Model A Depot Hack
RARE EARLY DEPOT HACK, PATINA WOOD & STEEL, STRONG FLAT 4, 12-VOLT, RUNS GREAT!
Vehicles like this recently unearthed 1928 Ford Model A could probably be considered the earliest woody wagons. Often referred to as a "depot hack," these trucks were designed to ferry passengers and their luggage from train stations to hotels and resorts. And there weren't many better choices than the rugged, utterly reliable Model A, which is one of the best old cars you can own.
Pulled from a barn just a few years ago, there isn't a lot to the depot hack body. There's a wood frame, a few basic bench seats, and an elegantly curved roof, but if that's all you're looking at, you're missing the real details that make it such a joy to own. The wood has a wonderful patina that only comes with age, and while it's probably not the car's original body, it's definitely old growth timber. The basic black Model A metal parts, including the distinctive radiator shell, splash aprons, and gently rounded fenders, are all in good condition, showing the right amount of patina to work well with the wooden bodywork. The hood and cowl are contrasting Tacoma Cream, giving this neat little trucklet a sunny disposition. There wasn't much chrome on the commercial-class Fords like this, but there's a certain charm to the blacked-out trim and you'll note that it's been fitted with sealed-beam headlights and twin taillights for safety at night.
The interior is equally simple, but it totally works on the A. Wooden chairs are about as forgiving as church pews but you have to remember that these cars were function over style and the wood shows a soft shine that comes from years of folks happily riding around in it. Controls are simple and conventional, so you'll quickly acclimate to the Model A's many virtues and minimal quirks, although the non-synchro gearbox requires a quick double-clutch most of the time. The gauges are more advanced than the Model T, offering speed, ammeter, and a fuel gauge for the in-cowl gas tank. There's plenty of patina, as you'd expect from a barn find like this, but it all works together quite well to make a charming little truck. There's room for five in a pinch, and it's really a lot of fun to be perched up high like that.
The A was no horsepower factory, but it was reliable, simple, and easy to fix, which were far more valuable attributes in the days before interstate highways. The four-cylinder engine starts easily thanks to a 12-volt electrical system and by 1928, reliability was virtually bulletproof. It's not detailed for show, but it runs quite well thanks to a distributor up top that lights the fires far more reliably than the individual coils used in the Model T, and it inhales through a Tillotson updraft carburetor, which was a popular retrofit. The transmission is a three-speed manual that uses the familiar shift pattern and thanks to the torquey engine, minimal shifts are needed. Four-wheel drum brakes were a welcome addition to the Model A and it carries original-spec 21-inchwelded wire wheels with 4.50/4.75-21 blackwall tires, as original.
Model A fans remain some of the most enthusiastic old car owners of all, and this depot hack will stand out in a sea of Henry's Ladies anywhere you go. Call today!
- Interior Color
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