What we have right here is a perfect example of the often talked about but seldom seen "barn car". You know the one; we've all heard the stories. It was found in perfect condition in a barn after decades of abandonment and was spirited away by some fast-talking, butter-and-egg man from parts unknown to places we can't imagine. The story always comes to you via a friend of a friend of a friend of the guy who is the cousin of a guy who knows the sister of the second-cousin of the guy who once saw the car somewhere in what can only be described as a hallucination or a parallel universe. Well that's not the story this time. This time we have pictures and the straight-up information from the guy who bought the car.
So here's roughly (the abridged version) of how it went down. Sonny Rogers got a call from an acquaintance who claimed to have knowledge of a (here it comes) "barn car". As you might expect, Sonny had heard this one before but thought, "What the hell, it's only a phone call so why not take the chance?" As it turned out, the car did exist; the barn was a nicely finished, conditioned garage, and Sonny really did buy it on the spot. When he got it home he went through it, replacing the brake cylinders and a few other parts that had failed while the car sat unattended for 20-plus years. Funny side story-the night he got it running; several friends showed up to witness the event. Sonny climbed in the little coupe, gave the throttle a couple of blips, and cranked the switch. The old Ford caught almost immediately. A couple more blips of the throttle and Sonny was smiling. His audience, however, was shouting a loud chorus of emotion-packed, arm-waving, foot-stomping "Please shut it off!". Being concerned that there was something wrong mechanically and he might damage the engine, he cut the switch immediately, got out, and asked about the problem. It seems that some resourceful squirrels had loaded the exhaust pipes with their entire winter stash of acorns and when Sonny lit the little Buick engine and blipped the throttle, the guys standing behind the car were soundly pelted with the entire winter bounty. Rather than move to the side of the car, they got into a foot-stompin', arm-wavin' shouting contest to get Sonny's attention.
After the car was up and running, Sonny put some new tires on it, cleaned it just enough to show off its good looks while leaving its patina intact, and took it out for its first outing in many years.
Now that you've heard the barn car story, its only fair that we give you a bit of information about the car and its original builder. The first owner/builders were Joe and Jan Reding of Independence, Missouri, in 1961. Joe's passion was restoring Model As back to pristine condition. He enjoyed the size and shape of these neat little cars so much that he just had to have one as a daily driver. Of course, if it was going to be a driver it would need modern amenities, like an up-to-date drivetrain, some cool upholstery, a heated cabin for winter use, nice instrumentation, and a few custom touches to the exterior. Starting with a stock '30 A coupe, Joe added new crossmembers to the front and rear of the frame, a 215ci aluminum Buick engine, an automatic transmission, and several other updates. Because he really liked the shape of the Model A, he made very few changes to the body-then again there are those windshield wiper assemblies built into the cowl and Buick port holes in the solid hood sides. The interior was updated with white pearl vinyl, a floor shifter, a custom wheel, and some new Stewart-Warner instruments. As you can see it's really quite a simple car by today's standards, but because Joe was a restorer, his attention to detail was more sharply focused on the function of the overall product rather than just the drivetrain like most hot rodders of the time. Little things like windows that roll up effortlessly, doors that close with a gentle touch rather than a slam, a heater, and those windshield wipers all indicate that a craftsman was involved in this build-and it all works as well today as it did when Joe parked it in the '80s.
After the car was completed, it was driven frequently and even appeared at some Ray Farhner car shows in 1964 and 1965, but mostly it was just a pleasure car. Joe had a few health problems in the early '80s, so the car was parked until he could get things straightened out. Unfortunately, the car stayed right there until Sonny pulled it out in 2006 and got it rolling again. So to all you skeptics out there, yeah there really are "barn cars", but they're damned few and far between. So keep searching-and in the meantime, enjoy looking at this one.