Pick of the Day: 1930 Ford Model A police ‘paddy wagon’

Pick of the Day: 1930 Ford Model A police ‘paddy wagon’

The Pick of the Day is a 1930 Model A restored as a police 'paddy wagon' that seems accurate for the era

Nobody really calls a police van a “paddy wagon” anymore, but in the 1930s when urban police departments were largely populated by Irish patrolmen, that was the going term for the specialized trucks used to haul away bad guys. Presumably, to the hoosegow.

The Pick of the Day is a 1930 Ford Model A restored as a seemingly accurate rendition of a period patrol wagon, the kind you see in old black-and-white gangster movies with Jimmy Cagney or Edward G. Robinson being shoved inside by burly cops.

The body is fashioned from wood

Recently built on the platform of a U.S. Mail truck of the era, the paddy wagon is loads of fun, gets lots of attention at car shows and runs well, according to the Malone, New York, dealer advertising the Ford on ClassicCars.com.

“We just had it out for a local tour and what a great time we had with it,” the dealer recounts in the listing. “It does 40-45 mph easily with the high 3rd gear, and handles great.”

The Model A is powered by its original four-cylinder engine and geared low for city driving, so don’t expect to do any high-speed chase scenes. But with its low first gear, the wagon would be an ideal entry as a slow-moving parade vehicle, the seller notes.

The Model A’s simple controls

“It has a tilt-out front windshield, vintage ah-ooga horn, steel grates in six windows, sliding door between passenger/driver compartments, sliding driver’s and passenger door, vintage military rear lock, beveled slatted vinyl covered wood roof, signal lights, battery shutoff (and) gas shutoff,” according to the listing.

Collectors of vintage police and military vehicles comprise an active subset of the collector car hobby. Authentic vintage service vehicles are preferred, but such an apparently nicely done replica of an 87-year-old paddy wagon should have appeal for a police-car fan.

This unique Model A seems reasonably priced at $35,900.

To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day


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  • Sam Moffatt
    July 22, 2018, 2:43 PM

    Would love to have it, but over my budget, fun vehicle to have for events!

  • Titan Moffatt
    August 30, 2018, 6:25 PM

    Need to come down to reality, a lot of money for a refurbished Cell!>!? Besides N.Y. where can it be seen??


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