An online gateway to the Model "A" Ford hobby and antique car trunks.
Modern Day Old Car Hunting
The average car buff recognizes how the Internet has changed the old car hobby. EBay and Craigslist are widely accepted as a great place to start a search for that elusive vehicle of choice or opportunity. Members of all generations have adapted well to using the Internet as a source of information and to promote the hobby. Forums, such as the Ford Barn and the Model AA Truck club help the hobbyist connect to other hobbyists who enjoy collecting, rebuilding and restoring old vehicles. If you're looking for a specific make, type or time period of vehicle, the odds are that a specific website or online group exists to help you find that car.
However, there are a few more places online that may provide clues to the whereabouts of vehicles forgotten by even their current owners. A farmer’s field may store the antique vehicle you're looking for. With the proliferation of civilian satellite imagery made available to anybody through a variety of online sources, such as Yahoo or Google maps, you may be able to find it on any given night while on your trek to reach the "end of the Internet".
What was once the realm of "Cold War" intelligence analysts is now available to anybody with an internet connection. Don't freak out, there aren't drones buzzing around your property at night. These images seem to be updated every couple years, but for cars that have sat in the same location for decades, they are current enough.
The image quality makes it possible to identify antique vehicles sitting exposed in any field. That kind of imagery, when combined with other information can lead you to find that part or car you want in the most unexpected places.
Example one, I was once told by our local Model A Ford guru that many old cars in our area were made into trailers for agricultural use. With that info in mind, can you find the Model A in the satellite image on the right?
There is one present.
The yellow arrow on this Google Maps image points to an old Ford truck, its not hard to determine that this is a "probable" a pre-WWII vehicle. This is actionable intel for old car buffs.
When you zoom in to the same Google Maps image you can identify two trailers. With the knowledge that many of these farm trailers are made from old cars, these two trailers sitting abandoned in this field hold potential.
Google Streetview allows you to get a closer look from a more familiar point of view prior to physically going to the location. In this case it did not provide enough fidelity to identify what is under the trailer. Now for the ground work.
AA Truck guys probably already know what you're looking at based on what can be seen from this iphone picture.
Sure enough! That was once a 1928 or 1929 AA truck.
Yes, the hubcaps are still there. On closer inspection the majority of the frame components are still there, gone are the bodywork, engine and transmition.
This turns out to be a very early 1928 AA frame with an aftermarket frame extension by FABCO. It has the left hand emergency brake.
In this case the property the trailer was on is for sale. One call to the realtor got us in contact with owner who was needing to get ride of it. This is one AA that won't be going to the scrap yard just yet.
A 4x4 and a good winch came in handy. The longer wheelbase just barely fit on the 16 foot trailer. Mission accomplished!
Ok, so did we really use the satellite photo to find this trailer... in this case, NO (but we have in the past). This was the result of some good old fashion "talking to people". But it gave me the idea for this page. Now all I need is all the time in the world to review all that imagery online. Hope you enjoyed the read, I won't hold it against you if you jump on Google Maps and start your own search. Thanks for looking.