Hagerty Turns Rusty Parts into Rolling Art

October 14, 2016

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If you’ve ever wondered if you could build a car just from parts found at a swap meet, a classic car insurance company did the experiment for you.

A team of classic car experts from Hagerty built a drivable 1930 Ford Model A in less than 100 hours using only what they sourced from the Antique Automobile Club of America (AACA) Eastern Fall Meet in Hershey, Pennsylvania.

Beginning with a rolling chassis, the employees’ Swap to Street challenge was an effort to illustrate the accessibility of the collector car hobby, according to the company. The total cost of the project was less than $10,000.

After completing the build, the team took on an additional challenge-”the 700-mile drive back to Hagerty’s headquarters in Traverse City, Michigan. Overcoming a persistent oil leak, dead starter and some minor repairs along the way, team members traveled two days at an average of 30 mph, covering nearly 300 miles of the trip.

Reluctantly, they ultimately loaded the car on a trailer to be hauled the remainder of the way to save time, but felt they proved their point nonetheless.

“I consider the Swap to Street build a total success, even though we did have to trailer it the rest of the way home,” said Davin Reckow, Hagerty parts supply specialist and project welder. “The decision wasn’t because of mechanical issues we couldn’t overcome-”it was merely to save time. We all have day jobs and families that we needed to get back to and at the rate we were going, we would have been on the road for a couple more days.”

This was Hagerty’s second annual Swap to Street challenge, after successfully rebuilding a 1946 Ford pickup last year.

While last year’s pickup came with a dilapidated cab and a few other parts, this year’s vehicle started with nothing but the rolling chassis. Every other part used to build the Model A was sourced from the AACA Hershey Meet, according to the company.

The team used either stock or modified parts for the car, depending on what was available.

“The second Swap to Street build brought new challenges, but we again proved that a functioning vehicle could be assembled within just a few days, solely from parts that we could find at the show,” said Reckow. “You don’t have to be an every-day mechanic or have a lot of money to do something crazy and fun with an old car-”you just need the passion, desire and the camaraderie that comes within this hobby. We hope the Swap to Street build inspires others to put a project together.”

The build was live-streamed and seen by more than 750,000 enthusiasts via Hagerty’s YouTube Channel and Facebook feeds.


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