1980 Ford Shay Model A
Take a look at Harry Shay's effort to provide the nostalgic looks
of the Model A Ford roadster with the ease of a late-model car.
Now, however, even commonplace cars of the Shay's 1978-'82 era (and
its successor, by Camelot Motors) are open to consideration as
something more than just transportation. As such, one can consider
the Shay as a contemporary to the Pinto and Fairmont on which it
was based, rather than in the context of its 1920s inspiration.
Take into account its approximately 5,000-unit production run and
it's even something of a rarity.
For consignment a deal between Harry Shay and the Ford Motor
company to produce a replica of the Model A without the
unreliability of the mechanicals, rough rides, or problems with the
old steel bodies, and a fully function replica of the classic Model
A. These were even offered through Ford dealers and based on the
Full on fiberglass exactly replicating the original model A with
its cowled hood, short doors, rumble seat, convertible top, and
dual bar chromed bumpers, and swooping black fenders and running
boards it is looking much line the 1920's all over again. Deep
maroon paint dances with various chromed and polished trimmings on
the body like side view mirror, door handles, headlights and of
course the main front grille. Some curvaceous yellow pin striping
adorns the sides, and this contrasts with the 18 inch steel spoked
wheels in straw color. Black fenders curve up and down in front and
in back and are held together by a running board. On back is a
large back trunk for tool storage, however with this modern
version, I doubt you'll need to do any mid trip wrenching, so just
pack your clothes here! A very nice condition black canvas top with
side rear windows and a clear rear window top this reproduction.
The rumble seat is in very nice condition and perfect distance away
from the driver for the mother-in-law. Noted on a few surfaces
paint is showing some aging and slight scratches in the form of
A simple black bench in vinyl stretches from door to door. Upfront
the black padded dash houses the "mask" like instrument cluster,
but with just a twist of modern design from its predecessor
original. An under mounted stereo is seen on the passenger's side,
and black carpet is flooding the floor. A tilt column wheel a
modern amenity has been put on and a smaller steering wheel makes
driving just a bit less unwieldy.
Slightly more complex than the original Model A under the cowls,
now mounted is an overhead cam 4-cylinder engine 140 cubes with 88
HP from the Ford Pinto. A very recognizable setup for any mechanic,
now much easier to have worked on if a problem should arise. This
car is also equipped with a FOG 4 speed manual transmission, and a
7.5 inch rear axle. A bit more complex that the late 1920's version
underneath this hood, it is just more electronics noted.
Pinto independent suspension, rack and pinion steering, and front
disc and rear drum setup, the frame is solid and rust free. Mostly
fiberglass abounds underneath, as well as the fairly clean
underside of the engine and transmission. Slight surface rust
upfront from scraping of parking lot cement bumpers, but definitely
The combination of '70s engine, chassis and braking technology with
a 1920s ride height and 1930s tires makes the Shay a uniquely
handling automobile. The experience is very similar to a Model A
until you turn the corner or step on the brakes, at which point the
more-modern technology makes its presence known in a positive way.
On uneven surfaces, however, my ride told me that the shimmy and
wander of the skinny bias-ply tires bring back the old days. It ran
just peachy, and was a hoot to drive, wandering left and right or
One would expect the usual Model A sound, cantankerous starting,
lack of modern drive-ability, however this car offers up a pleasant
surprise. It is easy to drive, and also attracts attention as any
Model A would. When something goes wrong, just take it to your
local Ford dealer...Shay what??!
Classic Auto Mall is a 336,000-square foot classic and special
interest automobile showroom, featuring over 600 vehicles for sale
with showroom space for up to 1,000 vehicles. Also, a 400 vehicle
barn find collection is on display.
This vehicle is located in our showroom in Morgantown,
Pennsylvania, conveniently located just 1-hour west of Philadelphia
on the I-76 Pennsylvania Turnpike. The website is
www.classicautomall.com and our phone number is (888) 227-0914.
Please contact us anytime for more information or to come see the
vehicle in person.