Skip to main content

World's second-most-valuable Ford Model A to cross block

Most Model A Fords can be found for sale in the $10,000-20,000 range, but the 1931 Ford Model A coupe going up for sale at Auctions America by RM's Auburn Fall auction is expected to sell for about 10 times that sum ($150,000 - $225,000 estimate). If you figure, like we do, that the most valuable Model A is the 20 Millionth Ford built, a 1931 Model A Fordor, that would make this coupe the second-most-valuable example of "Henry's Lady." To be fair, there's more to the Deluxe coupe offered by Auctions America than a pretty little profile.

The 1931 Model A coupe Auctions America will offer during its sale Aug. 30-Sept. 2 in Auburn, Ind., is part of a car-camper combo assembled in the 1930s, offering the winning bidder a time-capsule car and fishing display and, above all, a handsome package that no one else can claim.

1931 Ford Model A and vintage travel trailer

This 1931 Ford Model A and fishing camper is expected to sell for $150,000-225,000 during Auctions America by RM's Fall Auburn auction.

Marine products representative J.M. Keely modified his new 1931 Ford Model A Deluxe and custom-built trailer for heavy-duty road use to haul fishing gear for his sales calls across the Southeastern United States. The Model A and trailer combo provided Keely with a sales platform as well as on-the-road accommodations. Once retired from the road, the Keely combo lived in storage for many decades until its recent restoration.

The nautical-themed, custom-built, single-axle camper is a 20-foot-long rolling fishing cabin with twin bunk beds, a hooded gas stove, icebox, sink, writing desk and cabinets housing Keely��s original enamelware cookery and utensils. A 25-gallon water tank with hand pump serves the camper, and an attachment allows “shore water” to be piped aboard. Model A cranks and regulators operate the trailer’s windows, and brass screens keep the mosquitoes away.

The restorer carefully recreated the lettering that decorated the exterior of Keely’s caravan, advertising products such as Rain-Beau Fishing Lines and Sea HorseBrand Fishing Tackle. A veritable boatload of rare fishing supplies – rods, lure, floats, oars and small outboard motors – is included with the sale, as is every scrap of paper and notebooks full of photographs Keely kept to document the life of this car and camper.

As it sits now, looking like its vintage photographs come to life, the Model A is fitted with a heavily reinforced rear spring and cross member and still has the axle, hubs, brakes and thick steel rear wheels from a Ford AA truck. Unlike a stock Model A, the four-cylinder engine in Keely’s car has two six-volt generators – one to power the car’s electrical system and the other for twin storage batteries that run the trailer’s lights. When parked at a trailer camp, a 110-volt hookup powers fans, lights and a radio for the self-contained environment. At primitive locations, juice comes from an onboard gas generator.

“This Model A and travel trailer combo is a real find for us,” said Auctions America by RM’s President Donnie Gould. “Our Car Specialists are always on the lookout for vehicles that grab attention and set us apart from our competition. We are very happy to offer this 80-year-old travel rig with so much genuine nostalgic value and history.”

In addition to the nearly 1,500 cars for sale, Auburn Fall will feature a seminar and special display devoted to the 50th anniversary of Carroll Shelby’s legendary Cobra and Mustang sports cars.

Learn more at

Related Resources:

We get all of our Ford data from the book Standard Catalog of Ford

Other interesting Ford stories are told in the book Just Fords

Where to Bid

Car Auciton

Check out the Old Cars Auction Calendar

The Old Cars Auction Calendar has the when and where you are looking for when it comes to classic car auctions.