in a towncar so I am not sure how much added weight plays a role.

Link to post
Share on other sites

How many Model A Towncars were built? Were they built by Ford or by a custom builder? Were they designed by a "known designer"? Just curious. I never have been able to fully understand CCCA thinking but I think an A Towncar could possibly qualify using the same set of rules and the same mindset that allows '47 Cadillacs and Lincoln Continentals.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Model As certainly wouldn't fare well on a CCCA CARavan. I think the problem with getting one into the CCCA has more to do with its "basic" underpinnings. Letting a few town cars (or the Buehrig-designed car, if it were ever found) certainly wouldn't open the flood gates, per se, but you always hear afterwards, "since they now accept 'XXX', they need to accept 'YYY'."

In my opinion, they don't HAVE to accept anything. It's a club for a certain type and period of car, governed by their rules, and if anyone doesn't like it, they don't have to join it. If you want to join a club that accepts everything, join the AACA.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Restorer, the towncars were designed by LeBaron, but built by Briggs. 1,102 produced in '28-29 style and another 96 in 1930. I understand there are only a very few 1930s left, and while '28-29s are rare, a member of our local MARC region has one. According the "The Original Model A" these were built and appointed in equal quality to a larger towncar. A good argument for CCCA but I also realize the power of the later v-8 Brewster cars are a different animal in that respect.

West, overall I think CCCA does pretty good in determining which cars qualify. I am sure we all have our ideas about what should be added or dropped, though!

57Plymouth, it is not my project, just a car I am interested in. Builder is in FL and I believe the plans are for the standard 40 hp engine.

Back to the Buehrig car, though - didn't you guys see the Dietrich like lines in the car's profile drawing? If I saw the design and did not know, I would think Dietrich did it.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I believe that a couple of replicas of this project have already been built. I no longer have the magazine, but I think it was in Special Interest Autos in the late '70's or early '80's. At the time someone was building two or three replicas at the same time.

Does anyone else remember the previous project?

Drive Safe

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 months later...

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Leonard Shepherd</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Here is the story and pictures from the book "Rolling Sculpture" by Gordon Buehrig. </div></div>

VINTAGE-VINTAGE-VINTAGE! Vintage cars will remain unique no matter how many years may have passed 'em grin.gif

____________________

Latest Audi A4 Brake Caliper | LatestAudi A4 Brake Pads

Link to post
Share on other sites

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Leonard Shepherd</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Here is the story and pictures from the book "Rolling Sculpture" by Gordon Buehrig. </div></div>

VINTAGE-VINTAGE-VINTAGE! Vintage cars will remain unique no matter how many years may have passed 'em grin.gif

____________________

Latest Audi A4 Brake Caliper | LatestAudi A4 Brake Pads

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 years later...
  • 8 months later...

The project is nearly complete. The custom top is being fitted now. We have also acquired a Miller-Schofield B engine which we will install per Gordon Buehrig's description. The car is being reconstructed to the 1932 incarnation. I will post pictures shortly. Thanks for the interest.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Steve,

I am the builder's son Mike. He is also named Mike. We have not chronicled this project anywhere. There have been bits of info leaking out over the last three or so years from our local Ford guys. I have seen the Buehrig built by the fellow in Washington on the Ford Barn and also on the ACD forums. Getting the top correct is difficult and therefore time consuming. My dad has done gobs of research (including 3 visits to the ACD museum) and still information is sparse. I am focusing on getting the Miller headed B engine together while dad finishes the interior and top. I'll be painting it Deusenburg engine green as described by Gordon Buehrig. One thing for sure, it's going to be very interesting.

Thank,

Mike

Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, thanks for sharing, Mike. FYI I cannot recall the gent's name I initially corrosponded with on your project, it was discussed on a Model A site also. I know it was neither your dad or yourself, but I wanted to see if it was ok to post this here, the fellow said he was not the owner but did not see a problem and would try to get more info. I think he sent me the picture I posted back in 2007 via email. Just wanted you aware of how this ended up here. As you can see, 3,700 odd hits so people are clearly interested.

I imagine you will have a very unique Model A upon completion, and really think the later version is the way to go with this car.

It would be interesting to know what the big challenges were, I am not surprised getting the top right would present a challenge, along with the very limited information available.

Sounds like it will have a little pep to it as well; did you set the engine up with inserts and the other typical touring mods for an "A"?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Steve,

The crank is a "C" crank with cast in counterbalance. We will leave it babited. We will probably not lighten the flywheel as we would like a nicely powered smooth feel (75hp ?) It will have a cragar intake with a single Winfield S downdraft. Without any info contrary we think it is in keeping with what GB would have done. Don't know what we'll do with the exhaust manifold yet.

Thanks,

Mike

Link to post
Share on other sites

Okay guys,

Attached are a few pix taken at the shop recently. The car is dusty and does not have the custom trunk or pretty maroon disk style wheel covers fitted. Note the engine polished dash. Does not have aircraft gauges per GB, but uses standard A cluster. Note the front splash apron with accents. Dad made this from a grainy photo. Looks neat with Suiza style headlight repositioning. It has a non standard chrome horn per historical photograph as well. The cowl is pulled back 4 inches so the hood and vents had to be fabbed. The windshield is cut down per GB. The front seats are staggered per GB. Both of these seats fold forward although GB stated that only the passenger folded. The jump seat is surprisingly roomy with the foot well (hard to see) that extends below the frame. The seats and panels are leather per GB description. The rear window panel unzips and folds in. Dad has more work to do on the top. A new knee is going to slow things down for a couple of months, but maybe this summer all will be done including the new Miller headed B engine. We are eager to get this thing on the road.

post-72465-143138388229_thumb.jpg

post-72465-143138388239_thumb.jpg

post-72465-143138388247_thumb.jpg

post-72465-143138388255_thumb.jpg

post-72465-143138388262_thumb.jpg

post-72465-143138388269_thumb.jpg

post-72465-143138388276_thumb.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites

Mike,

Real quick on my TR3A, it is a project car that I picked up real cheap from a friend several years ago. Since I purchased it I'd picked up new parts to completely redo 100% of the frame/suspension. It came with fiberglass front fenders and I picked up new handmade ones from the UK (they are amazing) along with new floor pans and inner/outer rockers and numerous other parts. There are still a few odds and ends to acquire yet but I am at least a year from begining this project.

Now back to your Model A, please keep us all up to date as it comes together. I along with I'm sure a lot of other members here will be interested to see this project evolve through it's completion. Scott...

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 months later...

I find this quite interesting as I have been trying to ID a Model A body and frame I just picked up. It appears to be a cabriolet that has had the passenger compartment extended. I'm trying to get some more info from the seller. Apparently when he originally got the car it was right hand drive. I'll try and figure out how to get some pictures up.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 months later...

Attached are photos of my latest project, a replica of Gordon Buehrig’s modified 1930 Model A Ford Cabiolet 68B. He named the car Baby, and said in later years it was his favorite car he ever owned, and wrote quite a bit about it over the years, including magazine article with good photos of the original car. I was inspired to build my car after I restored a Cord 810 and became a fan of Buehrig, and I started in 6 years ago with a rusty disassembled 68B Cabriolet body.

I did all the restoration and fabrication myself on my Baby II, including paint, top and upholstery, except for the engine work that was done by H&H in Los Angeles. I wanted to build a replica inspired by his second version done in 1932, where he re-modified his car by painting it a deep maroon (instead of the orange-red paint), modified the front radiator shell, headlights, and added an aerodynamic piece below the radiator. He wrote he wanted it to appear more like his favorite car of the time, the Hispano Suiza. He also fitted Goodyear Airwheel disk wheels and tires, and added an aluminum engine-turned dash with custom aircraft instruments.

I took some liberties with my replica by adding heat and a/c, 12 volt system, radio, and probably more aircraft style instruments than the original had. I tried to keep my modifications in the spirit of the original car, and used era components where possible and tried to keep it from looking like a new hot rod. I could not find the Goodyear Airwheels, so I use 16” Kelsey Hayes wire wheels with aluminum wheel disks (that many classic era cars used over wire wheels). I plan to tour this car a lot and exhibit it at the Forest Grove Concours in Portland, Ore, next month.

HAMB board photos pictures by jack22a - Photobucket

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Jack. Wow. I am sitting here with my father ooing and aahing over your pictures. I haven't logged in in a while and got your private message through my email. Dad is nearing completion of the top (very tricky to get it right!) It looks like you got yours right. Dad and Mom have recently moved into new quarters so the work has slowed, but progress is still steady. The Miller ohv part of the project is slow due to the fact I am waiting on parts (frustrating.) We have a good engine in it now so we can sort it out while we are building the Miller engine up. Yours looks just like what has been in my head (unbelievable.) I believe we have all of the stuff to make it very similar including the Winfield and Cragar intake. I will send Dad's email address to you as he would like to correspond. Dad says Gordon Buehrig would probably be thrilled to see these incarnations of his vision. It would be cool to see them in one place some day.:)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...