How to Street Rod a 1930 Ford Model A Coupe


1930 Ford Model A Coupes are nice and they can turn heads while driving down the street. But, well, they aren't as cool as they could be. No problem; with a little sweat equity and some cash, you can turn your 1930 Ford Model Coupe into a street rod. Want to know more?


  • Examine the frame of the Ford Model A Coupe. If the frame is in bad shape, do what you can to get it repaired. If the frame is too far gone, then consider using another.

  • Shorten the back of the coupe so you can tuck a fuel tank beneath it.

  • Chrome and polish the I beam and beef up the suspension.

  • Update the brakes with new disc brakes in the front and drum brakes in the back.


  • Decide what you want to do about the powerplant for the 1930 Ford Model A Coupe. You can either put in something that is totally new, or "retro."

  • Look for a shop that specializes in rebuilding retro engines if you decide to go with the authentic powerplant. Shops like L&R Automotive Supply in Santa Fe Springs, California can help.

  • Update the transmission, carburetors, intake and valve covers.

Wheels and Tires

  • Choose the style of tires and wheels you will use with your 1930 Ford Model A Coupe. You can either stick with tires that are the same year as the 1930 Ford Model A Coupe or you can use tires of another year.

  • Restore the wheels and hubcaps if you use period ones on your vehicle. Make sure they are sound.

  • Purchase new tires for the 1930 Ford Model A Coupe.

Body and Paint

  • Examine the panels of the 1930 Ford Model A Coupe. Restore and reinforce the panels as needed. Complete any necessary bodywork.

  • Inspect the doors once the body is placed on the chassis and make adjustments as needed so they close properly.

  • Examine the dash and update if desired. You can install a dash from another, newer model of the Ford Coupe or create your own custom dash.

  • Work on the windshield frame next. You can create a custom windshield frame for a new look, or something more period, then fit it to the cowl.

  • Paint the 1930 Ford Model A Coupe in the style you wish.


  • Change the seats of the 1930 Ford Model A Coupe. You can create custom seats or retrofit seats from a newer model Ford Coupe to fit the 1930 Ford Model A Coupe body. Whatever seat you choose for the front, you will have to build new seats for the back to match it.

  • Reupholster the front and back seats to match, then cover the panels on the inside of the 1930 Model A Coupe.

  • Choose which gauges you will use for the 1930 Ford Model A Coupe. You can make the gauge panel look retro, or give it a cool, updated look. Replace the steering wheel to make it fit in with the new gauges and interior.

Tips & Warnings

  • Turning a street car into a street rod is a serious undertaking. This article outlines the basic methodology of such a project, but you will need more technical knowledge to delve into the project.

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