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Big Foot Model A

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  • Big Foot Model A

    Picture this: it’s the mid 1930s, you’re a rural mail deliveryman, and your day just got a lot harder thanks to two feet of overnight snowfall. What to do, what to do? Well in the case of Montana resident Milton Hill, you could turn a Ford Model A cabriolet into a rough-and-tumble off-road mail truck.

    As you’ve surely guessed, this is Hill’s Model A conversion. It was built in 1936 by fellow Montanan Roman Chupp, it faithfully delivered the mail through thick and thin, and 79 years later it is up for sale on eBay. Can’t say you’ll run into one of these everyday.

    A bit of backstory then. According to its owner, the Ford Model A was manufactured in June 1930, and carried out its first six years of existence as any other Model A cabriolet does – that is until Milton Hill bought the Ford. When times got tough, Hill supplemented his farming income by delivering the rural mail, and as such he needed a vehicle that could actually get him there. Montana has been known to get its fair share of snow.

    So Chupp swapped out the Model A’s rear axle with a lower-geared Model T truck unit, added giant Goodyear tractor tires on 24-inch wooden wheels, and extended the fenders to allow the plucky Ford to float right over and plow straight through the white stuff. The seller even believes those tractor tires to be the truck’s original set from the conversion.

    The Model A’s current owner, still a Montanan, nicknamed the car ‘Bigfoot’ and notes that he knows of only three other Model A mail truck conversions in existence, all in much worse condition. Need to know more? Head over to the eBay listing – it’s a veritable encyclopedia on the history of these quirky vehicles.

    3~ Tudor's & 1~ Coupe
    Henry Ford said,
    "It's all nuts and bolts"
    "Start by doing what's necessary; then do what's possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible."

    Mitch's Auto Service ctr

  • #2
    Saw this in Oshkosh Marc national...Really cool in person
    Ill., Region MARC & MAFCA
    MARC JSC Member
    MAFFI Trustee
    2023 Hamilton National Co-Chair
    National Facebook Admin.


    • #3
      I've got 16 inch truck tires on my 30 farm car and it is amazing how well it does off road, that mail car would be unstoppable with those wheels and the worm drive rear end. I drove it around a while before I figured one of the tires was flat, it never showed any lack of air as they are such solid tires. I suspect that the ones on the mail car have little air in them though they might be a bit stiff at 80+ years old.
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      • #4
        I saw that car at Hershey. A very interesting piece of history.
        Eastern Connecticut


        • #5
          Steve in Centrailia, Wa. built one and I can't seem to find the picture ! Here are a few others with one a tad newer ;)
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          Model A's and of course the famous AA's


          • Mitch
            Mitch commented
            Editing a comment
            Nice Pat

          • MickyDC
            MickyDC commented
            Editing a comment
            Wish I had known Steve. I was born and raised in Centralia,WA

          • pAAt
            pAAt commented
            Editing a comment
            Micky, Steve Freeman, see post below. Pat

          • pooch
            pooch commented
            Editing a comment
            Wow, Centrailia .

            There is talk here in OZ of combining The Northern Territory with South Australia, and they were wanting a suggestion of names.

            Centralia is perfect.

        • #6
          Interesting that the eBay link still works after almost 3 years. I assume that its been saved elsewhere on the internet. I wonder if the seller still owns it.


          • #7
            I am sure the tires are original. Check out this video of Goodyear tractor tires being fitted, and see that the tread pattern is the same.


            Eastern Connecticut


            • #8
              MickyDC, Steve Freeman is his name and here are a couple pics of his stuff. Pat
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              Model A's and of course the famous AA's


              • #9
                Saw it a few years ago at Hershey and if I remember correctly price tag was $80,000.00. I don’t think it has changed hands yet.


                • #10
                  I saw Big Foot at one of the national meets about 10 years ago, and at that time I thought it was for sale for $32,000.


                  • Mitch
                    Mitch commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Tom another one you should have jumped on .

                • #11
                  Another Big Foot.


                  ebay snowmobile.jpg
                  Last edited by Jwmckenzie; 02-08-2019, 10:14 AM.

                  It's never as bad as you think, nor as good as you hope.


                  • #12
                    I somehow missed this the first time around, really KOOL stuff!!


                    • carolinamudwalker
                      carolinamudwalker commented
                      Editing a comment
                      For you mechanics out there, why wouldn't it break an axle?

                    • tbirdtbird
                      tbirdtbird commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Bob, a very perceptive question.
                      In this case, those huge wheels are married to a TT (truck, with worm gear) rear end so the axles are beefier.
                      Secondly, back in those days Ford used very high quality alloys, and the alloy can make all the difference.
                      Contrast to GM. Even into the fifties they were snapping axles like toothpicks because they were not using 4140 steel

                  • #13
                    Maybe something like this for Gators and such. Actually a snowbird comes to Florida for the winter. They would have no use for a snow machine
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                    • #14
                      Forget the gators. This is more fun.
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                      • #15
                        Back in 1976
                        Attached Files


                        • #16
                          Sorry guys. I meant for all of the above to go to the snowbird thread. But I guess you figured that out. I will try to behave and pay attention.


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