CC Twofer: 1930 Model A, 1936 Ford – The Fords of Iceland

(first posted 10/3/2017)    I’m done with the French cars for a bit, so here are some of the CCs I found over the summer in weird and interesting places. First stop: the southern coast of Iceland, near the town of Selfoss. I did see a few noteworthy cars in Reykjavik too, but unfortunately my camera wasn’t as quick as they were. Never mind, let’s kick off with a lovely pair of pre-war Fords.

This 1930 Model A coupe was sitting in front of a restaurant, not far from a great geyser. Lovely little thing, this Model A – likely an older restoration, by the faded looks of the paint. Looked like it might still be in running order, though new tyres might be a good investment.

The Ford Model A, as most of you undoubtedly know, was the successor to the Model T and was made from late 1927 to 1932. It had a 3.3 litre 4-cyl. providing 40 hp, four-wheel brakes and a conventional 3-speed gearbox, so it’s less of a learning experience to drive than its illustrious predecessor. Ford made just under 5 million of these in a bewildering array of body styles.

This two-door coupe is one of the better ones, in my opinion. I like how the proportions give this little Ford a slightly aggressive air. Like donning a big overcoat and a cloth cap make one look a bit like a Chicago gangster of that era. But a more interesting Ford was just around the corner (well, a few miles away, in any case).

This superb 1936 Ford V8 was in a supermarket parking lot. It sure consoled me of the dire situation one faces in Icelandic supermarkets: not only is there nothing in there you’d want to buy, but it’s so expensive! Talk about 24-hour daylight robbery. Of course, once you realize a tomato is kind of like an exotic fruit to these folks…

But I digress…

Strangely, this ’36 Ford was right-hand drive. Perhaps it was imported from the UK, or maybe Sweden, but Icelandic traffic has never been on the left. In those days, Iceland was still an autonomous territory under the Danish crown, but Denmark’s always driven on the right too. Puzzling.

A venerable 3.6 litre flathead V8 probably still lives under the hood, proudly advertised throughout the car, hubcaps included of course. Brakes were still mechanical on these, as Henry Ford seemed allergic to hydraulic ones. Independent front suspension? What, why? Only good, solid beam axles will do for our Henry!

By 1936, the factory body variants had shrunk somewhat, but one could still order a good number of these cars in different flavours (not all of which can be seen above, of course). I’m rather partial to the phaeton, but I understand the Icelandic climate might not be the most drop-top-friendly in the world. Fordor sedan it is, then.

It’s a wonder how Ford managed to get away with equipping their cars with just one windshield wiper for as long as they did. It seems the second wiper only started appearing on some Deluxe models in 1936, and then across the range by 1938. Our CC is missing its lone wiper, but that’s beside the point. It’s always sunny in Iceland.

This post is naturally dedicated to famed Far Side cartoonist Gary Larson, whose artwork inspired the title. I was reminded of this great cartoon by CCommenter Maynard’s Dad when I did a post on Norwegian period photos a little while back. Norway’s not the only place one can find nice Fords, it seems.


Related posts:

Curbside Classic: 1929 Ford Model A – The Best Ford Ever – Maybe Even The Best Car Ever, by PN

Concours Classic: 1936 Ford DeLuxe Coupe – The Best Of The Classic Fords?, by PN

Car Lot Classic: 1936 Ford V8 DeLuxe – Imagine Yourself in This Car, by JP Cavanaugh