You can listen to this story on The Iron and Steele Podcast, here:

Model A's: I've had a lot.. Over the years, more than one hundred for sure. Don't believe me? I have 71 photos on my phone of ones that have come and gone in the last six years since I've remembered to start taking and saving photos of these things. And there were dozens that came and went before that. 

$8,500 if I remember right. 

In all of the deals I've done, buying and selling these cars, there is a kind of sweet spot that I have stayed in pricewise. This range seems to be from $6k - $9k for a decent Model A of any body style in "good" condition. 

$8,000 I think

This doesn't include just bodies, total projects, etc. It also doesn't include exceptionally nice, professionally restored museum pieces either. I'm talking about what most guys are offering for sale: a just "pretty good" Model A, complete and in running order. They are normally an old "restoration" - and the quotes here are because to be frank with you, they're almost never restored, but rather were slammed together by an old timer in his garage in the 1980's or 1990's and were not put together with any particularly spectacular level of skill or craftsmanship. This is a very typical thing when it comes to Model A's. Guys with tinkerer-type skill sets were cobbling these things together right and left 30-40 years ago, and this is what you find a lot of today. 

I think this went for $7,500 it was a cool car!

Here is your typical scenario for me: I find one of these things sitting in a garage. It's not been started since 2006 when grandpa got sick and died. Here it is, dull paint from the tractor supply store and sprayed with a Harbor Freight gun in 1997, copious Bondo over pop-riveted, homemade "patch panels" in the lower cowl and door bottoms, a droopy interior kit ordered from a catalogue and installed by its owner around the same time, and of course your usual tale of a "rebuilt" motor. Of course, nobody can tell me who rebuilt it, or when. They also cannot provide documentation of any kind that this occurred, or even tell me what "rebuilt" means to them.

This had rust in weird places. I don't remember for sure, but I think it was around $6,800 - $7,000 ?

When I find something like this, I typically buy it for (as an example) $5500, take it home, clean it out, wash it and most importantly, make it run again. The general rule with a Model A motor is that if it turns over, it will run. I've brought dozens and dozens of these things back to life, often times having to un-stick them first. They always run though. In most cases, I give them a carb rebuild, points, a new battery, and a few other small things. Then I have a running and driving Model A, in so-so shape that I've taken a huge gamble on, hauled home, spent a day or two messing around with and NOW, its value is................... about $8,000!

Nice old car that was very solid. I think this sold on eBay for like $6600?

That's the reality, at least in my neck of the woods, if you want to SELL a Model A in this condition. I like to sell them, not advertise them and adopt pen pals, so that's just where I will list something like that. If I want $8k, I'll post it up for $8900 and let someone "talk me down," if necessary. 

Another good one. Sat for decades indoors. I think it was also a $7,000 car. 

So imagine my surprise when during my usual morning ritual of cruising Marketplace, Craigslist, and a few other secret places I use to harvest some of these old things, when I come across example after example of these cars in very similar condition routinely (and often repeatedly) posted for sale for $12,000-$15,000 and sometimes more. 

A pretty good A Sedan that sat outside for 15 years or so. Someone drove from Michigan to Oregon to buy this from me. I think it was $6,200 not running. I told him if I make it run, it's going up for $7500, he opted to buy it as it was. 

I watch these guys do this for months on end. Posting, reposting and posting again. $14,500 for three months straight. Then a repost with a *drastic* price cut, now just $14,300.... as if that $200 was the breaking point for us, the customer over here. It makes me chuckle. And nevermind the fact that not only do they want too much, but they also can't even be bothered to write a proper ad and take decent photos. It seems they never read: 

Selling Made Easy or Buying Made Easy

Not the same coupe as the one a few cars up, just looks identical and was in pretty similar condition with strange areas of rust in the roof and drip rails from sitting. It sat next to the green Sedan above for 15 years, outside, in Seattle. It had a two-speed rear end. I think it fetched $7500.

So, as I'm watching these guys posting these $8k cars for sale for $12k-$15k over and over and over again, I'm listing ones for $7k-$9k and selling them within a few days. Sometimes less, sometimes more, depending on the car of course, but that's the average. I think the most I've ever sold a Model A for was $14,500, but it was a GORGEOUS 1930 Pickup, which is the easiest body style to sell these days, and it was an actual professional restoration and was perfect. ( This is the truck from the stories: Sometimes They Come Back pt. 1 and Sometimes They Come Back pt 2 )

"Sometimes they Come Back" truck. This one I owned twice. The last time it sold, it was $14,500 - the exception to my little rule, but this one was phenomenal!

Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of exceptions. There are in fact, tons of Model A Fords out there being offered for sale that are indeed worth $15k. The only problem is that those cars seem to be marketed at $22k-$25k, by equally delusional folks that sort of forgot to keep up with the times when it comes to valuing a Model A Ford in today's world. I have had tons of phone conversations with people who have called to tell me about their car, how nice it is, and that in their mind, it's worth $25k. I always tell them the same thing, "I have seen very few examples of a Model A that is worth that much money." (and when I say very few, I mean almost none) The fact is, if it's that many dollars, it had better be an absolute ten out of ten, rotisserie restoration done by a professional. And even then, finding a buyer will still be tough. 

I think this one brought $5500 - RELAX, it was a complete bondo bucket, like BAD, and I was happy to get that. It looks like a nice car in this photo, it really wasn't that great. 

Speaking of exceptions, I've encountered a few over the years. It is always exciting to find a beautifully done car that was painstakingly restored by a skilled person and then carefully preserved. I've seen more than a couple that have impressed me, but that is not the normal situation. And even in those cases, I still tend to shy away from them, simply because they can be extremely difficult to rehome once you get into that higher price range. 

Same story as the car above: This coupe should have been sponsored by 3M. It looked the part from 15 feet, but the body work was apparently performed by a blind chimpanzee prone to seizures. What do you get when you add up that and a hopped up banger (carb, intake, header, exhaust, distributor, etc.) In this case, I think it was $6900. 

Would I love for these guys' fantasy prices to be reality? YES. Believe me, there is nothing I would like more than for this hobby to continue to grow and thrive. And in some areas, it is. One of those areas though is not the world of stock Model A's. With so many coming available as the previous generations that restored them pass away, and seemingly less interest as a whole from the younger generations, it is driving prices down. There are simply too many nice cars popping up for sale at entry level pricing. 

As cute as this thing was, it only brought $8,500 and went to Australia. 

What's my point? I'm not sure. Maybe this is a rant. But, let me say this: An average Model A has the best shot at being sold at or below $10k. The further north of that you get, the more difficult it becomes, unless you have something truly special. 

Another great example of exceptional. This Roadster was NICE NICE. Ran like a sewing machine and had a great look. I should have kept it!

So, who is buying these $15k Model A's? 

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