Bid for the chance to own a 1931 Ford Model A Deluxe Roadster at auction with Bring a Trailer, the home of the best vintage and classic cars online. Lot #45,332.
FEspecially since Covid hit and everyone’s stuck at home and on the computer!!!
This 1931 Ford Model A is a rumble seat roadster that is said to have been refurbished during previous ownership in Ohio before it was acquired by the seller and imported to Greece in June 2013. The car is finished in green with black fenders over brown upholstery, and power comes from a 201ci side-valve inline-efour mated to a three-speed manual transmission. Equipment includes dual taillights, turn signals, a rear-mounted trunk, a tan soft top, lap belts, a rearview mirror with an inset clock, a Brantz RetroTrip rally timer, klaxon, vacuum, and exhaust-driven horns, tempered glass wind wings, and a radiator stone guard. This Model A roadster is now offered in Nea Ionia, Greece, with a car cover, side curtains, literature, and FIVA A/3 documentation in the seller’s name.
The car is said to have received bodywork during previous ownership before a repaint in its current green with lighter pinstriping and black fenders. Features include bumper-mounted turn signals dual taillights, a rear trunk, tempered glass wind wings, spare tire-mounted mirrors, an electric windshield wiper, cowl lamps, leather covers on the hood edges, a MotoMeter “flying quail” radiator cap, a chrome mesh grille cover, and a Sparton klaxon, a vacuum-operated Wolf horn, an exhaust gas-driven eight-flute horn. A 2013 video of the car being unloaded in Greece can be viewed here :
While an aerial footage of the car at a 2016 car show can be seen here:
Readers of my Blog may have seen a previous post titled: My next classic/veteran car investment? dating 11th May 2011. In that post I was sharing my desire to acquire one day a prewar classic and more specifically a Ford Model A, similar to a car that my father Emmanuel Riginos owned in the 1930’s in Athens, Greece.
Hence the famous line of Dr. Martin Luther King “I have a dream“ seems befitting. This dream started many years ago when upon shuffling through old family photographs, I discovered few pictures of my Father’s car in the 1930’s. It was a Ford Model A Tudor.
I was looking at these pictures and was wondering about what kind of driving experiences, sounds, smells etc such a car would offer. Slowly the idea to obtain one day such a car settled in my mind. To boot, one evening at the PHILPA Club, Dimitri Vernardakis, our President, told me this: ‘Byron you ought to get yourself a prewar car’, an advise that was never forgotten.
Recently (Spring 2013) that dream became a reality. After an extended search in Europe and in the USA markets, with the help of few good friends, this particular example was found in Canton, Ohio, inspected, serviced and a deal to buy was concluded in mid April 2013. Soon after the car was loaded on a closed transport heading to New Jersey Container Terminal Port from where it was placed in a 20 Foot container and shipped to Piraeus. Of course I was in great anticipation to see and drive the old lady, as this acquisition marked the first time of buying a car from far away without having seen it up close myself…
Special thanks go to my good friends Alex Vazeos, an Etceterini cars collector and Myron Vernis of Glenmoor Gathering Concours d’Elegance who have been instrumental for my ‘Dream to Come True’; plus to my new friend Bob Lichty of Classic Motorcar Auctions who ‘pro-bono’ looked after all the details of the deal, the US title change, fund transfers, getting the car serviced and arranging shipment from Canton, Ohio to New Jersey!
24th April update: The car was booked on the vessel ZIM Rio Grande 46E sailing on 10th May 13 and arrived in Piraeus on Saturday 1st June 2013; provided it would clear Greek customs in time, what a nice June 6th birthday present that would be!
June 7th update: finally chasing the delayed arrival or the US Title within the Kifissia Postal Sortation Office, on Friday June 7th the car, via the adept services of the PHILPA Customs Clearing Agent, namely Elias Athanasoulas [many thanks Elias, well done!], cleared the bureaucracy and the 20” Container was loaded on a trailer truck bed. Then it was taken to a nearby container depot, for placing the box on the ground, thus making the unloading procedure quite easy. The photos and the video clip capture these memorable moments and trace the car resting in company with other cars of my collection safely in my Garage.
June 16th update: the FMA underwent a ‘crash detailing’ service undertaken by Mike Tsaltas of www.swell.gr in an effort to be ready for its first public appearance in Greece, participating in the Parade of the ‘2nd PHILPA TATOI CIRCUIT 2013” event. In between my good friend Robert Smith offered his knowledgeable services for adjusting the timing and expediting the car’s technical inspection for obtaining its ‘historic car’ FIVA card certification and license plates.
We made the race against the clock and the car did motor proudly and took its place among other historic vehicles, parading in front of thousand car loving spectators 🙂
Next event: the ’42nd PHILPA International Rally’ in the Peloponnese during Sept. 2013.
Readers of my blog may have seen the page Cars & More where there is a mention of one of my father’s early cars of the mid thirties, namely a Ford Model A Tudor. I have this very photograph in a frame in our living room. Stricken with the flu these last few days, I was expelled from the master bedroom and spent several nights on the couch. My eyes kept looking at this picture and after a while the idea just clicked: wouldn’t be nice if I managed to get my hands on a Model A? Not only it would be the first pre-war car in the collection but I would sense and feel how my dad went about his daily business in the streets of Athens during the mid thirties! The more I pondered on the idea the more sense it made. A search on E-Bay and Hemmings revealed an adequate supply of these models in the vast American market. Dwelling deeper into Henry’s creations, soon enough I was convinced that a Roadster Model A would be more fun and appropriate for the dry, sunny weather of my Mediterranean country. All these inputs being quite encouraging and inspiring, but was I really ready to shop from far away? Without seeing and test driving the prospective wheels? And then agonizing about shipment in a container by sea, plus going through the chores of clearing Greek customs upon landing and so on?
The answer to all these questions and concerns was a loud NO. But as it happens often in life, good fortune (or bad being just as easily present) came my way. By coincidence and circumstance I learned about a car collection being liquidated in Northern Greece. Soon enough a list of cars for sale appeared, among them one being a “1931 Ford”. Just that, no further details or even a picture was provided. With two other “gear-head” friends we flew bright and early to Thessaloniki on a Thursday of May 2011 aiming to examine several interesting examples. The suspense was mounting. Would that Ford be a Model A? And if so, which body type? The list of models good old Henry produced was endless: Convertible Sedan (A-400)
Business Coupe or plain Coupe
Deluxe Coupe or Sport Coupe Standard Coupe
Standard Fordor Sedan – Murray
Standard Fordor Sedan – Briggs
Deluxe Fordor Sedan – Murray
Deluxe Fordor Sedan – Briggs Leatherback Fordor Sedan
Standard Fordor Sedan – Slant windshield
Deluxe Service Pickup
Roadster Pickup Pickup
Sport Roadster Station Wagon
Town Car Delivery
Standard Tudor Sedan
Deluxe Tudor Sedan
Wood Panel Delivery… Amen!
I controlled my curiosity, in a way similar to a kid who savors his sweet candy; after evaluating thoroughly two Mercedes cars (a 300d Cabriolet and a 220 SE Cabriolet, both of 1960 vintage), and not as yet having spotted any pre-war cars in the storage hall, I inquired about the old Ford’s whereabouts. ‘Aha! We have to go to the other hall in the back”, came the answer from the collector’s son who was escorting us that fine morning.
Lo and behold! A nice looking 1931 Ford Model A Roadster was positioned and resting on quatropod car stands. Exactly the body version I was thinking about including that fun adding rear rumble seat! 🙂 Controlling myself for yet another time, with my Mag-Lite in one hand and digital camera strapped on the neck, I started scrutinizing the veteran old lady quite thoroughly. An older restoration but a decent one. All parts there. Dual spare wheels with chained mirrors on them. Wind wing deflecting glass. Single Trico windshield wiper of the vacuum type. Vinyl brown color upholstery. Tidy engine bay. No radiator ornament but fitted with a stone guard, no trunk box in the back, no air filter in the Zenith carb. Clean undercarriage, some oil marks on the cement floor. Not the greatest color combination, but…
Could this be my next investment in fun and a ticket to ride on the Emmanuel Riginos family car sentiments lane? Possibly so; the coming days will reveal what the fate of this 80 year old Model A will be. Will she find a new home with abundant tender loving care? A new pampered life with many happy outings and several old car rallies?
P.S. in my recent College reunion trip to the USA, as I was driving through East Dennis in Cape Cod, I saw a beautiful Model A Tudor. Made a U-turn and snapped few pictures of this smartly restored car, exactly the model my Dad owned in the mid thirties!