The Auburn Auction

Lot 63
1930 Ford Model A Mini-Wrecker

Selling on Saturday Evening

1930 Ford Model A Mini-Wrecker

CHASSIS NO: 3205486

• Professionally built by Billy's Big Boy Garage
• Removable roadster top
• Eye-catching Standard Oil Company livery

201 cid L-head inline four-cylinder engine, 40 HP at 2,200 RPM, single Zenith updraft carburetor, three-speed manual transmission, four-wheel mechanical drum brakes, live axle suspension with semi-elliptic leaf springs

The Model A went on sale in December 1927, replacing the aging Model T. A much more modern car than its predecessor, the 'A' was also more powerful. Its four-cylinder side-valve engine, producing 40 horsepower, doubled the output of the T and increased its top speed significantly. A three-speed, sliding gear transmission replaced the T's planetary gears, there was coil-and-battery ignition instead of magneto, and most welcomed, four-wheel brakes. The Ts decidedly dated styling was abandoned and the eagerly awaited Model As up-to-the-minute looks, choice of colors and competitive pricing, helped ensure its success. Ford priced the new Model A at just $450 and would go to build 4.5 million over the next four years despite the prevailing economic downturn.

Highly successful after two years in production, the Model A was facelifted for 1930, receiving wider tires on smaller-diameter 19" wheels. It was mildly restyled with wider mudguards to achieve a lower, more modern look. Ford outsold Chevrolet 2-to-1 in 1929 and 1930 when more than 1.4 million were sold. Production continued until the V-8s arrival in 1932 and saw Ford's four-cylinder models renamed 'Model B'.

Garage owner Ernest Holmes Sr. is credited by many to have invented the tow truck in 1916 with the help of his friends, Elmer Gross and L.C. Decker. The design was improved upon and the Holmes Wrecker was patented, and a new industry was created. Today, tow trucks are often overlooked heroes of the highway, but this 1930 Ford Model A Wrecker pays homage to them. Using a restored Model A Roadster Pickup truck as the starting point, much like Holmes might have done, this Ford is fitted with a rare three-ton Weaver hand-crank auto crane from Springfield, Illinois. Although this truck is fully functional, with a smooth-running L-head, 40 HP four-cylinder engine and three-speed manual transmission that runs and drives excellent, this one is a tribute built for special display purposes. The Weaver Auto Crank is topped with a custom steel light bar in chrome, featuring operable dual emergency red lights and twin back-up work lights. This all-steel truck is painted medium Standard Blue with black steel fenders and white whitewalls mounted on red wire wheels, as well as attractive Standard Oil livery signage. The interior is finished in black leatherette with new kick panels, door panels and a floor mat, and is covered by a removable roadster top. The wrecker sparkles and is rolling petroliana with dual cowl lights and dual taillights, plus chrome appointments like the stone guard, headlamp eyebrows, front and rear bumpers and Moto-Meter. Truly a beautiful show piece built by Billy's Big Boys Garage. The development of the tow truck has come a long way, and historical reminders like this Model A wrecker are fantastic to show and share.

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