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Model A 180A


halcyondays
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Model A's do not have  serial numbers or body numbers. The engine number was stamped on the top right hand frame rail at the cowl area when assembled and cannot be accessed without removing the body. Make sure that the car has a clear title and if it still has it's original engine the title number should match the engine. It's not unusual to have a different number on the title than what's stamped on the engine due to engine swaps during it's lifetime. Sometimes a different number can give you grief when transferring ownership but not always. Is this car restored, original or unrestored? The condition of the vehicle is going to have a bearing on what you should look for. If, by chance, you are not familiar with Model A's, you might try to have someone from a nearby Model A Ford club look at the car with you. 180A's are fairly rare and there are limited body and top parts available on the open market. good luck in your pending purchase.

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The car has been sitting for a number of years, 20 or 30, it is remarkably solid with no visible rust. The car has an older restoration and as been repainted, it appears that it was an off frame restoration as the frame is also painted.  The paint has held up well with no cracking or chipping. The doors open and close well with an even gap. It is not a true barn find as it was restored but it has been left unattended for a long time. I have restored a model a or two many years ago and am familiar with the serial number on frame and engine, but I thought the a400 and the 180a also had a body number tag on the firewall. Thank you all very much for the info it has been very helpful. I think this is a solid car I just wondered if there were any manufacturers of deluxe phaeton today that could fool me to thinking this is all original. I don't mean to imply that I am being deceived in any way by the seller, it is just I am buying from a relative of original owner that has passed. Thanks again for your help any additiona info would be great.     

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I have sold at least a few original 180A Deluxe Phaetons. You need to be careful about what you are looking at.

 

You are correct, the 180As, like some other 1930 and 1931 Model A body styles, did indeed come with a body tag. I have attached a picture of an original body tag. It is located on the firewall, beneath the Ford patent tag. I consider an original body tag to be of importance, especially on this particular body style.

 

As Dave mentions above, several of these have been made from converted two door sedans.

 

There was also a person who was very quietly reproducing these bodies out of steel several years ago. Many cars were built with his bodies and have been sold over the years as originals. It is difficult to verbally explain the differences between these bodies and originals, but, just like the new Brookville roadster and roadster pickup bodies, there are several details that distinguish them from originals. These bodies are really good, but not perfect, reproductions.

 

You also need to be sure that the car you are looking at is an original, American-built 180A. More 180As were built for export than sold in the USA. The bodies built for export differ significantly from the US built cars. Many of these imported cars were brought back into USA in the 1970s and 1980s are restored to resemble American built cars. The non- USA bodied cars are far less valuable than an original US built car.

 

 

180As are considered by many to be one of the most attractive and valuable Model A body styles. Be sure you do your homework, or, have someone inspect the vehicle that is very familiar with this particular body style. Good luck with your purchase and keep us posted. (Remember: we like to see pictures!!!)

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Yes, if you look real close at your photo, you can see four holes where the patent tag would have been and below it, two holes where the body tag was located. Like I said, the differences are really hard to explain unless you have someone go over a car with you and point them out. I am not sure where the VIN number on the title was taken from.

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While some bodies carried a body number tag, I think that it was purely for reference by the manufacturer and I do not think that Ford used anything but the engine number for I.D. purposes. It's very possible that somewhere along the line that the car was registered by the body number as it's visible and easier to confirm. I personally have never seen nor heard anything about a repro deluxe body but it's very possible that one existed. I would think that it would in the '70's or '80's that it may have been produced. Other marque bodies like the '32 Chevy roadster were available then but have seemingly disappeared. They, like the current Model A bodies are very nice but not quite like original but they have fooled many. Good luck on your purchase. 

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