View Full Version : Greetings from Finland with recently aquired 1960

11-17-2012, 07:33 AM
Hi guys

Two weeks ago I bought this 1960 bird with originally equipped 430 cid and cruise-o-matic. I just found out that only 4.3% of the production was set up like this. This puppy was imported from CA in 2004. I'm preparing it for repaint, all the way to bare metal just to be sure there's no surprises. I found couple small dents and only one dime size rust spot. Amazing.


11-17-2012, 08:58 AM
so hello,
super congratulations on your buy! I 'know' this car, not really but I have seen it once at a garage here in Kuusamo for a service and oil change (a few years ago I believe).
I live in Kuusamo and have a 1960 convertible that still needs a lot of work before it is completely restored.


11-17-2012, 09:51 AM
Congratulations, Tero and welcome to the Forum. I moved your thread out of the Technical Forum and down here to Our Rides. Thanks for posting the pix! She looks to be in good condition. Just wait to you see her shine with a new coat of paint!

11-17-2012, 12:55 PM
Sorry Ray, my bad. This is really one of the easiest projects I've had, and I've had plenty. No rust, all parts there, interior is already redone with black leather, tagged to Finland and technically a ok. Waiting for the summer already.

Ron, so we live close then, just a tad over 100 miles. How long you have stayed there, enjoying our winters really? Do you have pics of your ride anywhere?

Thanks for the warm welcome!

11-18-2012, 03:35 AM
Hai Tero,
I 've been in Finland since the end of 1996 but my Finnish is not very good to say the least. I am orig. Dutch but lived most my life in foreign countries, actually longer than I 've ever lived in Holland.
Bought the car in Germany the end 2008 and working on it is not difficult but a slow process because so littel time, but I am getting more time now. And it is got to be done good.
I posted pictures in previous threads, here the link to it.

let me know in PM where you live exactly, if you like, I will stop by in the next few months or so when I am in the neighborhood.


Richard D. Hord
11-18-2012, 08:38 AM
She's a keeper!
Richard D. Hord

11-18-2012, 11:12 AM
Hai Tero,
I 've been in Finland since the end of 1996 but my Finnish is not very good to say the least. I am orig. Dutch but lived most my life in foreign countries, actually longer than I 've ever lived in Holland.

Finnish is an impossible language to learn! ;) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2D3ZyfHiPfM&feature=fvwrel

12-01-2012, 01:46 PM
Trip to painter has started, this time I'm not painting it myself. I have to admit that I have never faced such a hard time to decide the color, but boy did I find a nice shade by the end of the day. You'll judge my choice when it's done. I just received new whitewalls, and ordered a ton of new gaskets and chrome. There's no doubt it will be ready for summertime.


12-05-2012, 12:55 PM

01-04-2013, 11:25 AM
After a month paint is done. Pics don't do justice of my fresh candy but boy it's just what I was looking for. I just cant wait to get back to garage installing all the chrome back, new whitewalls, new seals etc.


01-04-2013, 02:42 PM
All I can say is: "WOW!"

01-05-2013, 01:17 AM
Thanks scumdoc. Month of professional work enabled laser straight finnish :D


01-07-2013, 10:45 AM
Realy nice!!! :D

01-07-2013, 12:26 PM
That's beautiful!

01-07-2013, 03:49 PM

She will be a REAL head turner over there for sure. :cool:

-Jon in TX.

tp tbird
01-09-2013, 05:15 PM
Nice color,it shines!

Dan Leavens
01-12-2013, 04:44 PM
Tero nice looking exterior colour. What is it called ?? Keep the pictures coming on your 60, as it will certainly turn heads as mentioned. How far are you from Turku??? Was over there in the mid 80's with a midget hockey club and if I remember correctly it was north of the Arctic Circle:eek:

01-13-2013, 09:32 PM
Wow what a great color that will look nice when it's finished.


01-14-2013, 11:13 AM
Dan, the color is Carnival red candy, out of an 2010 Triumph Thunderbird

I'm 400 miles north from Turku, and artic circle is some 150 miles north from my place.

01-20-2013, 07:42 AM
Some progress but it's really time consuming to clean every piece before putting them back. It would be nice to buy everything new but I just can't afford all at once, so these will do. What a pita it was to hand paint every single square on these taillights...



01-20-2013, 10:49 AM
Tero, it is a bit late now, but John Draxler of Tbird Ranch sells those square decals for the '60 Squarebird for $15 plus shipping. Unfortunately, I did not know you were going to do that by hand painting them. He also has them for the '58 & '59 Squarebirds and I used his set on mine when I re-did mine. He also has the woodgrain vinyl for '63-'65 Tbirds, the brushed aluminum, and others. Check out his website, and look for Paint Repair Decals. He also has a ton of other things on his website.


01-20-2013, 01:29 PM
Thanks for the tip Ray, I would have painted them anyways so you are not too late. Actually I have contacted Tbirdranch for other items, and John told me he has 'em and the price, but then nothing. I sent him another email asking for payment instructions but in two weeks he has not gotten back to me. I hope he does not think I'm a scam artist from cyberspace, I really need the door scripts he has...

Richard D. Hord
01-20-2013, 07:06 PM
Some progress but it's really time consuming to clean every piece before putting them back. It would be nice to buy everything new but I just can't afford all at once, so these will do. What a pita it was to hand paint every single square on these taillights...



That looks awesome!
Richard D. Hord

02-23-2013, 11:20 AM
Trunk is now prepped for new upholstery


Dan Leavens
02-24-2013, 04:54 PM
Tero it looks like your restoration is moving along quite nicely. I hear you with the tailights ( PITA ) but at the end of the day they look so much more majestic that the faded ones. Good stuff.:D

03-03-2013, 11:52 AM
Finished. Have to say I'm not too happy with the quality of the trunk kit I bought. Each part was more or less in need of modification, but there it sits after all.


Dakota Boy
03-03-2013, 07:52 PM
That paint job is REALLY nice :cool:

Dont worry about the trunk kit. It seems to me that with most of these old cars, only the owner sees the flaws. Everyone else just sees an awesome car.....

Did you use POR 15 on the trunk? (the black coating prior to the trunk kit).

Dakota Boy
03-03-2013, 07:58 PM
As for painting the squares (or circles on a '58) on the tail-light housings, I have to say that Testors Acryl Semi-gloss Black works wonderfully.

Brushes on nicely, coats evenly, dries fast.

03-04-2013, 11:16 AM
I also hand painted the squares on my taillights. Then the trim on the rear quarter panels also. There were decals on the quarter panel trim pieces. They look much better and will last a long time for the price of the paint.

You are doing a great job on your Thunderbird.


03-04-2013, 11:18 AM
Thanks for the compliments Dakota Boy. The black layer is not POR, it's just enamel based with some rust preventive additives. The red stuff is pure rust protection.

I put some sound killer under the mat too

I used Humbrol model kit paint for the squares, we don't have Testors here. POR is awailable but the pricing... I used that for undercoating my '52 Buick years ago. It works great, as does their tank sealer.


Dan Leavens
03-06-2013, 05:44 PM
Tero very well done on the trunk interior and that should supress a lot of the road noise:eek: from travelling into the interior. Send some pixs of the overall paint job from nose to tail and both sides please.

03-07-2013, 07:29 AM
Dan, for the overall pics we'll have to wait at least a month more. There's still way too much snow outside my garage:D And my garage is too small to get such pics. Anyhow the winter gives me a bit more time to do all the finishing properly. This forum will be the first one to see the empirors new clothes as soon as I'm done and the weather permits to take the Bird out from it's nest. I'd say some point at April.

03-31-2013, 01:51 AM
A little setback, my tranny suddenly started dripping oil from the shift shaft seal. I spent marvelous 6 hours on my back on the concrete and eventually got them changed. Thanks for the instructions link posted here to charlietrannys website. 430 MEL + COM combo, had to notch the floor to be able to wiggle out the shaft beween the floor and tranny, and install the new seal. Topping of the cake was the wrong pan gasket they sent, so now I have to wait a week or two for correct one :o

Today I just have to do something lighter, maybe polish the wire wheels.

Dan Leavens
03-31-2013, 04:35 PM
Tero welcome to the world of Thundebirds. Great to see another 60 survivor and is she registered in the TBird registry on our site??

04-01-2013, 12:38 AM
Thanks Dan, this puppy is RN 41861 at the registry. 1000th '60HT in there.

Today I installed the rear bumper and tried to polish it plus the wire wheels.
My bumpers really need rechroming but thats not doable at the moment.

04-01-2013, 10:54 AM
Great job your car looks realy good


04-13-2013, 07:56 AM
As promised, here are the first time out (this morning) full pics of my ride.


I still need to install few items, front bumper etc. and hopefully the weather let's me do a virgin voyage next weekend:p

04-13-2013, 09:27 AM
Hi Tero, and congratulations on the progress you are making with your Squarebird! Thanks for posting those pix! I just love that Carnival Red Candy color! That is beautiful! The interior looks really nice also.

04-13-2013, 10:34 AM
Thanks for the compliments Ray, I'm waiting for the sun to see the candy really pop out

04-13-2013, 10:16 PM
A fine car well put together in trying conditions in a far off country!

Well done and perservere, you've got a real jewel there Tero!

bird 60
04-14-2013, 08:18 AM
She looks really beautiful Tero. A real credit to you.:cool:

Chris.....From OZ.

04-14-2013, 09:28 AM
Thanks boys, one more teaser photo. Today I put the front bumper in and tried to adjust the choke. I'm still not sure it works properly. I also confirmed there is connection from starter relay post "I" to coil + and installed windshield washer.


04-26-2013, 07:17 AM
First 50 miles behind Squarebird wheel is now done. Not bad at all


04-27-2013, 06:10 AM
I was also a victim for the "cranking a minute" problem after the car sits for couple of days. Today I installed electric fuel pump in conjunction with the mechanical one. I just prime the line with touch button before starting and the stock pump takes care of the fuel delivery when driving.

So much better, now it starts almost immediately, and when my Pertronix II arrives from States it should be troublefree.

04-27-2013, 08:34 AM
The color you chose is absolutely striking.... ;)


Detailing is fantastic.

Any metal-flake or just straight candy?

OH!? Have you detailed the engine compartment yet? I am a 430 freak... :cool:

bird 60
04-27-2013, 07:40 PM
I second that, the colour is fantastic.;):cool:

Chris....From OZ.

04-28-2013, 12:20 AM
The engine bay is still a mess, I will work on that when the winter arrives. Summer is short here so I just drive as much as I can and tear it down later.

The color is straight candy itself, but the silver base underneath has some tiny metallic, but not visible flakes. The shift of tone is drastic as you can see from the sunny/cloudy pics, and that's what I wanted. It makes all the curves more visible. The only downside is the price for that paint and the fact that not all painters can spray it evenly.

04-29-2013, 03:34 AM
Yesterday the heater started to leak into passenger floor quite badly. The core itself is brand new, but the oval seal that lays between the pipes and heater core is ruined. Now I have to bypass the heater and start sourcing for the seal :mad:

04-29-2013, 11:08 AM
There's nothing special about the seal. You can easily make one using gasket material and some RTV sealant.


04-29-2013, 12:30 PM
:cool: SUPER NICE! :cool:

The all black /chrome interior looks terrific with the candy color.


04-30-2013, 01:22 AM
There's nothing special about the seal. You can easily make one using gasket material and some RTV sealant.


Thanks John, that's what I thought also when I sealed it. It really didn't seem that tricky. Now it's been done two times without proper seal and no permanent luck. Maybe it leaked from another spot, it really poured this time and I have not tear it down yet to see where the coolant found it's way out. The space between the core and valve is kinda curved, that made me think the original seal is somehow molded into proper form.

Anyhow this is not a big issue, just frustrating to do it over and over, my patent holds couple of days and then drips again.

04-30-2013, 01:25 AM
:cool: SUPER NICE! :cool:

The all black /chrome interior looks terrific with the candy color.


Thank you Eric for the kind words. I'm getting plenty of thumbs up on the road already, Squarebirds are not that common here. The Bird goes into local car show in two weeks, let's see if the public appreciates at all.

04-30-2013, 10:35 AM
Are you using the original heater valve or do you have plain pipes and an external valve. If you have the original valve there's a seal that goes inside that also needs to be replaced. Here's a tutorial on how to do it. Although this shows a valve for a Packard the steps and the seal are the same as a Thunderbird.


05-11-2013, 07:47 AM
I took my bird into local show today. Here's couple shots, hopefully tomorrow I will have better time to take photos of all the vehicles for you guys to see


05-11-2013, 11:00 AM
Tero, I know we have said it before, but it deserves to be said again! That is the most beautiful red color I have ever seen on a car! Just fantastic and thanks for posting them. We will look forward to seeing what else you post.

05-11-2013, 11:25 AM
Thanks for the truly kind words Ray, I got plenty of compliments and questions regarding the paint when setting up the show. Pics don't even do the justice, people seem to realize it's something totally different than average red when they walk by and it shifts the tone so heavily. Tomorrow I'll shoot you guys an review of our scene here in northern Finland.

05-12-2013, 12:38 PM
Heres more pics of the show


05-13-2013, 06:44 AM

I was going to compliment the car but I began drooling....

I am going to tell 'ya...

That is one car you take to a DRIVE-IN MOVIE without a date... ;)

05-13-2013, 07:06 PM
One really cool looking car, - the colour, stance & wheels all blend together like a symphony, well done!

09-24-2013, 10:52 PM
Well done, great looking Bird!!

10-05-2013, 02:01 PM
Hello Gentlemen

Season here is pretty much over so I thought to share my impressions of the first summer behind Squarebird wheel, with some pics if you don't mind.

I have built over twenty different type of US cars from '27 T-roadster hot rod to newer cars, and this Bird really has some advantage to them all. The ride itself is top notch, absolutely the best of these vintage vehicles I've had. Ford engineers managed with their construction just awesome. 430 cid pulls hard enough and there's no darting at any speed.

I didn't get that much miles this summer, we spent the whole june in Orlando for vacation, and after that I was so busy working that I used the Bird only during couple of weekends etc, maybe some 800 miles total.

Most of the time everything was fine. Heater leaked at one occasion squirting the passenger footwell wet. I also suffered some mystery kangaroo act every now and then. I assume it is just carbage from the tank pluggin the carb. New tank just arrived from states so that with new lines will find it's place during the winter.

Once the gas got boiling in the carb at drive through Mc Donalds and it was soooo embarrashing to push the puppy outta there. After cooling the trip was a OK to home. Then I made a spacer out of plywood under the carb and never looked back.

Kids really love our Thunderbird and prefer it over the chryslers at our house, and I'm not blaming them:cool:

The styling and forms of the lines, oh boy is this an attention getter or what. I don't remember a single ride short or long without a thumbs up from another lane by total strangers.

To sum all of it, I'm very pleased with the toy and will continue building it towards "perfection", and ride it more in 2014.

10-23-2013, 07:02 PM

And dance.



10-25-2013, 03:01 AM
Great cars these Thunderbirds eh!

Coolness personified....and especially your one.

01-19-2014, 10:16 AM
I'm quite happy of the result after two weekends effort in my engine bay






Lots of sanding, painting, rerouting wires and hiding them into convoluted tubes and so forth. Valve covers and air cleaner are not white but my camera reflets the vanilla color like that

01-24-2014, 11:56 PM
With that terrific exterior color combined with black interior and wheels/tires, bet you draw lots of attention when out cruising.

02-02-2014, 12:29 AM
How do you like my new interior lights, kinda spooky?


02-06-2014, 12:13 AM
I like them. I have some red ones going in mine when winter is done.