1931 Model A Mail Truck: Sold and headed to California

NOTE:  Posted:  September 23, 2023,  Sold:  October26, 2023


FOR SALE:  1931 Model A Ford Mail Truck (one of 500)


Garaged near Madison, WI, this authentic mail truck has had some excellent, older restoration on the body and looks good.  Asking price is $25k. but highly motivated seller, so don't hesitate to check it out and make us any offer.  We’d like to move this before the snow flies.  History and pictures at www.concklin.net.

Contact Richard at 608-221-2198.


(Article from the Wisconsin Region of the Model A Restorer's Club, 2015)

‘A’ Fairy Tale  by Richard Concklin


Once upon a time there was a retired mail carrier named Roger who was also a Model A enthusiast.  Roger was very active in his local Model A club and personally owned eight of them—two of which actually ran!  His history of past and present vehicles and the stories of flea markets and car shows would fill multiple books.


He was very satisfied when he reflected on the cars he had owned or almost owned but if you caught him in a moment of candor he would admit that it would be nice to own a phaeton.  Somehow he had never come across one and now every phaeton he sees is either too far away or far too expensive, usually both.


So he decided it was time to refresh his roadster. It has a rumble seat and would be a fine open car for days when an open car was desirable.  In fact he had already started by unbolting the body from the frame in anticipation of a good winter’s project.


But in his retired mail carrier heart was a not-so-secret dream.  Even more than a phaeton, he longed to own a real Model A mail truck.  Unfortunately, it was clear that he could find (and not afford to buy) three or four phaetons before he could ever finally find a mail truck—much less an affordable mail truck.  And then one day his fairy god-mother appeared to him and sent him his mail truck.


All right, so there is no fairy god-mother, but when you hear the real story you’ll think the fairy god-mother scenario may be more likely.  An ad for a mail truck for sale appeared in the national magazine—a source for all things overpriced.


1931 Model A Mail Truck.  Original condition includes signs, bags, locks, in storage many years, runs good, has title, a great show piece, fun to drive.


But the ad was missing the contact information.  Roger spotted the ad and even talked about it but figured the car was probably junk and located in Montana.


Monday started out fairly normally—nothing special on the to-do list.


Ring!  On the other end of the phone line was Jim. He was just reading the latest issue of Model A News and called to point out that the ad was still in the magazine.  Even more interesting was the fact that the contact number area code was the same as ours.  The car was not far away!


Why not?  What followed were a phone call and a quick afternoon trip to Beloit to check it out.  It was a nice ride with his wife anyway even if the car turned out to be junk.  Only it wasn’t!  All the important original stuff was there and many original features that usually disappear over the years were there as well.


The driver’s seat is really crude and looks really uncomfortable but the judging standards approve it as original.  Also original is the lack of a passenger seat.  Not a problem since there is plenty of room in the back for the wife’s recliner and a sliding door to close if she wants to nap.  So if you want to find your dream car, tell Jim.  He is the closest thing we have to a fairy god-mother.


Roger and the Mail truck: 

            May they live happily ever after.


(Article from the Wisconsin Region of the Model A Restorer's Club, 2019)



Mission Accomplished!

            In September of 2014 club member Roger G. purchased a 1931 Model A United States mail truck.  It came with authentic mail bags, authentic locks, and authentic dust from 25 plus years of storage.

            Last year, Memorial Day 2018, it made its maiden voyage in the Monona Parade.  Alas, not unlike the Titanic, it did not finish.  Mechanical preparations resulted in a well running, if oil burning, engine but the radiator was not up to the task.

            About 1/4th of the way through the parade the radiator started boiling and the engine had to be shut down.  As the truck slowed to a halt the other 18 Model A’s drove past (we forgave them) as did several other parade units.

            As the road was trending down hill several men had compassion on the situation and came from the spectators to push the car along.  The other spectators cheered as the truck rejoined the parade.     After several blocks the road started up the hill and even with cheering, the joy of pushing began to deteriorate.  We found a small unused parking lot, turned in, sat on the running board and watched the rest of the parade.  When things cooled down we limped home.

            So this year we tried again.  This time Roger S., Dennis H. and I worked with Roger G. and installed a better radiator.  Also, we drove the truck to Monona before the parade, so we were fairly sure it would run the whole parade length.

            And it did!

            We were even planning to head down to McFarland for the parade there, but it was cancelled at the last minute.  As we were eating lunch at Culvers heavy rain pelted the restaurant windows and confirmed the wisdom of that cancellation.

            Now Roger G. is talking about taking it to the car show at Gus’ Dinner.  We all hope that works out.   It’s a special vehicle and deserves more exposure, now that we don’t need six guys to push!






To: "Richard Concklin" <rconcklin@tds.net>
Cc: "MAFCA Webmaster (Rick Black)" <
Saturday, September 23, 2023 6:57:18 PM
Subject: Re: Classified Ad for Website


Who did the original restoration and when?   I had one of these in 1976; it was in pieces and sadly I never got to finish it.

But I did work with the late Aldie Johnson to create the Postal As Chapter of MAFCA, which is still going strong.

Rick, MAFCA Webmaster



Rick,  Roger purchased the car in 2014 from a gentleman (Leigh) in Janesville , Wisconsin.  The informal information to me was that the car was from California.  Not sure how many years Leigh owned it. The letters "LA. 51991" have been roughly painted on the unfinished inside.  (They are pictured on my web site, www.concklin.net.  Also, on the web are a couple of articles I wrote for the local MARC newsletter about the truck.)  The man who bought it was extremely wealthy.  Rumor had it that he paid 28k when he bought it and had it shipped.

Roger and I were helping him assemble a Model A roadster in his family room (really!) and when he found out that Roger was a retired mail carrier he gave him a favorable price. 


The body is excellently done but the engine is really tired.  I am guessing that the body work was almost done and the mechanicals were still to be done when something happened and the car was sold.  Brakes, trans, rear end all seem to be working fine.  The engine runs well but burns oil and leaks it badly.  But it has been a fun parade car.  The plan was to continue fixing it up a little bit at a time between parades. We did the Memorial Day parades and were prepping for the 4th of July parade in another nearby town, when Roger passed suddenly at the end of June.  Their two sons are not into Model A's and they and his wife asked if I would get it ready and advertise it for sale.


I've joined the Postal As and just put an ad on their web site.




Thanks for the background information.  Sure is an interesting vehicle, but most people are looking for a shiny car and the Mail truck paint is in need of help, both inside and out.  Unfortunately, that's a very expensive and time consuming job, which limits its desirability.   But as rare as they are, I'm sure someone will fall in love with it.   If it were me, I'd mechanically restore it and leave the rest as-is.  
My friend Paul Shinn's dad has one and Paul has created a couple of YouTube videos on it.  They are heavy cars and slow; not the best for long distance tours but they sure are eye-catchers.   Good luck finding it a good home, and make sure you let the Postal A's know who it sells to as they have a roster of owners.
By the way, the "LA. 51991" means nothing to me.  I did some research at the US Archives back in the 1970s and I don't recognize that lettering.   Could have been something a post office added later, but not from the original build.
There should have been a 5-digit ID number on the front header, the rear header, and on both sides.  Those numbers were assigned by the US Post Office in Washington, and for the 1931 Small (not AA) mail truck, the numbers were in the range 10800-11,800 (1000 units built).  
Check out this page on the website:  https://www.mafca.com/gallery_mail_trucks.html
Rick Black
Las Cruces NM



The engine was being upgraded for our next parade when the pictures were taken.    The running gear all works well and is good for parades and short drives but, the engine is overdue for some TLC.   


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