View Full Version : My "Norwegian" 58 bird

12-10-2011, 07:10 PM

Here is my "Norwegian" 58 T-bird.
I bought the car May this year. The car is in rather god shape.
I do not know the cars whole history, but I know that the car was imported to Norway in 1989 by a car painter. He repainted the car the same year and the car still got this paint witch still looks very good. He also did a job on the engine, transmission and the undercarriage. The car runs well and is very stable on the road. At the inside the car have bad carpets (unoriginal home made), door panels are mediocre, the seats and dash are not bad, both are probably changed some years ago.
On the minus side: Water leak caused by plugged cowl drain have caused rust in the right hand side floor and have to be replaced (priority one). There is also some rust to fix in small areas in the trunk floor, a small leakage in the radiator, and some other minor problems witch will hopefully be fixed during the winter.

I've attached a few pictures where two was taken when driving a new married couple this summer.


12-11-2011, 12:17 AM
Hi Gunnar, and thank you for posting your pix of your '58 Tbid! She is a beauty. Good luck on fixing the things that need to be repaired on her. The guys on the Squarebirds Forum might be able to give you some good advice on those projects.

bird 60
12-11-2011, 12:23 AM
Very nice looking Bird Gunnar, hope the things that need to be fixed won't run you into a lot of $$$$$$$s. I like the red ribbon as it stands out from the Bird being white, especially on the door handles.

Chris....From OZ.

Richard D. Hord
12-11-2011, 02:25 AM
Very nice!
Richard D. Hord

Dakota Boy
12-13-2011, 09:54 PM
Nice car! It's gotta be a rare thing to see in Norway, that's for sure.

Looks like you have a reproduction dash pad in your car already.

If you remove the front inner fender pieces (behind the front wheels), you can cut open a hole in that cowl panel area with a Sawz-All and scoop out all the crud. You'll be amazed what's in there after 50 years.

I have a post in Our Rides called "my '58" that shows some pics of this adventure....

12-15-2011, 07:07 PM
Thanks all, it's a rather rare car in Norway but there exist a few here..

I looked at your pictures Dacota Boy, it looks familiar. I used a small mirror and looked into the cowl drain hole. I removed the cover in front of the wind screen and used a vacuum cleaner with a thin tube from the top to remove the dirt. I will try to take some pictures soon.

Yes, the dash pad is new, It's done by a former owner.

Dakota Boy
12-15-2011, 08:53 PM
Well then, you've proved you are several times smarter than me!
You did it the smart way....:cool:

I took the "cave-man" approach and cut a big hole with a power tool! :o Oh well. Nobody will ever see it. At least not in MY lifetime....

12-16-2011, 02:35 PM
Well, I think what you did is also smart. If it has started to rust, it's much easier to do something to stop the rust if you make an inspection opening as you did. I'm thinking about doing the same myself. I can make a removable cover and fasten it with screws for later inspections. And as you said, nobody will ever notice. I have to think a bit first :-)

12-26-2011, 06:24 PM
This is my next project on my bird, removing rust from the floor pans. It's specially bad on the passenger front side after the water leak from the cowl drain. I have to weld in a new sheet metal here. I also have to stop the water leak. You can see the reason on the third picture, the rust protection have l loosened in bottom of the water drain in front of the wind screen and felt down and plugged the drain

01-04-2012, 05:18 PM
The cutting and grinding is almost finished. Hope to do the welding first coming weekend :rolleyes:

01-09-2012, 01:50 PM
The "Flintstone engine opening" is gone and welded. A little more grinding on the drivers side and I'm ready for priming.

01-10-2012, 04:06 PM
Way to go Gunner.

Good work saving the ol gal... :cool:

-Jon in TX.

01-10-2012, 05:12 PM
NEW STEEL! I love a good restoration. This floor will be good for another 50 years. Nice work.

Suggestion: 'Truck Bed Liner' spray is rubberized, paintable, and works better than undercoat. Consider applying a can or two before installing your carpet. - Dave

01-13-2012, 03:44 PM
Thanks both:-)

Dave, I looked after this 'Truck Bed Liner' spray on the internet but unfortunately nobody sells this in Norway and it's not legal to send spray boxes by plane. But I know some "local" products available here in Norway that use to work well. Hope to do some more this weekend. Have also received my new soldered radiator from the repair shop this week.

Dan Leavens
01-15-2012, 07:47 PM
Gunnar I have been following the posts on your project and you are going about it the right way Will last as Dave says for another 50 years.. Great work:D

01-31-2012, 05:40 PM
Since last posting I have been grinding some more ours...and welded more holes that previous ovners have made. Then I have used zink all places with pores that may still contain some rust (first picture). I have very good experience with this stuffs ability to eat up the remaining rust. After a few days I have primed with two component epoxy primer and finished with two component paint for truck frames.

I have also disassembled the left hand passenger window that didn't work anymore. The reason was a cracked frame as I have glued (last picture) I hope it will last... The grease was also transformed almost to something like glue, so the mechanism needed to be cleaned.

Next is behind the dash, removing surface rust and other dirt...

Richard D. Hord
01-31-2012, 06:50 PM
Hey Gunnar,
Looking good!
Richard D. Hord

01-31-2012, 07:53 PM
Very nice job Gunnar. Looks like you are doing a excellent job.

Dakota Boy
02-01-2012, 08:12 AM
While you have it all taken apart, you should get some brass rollers fabricated for those quarter window assemblies...


02-15-2012, 05:46 PM
The project grows... When you first have started, its difficult to stop.... But soon spring so I have to hurry up!
Hope to start put things together first coming weekend, still a long way to go before finished :o

02-15-2012, 07:27 PM
Wow, Gunner... Great job. These look like new pieces. - Dave

02-15-2012, 08:48 PM
another piece of the puzzle drops into place.:) Mike

Dakota Boy
02-16-2012, 09:45 PM
Wow. nice job.

I was refurbishing those old heater/defroster parts a few months ago.

yours look better than mine :(

02-19-2012, 05:01 PM
The weekend is over (unfortunately a bit to fast) and this is what I have done.
Rust prepared the cowl drains, hopefully no more leakage into the floor. Finished and insulated firewall and under the dashboard. Not a pleasant place to do work, the human body is not made for working under here.... glad I am almost finished with this. I have also sanded and prepared a lot of small parts, screws and others + rust prepared several hidden rooms.
Next will be installing the left quarter window and mechanism (don't dare to start on the right side before I have finished left side)

Dan Leavens
02-19-2012, 06:04 PM
Gunnar great stuff and soon you will see the results when you start reinstalling the pieces. I have sent a squarebird.org decal your way by post ( let me know when you receive ) so you can display it proudly on your classic.

02-21-2012, 03:49 AM
Thanks Dan. I'm looking forward to receive it. I will let you know when it arrives.

03-05-2012, 02:55 AM
Dan, my sticker arrived this weekend Thanks! I will find where to place it when my car is ready, hopefully within a few weeks...

03-05-2012, 05:29 PM
The latest progress in the project...
On the first picture, the heater is ready for assembling.
The second picture shows some of the interior after rust removal. Some of the parts was more or less rusty on the back side.The front side of the panels have different blue colors, because of sun and time I guess.
The third picture shows the heater and ventilation mounted under the dash, together with new fire wall insulation and others..
The forth picture is the roof rail after repainting. Not much rust, but bad looking. The roof rail weatherstrip was in bad condition as well
The last picture is the interior after priming of the back sides (I have used some different colors, but they are all two component epoxy primers)

I hope to do finish the paintwork first coming weekend. Than I can speed up assembling the car.... I also have some challenges to repair the quarter power window mechanisms...

03-16-2012, 04:18 PM
Since last posting I have spend a lot of time and said a lot of bad words when trying to mount the quarter power windows... The left window frame which I earlier tried to glue is broken again and I guess I have to replace the frame. So if anyone have a left side quarter frame for sale, I'm very interested... The right quarter window have got a new glass+weatherstrips and seems to work well!
The interior details is repainted and ready for mounting. Front and back seats has got new foam inside, and the front seats has also got new vinyl (the back seat was in rather good shape).

03-16-2012, 05:37 PM
Looking GOOD!!! :cool:

03-16-2012, 07:25 PM
Gunnar, check with Carl ~ partetal, here on the Forum. Also, check out the For Sale Forum. Several of the guys have parts off of parts cars for sale.

03-21-2012, 05:42 PM
Stunning job! I totally Love those textile / Vinyl seat combo!!

Det är ett fantastiskt jobb du gör! Hoppas kunna se din T-Bird bil i sommar.
Hur löste ni det med att lacka på plåtdetaljerna som är klädda med vinyl?

( Just a little message in Swedish for Gunnar, who lives in Noway, next to us. Our language is not that far from eachothers either ;) )

03-22-2012, 04:44 AM
Anders, I sent you an e-meil regarding your questions. Tell me if you didn't receive it. Hope to see you and your car during the summer. Gunnar

03-22-2012, 05:23 AM
Did you send it to my homeadress? If so I´ll will see it tonite. Otherwise, my mailadresses are:


05-17-2012, 06:33 PM
Here is some more pictures from the final interior assembly. This pictures is actually taken some weeks ago. The interior is almost finished, but the backseat armrest is not mounted yet, but I plan do this first coming week end.

Richard D. Hord
05-17-2012, 07:15 PM
Hey Gunnar,
She is looking awesome! Is that a new power seat rail or on that has been redone?
Richard D. Hord

05-18-2012, 04:27 AM

The power seat rails have been redone.

05-18-2012, 08:23 AM
WOW... looks better than new... Love it. Nice work !

Jimz Bird
05-18-2012, 12:46 PM
Really coming together GOOD!!

+2 on the Nice.

05-18-2012, 09:27 PM
I agree with Anders - that seat combo looks great - even though the back is original and the front replaced they still match great. And of course I agree on all the other comments - fabulous work you are doing there.

That's going to be one GREAT summer with that car.


05-19-2012, 01:02 AM
Me too. It looks nice, even better than 'factory'.

05-21-2012, 05:55 PM
Then the interior is almost finished inside for this time (a car like this will never be quite finished). The finish on the repainted dash pad was not quite like I hoped for, so I plan to repaint it on a later stage. I've also changed wheels and given the car a bit different look (some hate it but me and others love it) The old wheels was very old and in rather bad shape.

05-21-2012, 06:07 PM
Looks great. You just can't go wrong with Cragar SS wheels. They go well on most any older American car.

05-22-2012, 11:03 AM
Looks good.

That looks like that light blue interior originally in my folks '58 Bird too. I also think it is a factory "forgotten" color.... :o

-Jon in TX.

05-22-2012, 01:55 PM
I have been looking at pictures of interior colors for the '58-'66 Tbirds. After going through all the shades of blue, I think I have found two that might be the color used on your '58. One is called Lite Blue and might match the color of the dashpad, center console, door side panels and seat sides and tops. The other is called Light Blue and might be the colors of the seat centers and back. Here are the colors I came up with, including the two on the right which seem to be to dark.

05-22-2012, 04:30 PM
Where did you come up with those samples Ray??

05-22-2012, 04:49 PM
From what I recall, Gulfstream blue was a GM color in the 60’s and 70’s.

05-22-2012, 05:47 PM
Ray, this is really very interesting.
Photos taken with different cameras in different light may not show quite correct color shade. All the interior except the seats are repainted (also the vinyl) with a color very close to the original. The vinyl in back seat is probably an older aftermarket item. The tweed in the center of all seats is also older, but I don't know if they are original and reused or not. The vinyl in the front seats is new and made by a friend locally here in Norway, also with a color very close to the original and he reused the old tweed.
The result looks good and it's almost impossible to see any color shade differences. I'm very pleased, except the dash pad as I told earlier.

I can post you a piece of the old vinyl if you like. Then you may better see which color it is!

05-22-2012, 06:38 PM
I got those sample colors from Mac's Auto Parts catalog. Unfortunately, they did not break the list down into what colors went with which year, but just listed them as '58-'66 interior colors. Here is a link to it. You can click on it to bring it up in Adobe Acrobat or you should be able to right click on it and Save it.


Gunnar it is not necessary to mail me a sample of it. I was just trying to see if I could find a matching color for your interior for you.

12-10-2012, 05:09 PM
This winter I will concentrate on the trunk and rear end of the car which is the part of the car that most need a shine up. I plan to remove all rust in the trunk, give it some new paint and interior, No big surprises when removing the bumper:). Plan to install a new back bumper during the winter.

Dakota Boy
12-10-2012, 07:22 PM
If you drive in rain, do you get water under the trunk mat?

I do, and I havent found the source yet. My problem area is the passenger side; towards the wheelwell bump.

12-13-2012, 02:35 AM
Yes, I do get water under the mat when driving in rain or washing the car... But I know where the leak is, it's the weatherstrip on the trunk cover, passenger side in front.
New weatherstrip will be mounted during this winter;)

01-29-2013, 03:32 PM
Picture 1 and 2:
A lot of rust in the welding seams and surrounding area, three different plates have to be welded

Picture 3 and 4:
Also very rusty bottom part of the vertical plate in front of the back lights. Had to cut the bottom part and weld in a stripe. Fortunately almost no rust in the floor under.

Picture 5, 6 and 7:
Rust under the spare wheel as well. A bit tricky to bend the steel plates without having any special tools

Picture 8:
A part of the right side was a bit thin rusted and had to be replaced

Picture 9:
The trunk floor is welded finish and it's nothing more I know that have to be welded on this car:D

Picture 10:
Next challenge, the underside. Some surface rust have to be removed before cleaning and painting.

Dakota Boy
01-29-2013, 08:24 PM
When we are all patching these old cars together.... it makes me think that perhaps this is how a doctor feels when operating on anyone who might be considered "old".

Disclaimer: I will not define what is considered old. :D

01-30-2013, 04:48 AM
Nice job!! :)

04-05-2013, 08:05 PM
Picture 1: the rust under removed.
Picture 2: Priming under finnished
Picture 3: And painted
Picture 4: All the filling in the trunk is done
Picture 5: Used zinc to stop rust in the body joints
Picture 6: Trunk primed
Picture 7: Some other parts after priming

11-01-2013, 08:53 PM
It seems like I never finished last winter project in here...
I think the pictures tells the story:)
And when my kitchen is ready (and my wife satisfied) I will start new projects on this car:D

11-01-2013, 09:18 PM
Beautiful work, Gunnar. I love your pictures, too. - Dave

bird 60
11-02-2013, 05:41 AM
WOW ! now that is what I call a restoration. A credit to you.:cool:

Chris.....From OZ.

11-02-2013, 09:33 AM

Your car came out great. Thanks for the pictures, they make the story so much better.

I hope the wife's kitchen comes out just as nice. That will most likely give you a free pass for your next car project.

11-02-2013, 05:20 PM
You can see by the workmanship that Gunnar put into restoring his gorgeous Tbird why it was not a hard decision for me to pick it as the Squarebird Tbird of the Month for June 2013. There is another beautiful 60 Squarebird I am looking at now for November, 2013, belonging to Charles Walk.

04-17-2014, 06:29 AM
The subject for this winter was the rear axle and surrounding area. I'm going to change all bushings, springs and shocks. I'm also going to remove dirt, rust and repaint what possibe.

Pic 1: The rear axle on it's way out and everything looks like a car that have been used for several years.

Pic 2: The rear axle is out and looks dirty.

Pic 3: The under body doesn't looks too bad, but there is some rust...

Pic 4: After cleaning and removing surface rust it looks better than expected. You can see I've painted some sink paint at some of the sheet metal joints to try stop rust inside the joints

Pic 5: Even the rear wheel houses looks pretty good.

Pic 6: The most serious rust was found in the end of the passenger side rocker. I had to do a small welding job here.

Pic 7: After priming.

Pic 8: Some of the attached parts is also primed. The axle, arms etc, have been sandblasted and primed by a friend and have different color. (The part down in right corner belongs to another car)

Pic 9: The new bushings are pressed into the arms

Pic 10: Some of the old bushings....

Dan Leavens
04-18-2014, 05:11 PM
Gunnar now that is what I call a serious restoration and good on you for having the patience and determination to complete

When I went on the TBird registry to read the bio on your 58 I was stunned when I saw your VIN # 123704 and I thought my wife's 58 HT VIN # was 123735:eek: That would be only 31 cars difference when profuced. After checking her car file, it is VIN #124735 which is still close but a lot different:D

04-19-2014, 07:11 PM
Thanks Dan,

Yes it's a lot of work....
I've now almost completed the job and plan to post some more pictures soon. But I do still have some challenges as you may have seen in another thread in this forum regarding knocking sounds...

11-12-2014, 05:23 PM
The bird is parked for the season and it's time for indoor activity again here in Norway. I realized that i never finished my update on last winter project here on this (grate) forum. So I have posted some pictures that show the rest of the work I did on my rear end.
Both the under body and all parts was painted with truck frame black color and then all the body parts was covered with thick under carriage rust protection mass. All hidden rooms was sprayed with thin rust protection fluid.
Suspension springs, shocks, bushings and brake parts are replaced with new ones.

Unfortunately there is still some noises from the rear suspension. This is located to the upper arms and I've got some advises from Anders in Sweden how to solve this. This is a bit work and will be a project another winter.

11-12-2014, 05:35 PM
Thanks for the update, Gunnar! That is beautiful work! It looks like a brand new car! Congratulations!

11-12-2014, 07:45 PM
...I've got some advises from Anders in Sweden how to solve this...I'm so happy that you and Anders are working together. In my opinion, Anders has done the very best job of all 1958 rear suspensions. He understands the mechanics, he works in the automotive industry and he knows where to go to get parts made. He is a great restorer.

Again in my opinion, the rear suspension in a '58 Thunderbird was an engineering disaster. I cannot imagine that Ford engineers came up with this design because it was never used before or since. I believe that Budd engineers designed the suspension and Ford approved the drawings to be built for production.

After no time, Ford dropped that coil spring scheme and quickly reverted to leaf springs. Now here we are sixty years later, trying to understand the design and find parts that normally wear out.

Ford usually puts the same parts in many of their models. For instance, the front bushings on a Ford suspension are used over many years by millions of cars. The rear suspension bushings on the '58 Thunderbird are used by no other model and no other year.

Your car looks great, Gunnar. Keep up the good work and enjoy your Squarebird. - Dave

Dan Leavens
11-13-2014, 08:34 AM
Gunnar a great job so far and thanks for the pics.

01-26-2015, 05:16 PM

As usual I had to do something to improve my T-bird this winter as well.
The plan now is to replace the windshield weather strip, the dash pad that didn't fit well anymore, door weather strips and also paint the door edges and door openings (They where brush painted by a former owner).
I will also remove some rust. Fortunately it’s mostly surface rust and there is no need for welding.

Short explanation for the pictures:

#1 The windshield and dash pad is removed. It doesn't look too good...

#2 The dash sheet metal is also removed

#3 Now it looks like this at the inside

#4 I just had to try polishing the cable cover "thing" to the door and was a bit impressed that it was possible to make it that nice again. So don’t buy new, polishing instead

#5 Fender shirts before and after rust removing

#6 Dash after rust removing

#7 Fender shirt after additional sandblasting

#8 Dash after painting together with the new dash pad

#9 Soon ready for paint

#10 I hope there is still some time before the summer......

Dan Leavens
01-26-2015, 10:38 PM
Gunnar the projects are coming along nicely and yes there is lots of time before summer.:)

03-04-2015, 05:11 PM

This winter project takes a lot more time than planned (as usual). Since last posting I've removed the door weather strips and cleaned the doors for glue and some rust, fortunately nothing serious. I also had a screw hole on the left hand door that was so cracked that it wasn't possible to use it anymore. To fix this I used a metal washer, the original screw and two nuts and pressed the screw into the washer so it got the same shape as the screw. Then the washer was welded into the doors and plastered, primed and painted.
The door openings and door edges are also plastered, primed and painted.

All the door locks, screws etc. have been re plated or polished.

To be continued…..

Dan Leavens
03-05-2015, 08:39 AM
Gunnar is the exterior colour Wimbleton White?

03-06-2015, 03:17 AM

The car was repainted around 1990. The original color was Winterset white. But the painted color is slightly less yellowish compare with the original color (which still exist behind back seat, covers etc). When it was repainted they may have used Wimbledon white, which was the color Ford changed to in August 58 I believe.

Dan Leavens
03-06-2015, 09:08 AM
Gunnar yes you are correct and Wimbleton white has a softer creamier look to it. My wife's 58 once cleaned and waxed looks great:D