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The world's worst '30s 8hp Model Y?Do you have photos of a contender for the World's Rustiest Classic Car? please send some pics over if you own, or have spotted, a car in worse condition than this sidevalve Ford built in the 1930s.
Why did I bother buying this little old Ford?
This 1930s Model Y Ford has been sat in this old building for quite some time now, and prior to this it spent several decades residing in an orchard, waist deep in grass and nettles.
The less-than-ideal storage that this small English Ford has been in for sooo many years has well & truly put paid to its hopes of survival sadly.
Rarely have I seen a car quite so spectacularly, totally, irrecoverably, rusty. And I think it is the charm of this little old survivor that prompted me to stump up the minimal asking price asked for by the current owners of the land on which it sits.
The plan is to try and remove some useful parts that are, just, clinging on to life beneath this corroded body, and hopefully pass them on one day to someone who can use them as spares for their Model Y.
Not that there will be much that is re-usable.
The lower foot or so of bodywork has simply crumbled away, only the bottom of the doors still containing evidence of metal below the waistline.
In August 2005 I set off to go and remove some of the borderline saveable parts from the Ford. Armed with angle grinder, cutting gear, and all manner of tools, I thought I'd be well prepared to take off some of the parts from the car's remains.
In the end, much of what I removed was taken off using little more than a sturdy pair of gloves and a firm grip. The entire upper bodywork simply pulled away, tipping back on itself into the sunlight.
The wooden framework had all but disintegrated, just a few chunks of decayed wood clinging grimly on to the decayed coachwork.
With the upper bodywork out of the way, I had half-expected to spy a chassis. Many cars with separate chassis often still have a reasonable frame beneath a decayed body, but this one was different. Thanks again to decades spent knee-deep in shrubbery, even the sturdy chassis of this vintage Ford had succumbed. A few chunks of chassis were still visible near both axles, but the only thing linking the front of the car to the back, was the torque tube between the gearbox and back axle.
Many of the nuts and bolts were seriously rusted up. So much so that very little was worth removing from the remains of the little car.
The only parts I didn't recover, largely through a lack of time on site, are the axles and engine. Whether the engine is much use is anyone's guess, it didn't turn over when I tried. Perhaps one day I'll go back to remove these parts before the crusty remnants of this, the "£100 Ford" get scrapped finally.
The Ford Model Y
The Model Y came out in 'short radiator' form in August 1932, built at Fords plant in Dagenham. This was Ford's answer to the small cars that were popular at the time in Britain, primarily the Austin 7 and original Morris Minor. The Model Y was available in 2 door (Tudor), 4 door (Fordor) or van configuration. Judging by the straight bumper that I found on the floor in front of this Y, the Tudor shown here might be an early 'short rad' version, so probably dates to 1932/1933, although I can't be sure on this, as it also has some features of the 'long rad' version, mentioned below.
Not available in the UK, but offered in Australia, were several other variants based on the Model Y chassis - including a neat roadster, phaeton (4 seater tourer), coupe, and the 5cwt Utility (or 'ute').
In 1937 the 'long radiator' Model Y was introduced, and continued in production til 1937.
Several changes were introduced at this time, including a floor operated dipswitch (which I've also found on the car shown here - confusing huh!). This car also has the central mounted winder for the screen opening mechanism, so perhaps this car is a Long Rad? It also has the instrument cluster on the drivers side, another clue as to it being a 'long rad'.
Unfortunately neither grille nor bonnet sidepanels survive with this car, making exact identification tricky for a non-expert like me.
If, like me, you like looking at photos of derelict cars, unrestored cars, and old motors stacked up in scrapyards, have a look at the scrapyard classics feature on this site.
Period photos showing some Model Y Fords in better condition can be found here.
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