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piCARso
01-21-2009, 09:45 PM
I would like to respectively ask the Thunderbird community to share your knowledge and experience with me. I am a middle aged man who appreciates the past and beautiful objects. I am looking at T-birds from 58-66. I like the 60 very much but need an honest appraisal of what to expect from this 48 year old car. I have heard there can be electrical issues and they are heavy and non-responsive. Are the drum brakes an issue? What other weaknesses should I be aware of ? What would be the optimum set up (engine size, etc.) for the best performing bird? I love the dash, sculpted interior and two toned colors. Some have suggested moving forward to the 65's and 66's with improving technology (disc brakes). I don't find them unattractive but the 1960 has an element of stylishness that they don't have. I realize 50 year old cars will not have all the bells and whistles of todays cars but I still need your advice about what to expect, the good and the bad. Thanks

byersmtrco
01-21-2009, 10:34 PM
Welcome!!!

There are upgrades. I have a 60 convertible that my father purchased brand new. It's always been a "sleeper" When I was a kid around 11 (I'm a 1960 model as well) He put a juiced up 390 in it.

I have kept the hopped up 390 tradition alive. Only a true Ford guy can tell it's not the stk 352 in there. I have a 4 row radiator with a 7 blade flex fan and a shroud (that does not look original)
I've upgraded to disc brakes, frt & rr heavy sway bars and a few other minor mods. I can say it drives betterr than the (cherry) 65 Thunderbird I had. But for the most part it looks stock. The only outward appearance is the KH wire wheels. I have a set of different wheels & tires, I just haven't put them on yet. They will look (sort of) stock too.
Look at 59's !!

Good Luck

Bob M
01-22-2009, 08:02 AM
Hi Newbie

I like the 58-60 best they have style better that any others,ride great
Bob M

TChicken
01-22-2009, 11:53 AM
piCARso.Welcome to the site.The only real problem you must look for on a squarebird is the frame.These cars are unibodies,so you must be sure the frame rails are not rotted where they meet the body.As far as the electrical anyone with a basic knowledge (me for instance) should have no real troubles.There is no fuse box,all systems are fuses separately.Most elec. problems are normally ground related.If you can find one with a 430 you will have a runner.Mine had a 352 and it still ran real strong.They are fun to work on and fun to drive.(once you learn how to get into it without banging your knees.LOL,you have to sit down in the seat them swing your legs in.)
Have fun and you know where to go for any questions.

TChicken
01-22-2009, 11:57 AM
WOW Bob,what a great job you have done on your ride.You must be very proud.

RustyNCa
01-22-2009, 12:06 PM
Welcome, you came to the right place to get help and support in your quest for a bird.

I have both a 58 and a 65. I can say that the 58 feels quicker and lighter to me than the 65. The 65 feels more like a cruising road car where the 58 has a lighter more responsive feel to it. The 58 has more road noise and feel to it than the 65, where the 65 runs down the freeway at 80 with all the comfort in the world.

Both of my cars have 390's in them, the 58's motor has a cam, etc. while the 65 is all stock.

On my 58, I can't say how the drum brakes worked, they were a rusted up mess when I picked up the car, so I went straight to disc. I haven't had any electrical issues other than burnt up power window motors, the electrical is pretty simple and straight forward it seems to me. I upgraded the front sway bar and went with stiffer shocks, huge improvement.

I find the 65 to be more of a classical smooth looking car, while the 58 is an in your face look at me type of car. The 58 to 60 body has very interesting lines and detail where I find the 65 to be a much smoother refined version of the squarebird. I like the both for completely different reasons. The 58 body is more me, the 65 is what my GF likes to drive.

http://i103.photobucket.com/albums/m125/justacog/65TBird%20Special/DSCF3791.jpg
http://i103.photobucket.com/albums/m125/justacog/65TBird%20Special/DSCF3792.jpg
http://i103.photobucket.com/albums/m125/justacog/58TBird/91106034.jpg
http://i103.photobucket.com/albums/m125/justacog/58TBird/DSCF3035.jpg

JohnG
01-22-2009, 12:51 PM
hi Greg
Welcome to the site!

The downsides of the Squarebirds (58-60) that one might consider improving, in my opinion, are:

* brakes. Should be disk; just not powerful enough
* cooling system: marginal, depending on where you live and how you drive. Easy improvements available
* ignition system: wimpy coil should be replaced at the very least. Pertronix system a good idea.
* fuel economy not great. Better ignition system, careful tuning help
* wipers: hope it doesn't rain...
* chrome: lotta chrome to get refinished ($)

Upside: wonderful styling very appreciated by the general public, even if not by car "purists" (as it committed the unpardonable sin of replacing the 55-57 two seater). A friend of mine says that riding around in it is like traveling with a rock star. Everywhere you stop, you draw attention.

john

Penelope
01-22-2009, 05:48 PM
Welcome Greg, I am also a (sigh) middle aged man who appreciates past & beautiful objects (I collect fine art also) and agree with you wholeheartedly that the 58 to 60 models are far more stylish than their later counterparts, but each to their own and respect to lovers of other years.

There is little doubt that these cars do have some idiosyncrasies, but I think its half the fun of owning one. The wonderful part is the joy they bring you and everyone else by just driving them down the road.

I hope that you pick well when you buy and have no doubt in saying that whatever issue you come up with, the members of this forum will solve it - their knowledge base is second to none.

Richard D. Hord
01-22-2009, 06:22 PM
HEY!
I've got a 1978 Diamond Jubilee Edition Thunderbird and just purchase a 1960 Thunderbird. The Jubilee has more sentimental value and I will not drive her. She is probably a number three or maybe a number two car. She was my first love. I always wanted a 1960 Thunderbird, they have class and are just a gorgeous car. I finally bought one and went to Chicago Illinois and picked her up and drove her 400 miles and the only problem I had was a power steering hose came loose. My son rode back with me and we had a ball. Driving down the interstate people looking, thumbs up and some even took pictures. Every time we stopped someone would ask, what model is she or they would have some comment, always good. He made the comment several times "this is so cool" I know some of the guys will disagree with me but I think the '60 is the the nicer car of the three ('58-'60) Don't get me wrong the Thunderbirds all are beautiful cars. I have had a few issues with he since I got her home, but I enjoy working on her. I walk by her and rub on her, my wife has caught me a couple of times and said will you stop that! I hope you get a little more information before you make a decision. And I hope you decide to get a Thunderbird! GOOD LUCK! And oh by the way these guys on here are great, you would not believe the valuable information that they share.

byersmtrco
01-22-2009, 07:59 PM
piCARso.Welcome to the site.The only real problem you must look for on a squarebird is the frame.These cars are unibodies,so you must be sure the frame rails are not rotted where they meet the body.As far as the electrical anyone with a basic knowledge (me for instance) should have no real troubles.There is no fuse box,all systems are fuses separately.Most elec. problems are normally ground related.If you can find one with a 430 you will have a runner.Mine had a 352 and it still ran real strong.They are fun to work on and fun to drive.(once you learn how to get into it without banging your knees.LOL,you have to sit down in the seat them swing your legs in.)
Have fun and you know where to go for any questions.

As my mom used to say "You don't get in, you put it on"

piCARso
01-22-2009, 08:48 PM
Thank you for so warmly welcoming me to your site. I have languished unhappily for weeks at another site with little encouragement or enthusiasm for the Birds and have felt disappointed and discouraged by the negative comments: poor performance, sloopy handling and other issues ( idiosyncrasies ) that you have mentioned. The negative comments stung. I don't have a lot of money , if I am lucky I have one vintage car in me. I have bounced around looking at various models (non Birds) suggested by informed sources but I keep coming back to your cars. I can change a fuse but otherwise I have no mechanical abilities. I don't need matching numbers, I need a reliable Sunday driver that is not going to be a headache and financial drain. I live in Maine so the season is short. Your council is so appreciated. I need a Bird that is in full flight with the upgrades that will make her soar. I am making notes so please know that even the smallest detail will be helpful in my future choice. Please keep your suggestions coming. Thanks, Greg

bcomo
01-23-2009, 11:40 AM
Greg:

Welcome to our forum. You're wise to do this kind of investigation before buying any classic car.

I've thought very hard about your situation, and would like to give you my thoughts based on 3 years of personal experience with my 60 T-Bird Hard Top.

I, like you, fell in love with the 60 model year. I am 65 yrs old, and have worked on cars since I was 14. I've never had a garage to work in, and all of my automotive work is done on my back on concrete. I live in Texas, so the heat of summer at 95 to 100 makes it tough and sweaty. I'm retired and have a small income from the Air Force, and Social Security. I'm married, with 2 young girls age 10 and 14 -- what a trip.

What I do have is a lot of tools, mechanical ability, and I tackle what I can do by myself because I can't afford to have it fixed by someone else. I would have never survived without the help of my friends on Squarebirds (thanks guys).

If you decide to buy a T-Bird, or any classic car, you have to get a shop manual, and be willing and able to do as much work on it yourself as possible. Most of the parts can only be gotten from T-Bird vendors, and there aren't many car repair garages that even know how to work on T-Birds. A mechanic who was 25 when the T-Bird was built is now 73.

As an example, you said that you could change a fuse. But there is no fuse box on a 58-60 T-Bird. All of the fuses are in-line, mixed in with the spaghetti wiring that is behind the instrument panel behind the dash. To change the fuse for the brake lights required one member to remove the gas/temperature gauge to be able to find the fuse.

If that scares you, then think about changing a generator, or a starter, carburetor, brakes, or gas tank. Those are some of the easier things that most of these guys have done on their back to keep their bird alive.

I'm not saying that you can't do these things, but it will take your willingness to do it yourself, and tools to do it, or it will drain your bank account in a New York minute. The forum can only support you with words of experience.

You asked about handling. No, they don't handle like a new car. There is no rack and pinion steering, and the stock drum brakes make you a very cautious driver to say the least. You can add disk brakes yourself, but it will cost you about $1000 for the parts alone, plus the addition of larger wheels, and also a new set of tires to fit. I'm a pureist, so I opted to keep mine all stock -- to each his own.

The 58-60 does have a problem with cooling. Most of us feel that the radiator was designed too small. At temperatures above 80, being in stop and go traffic can cause boil over and engine overheating. That can be helped by the addition of a fan with more blades and an electric fan if possible. Still, it's not a guarantee.

The 58-60 also has a problem with a somewhat sloppy shift linkage and/or worn Detent Plate that allows it to slip out of Park. Some of the slop can be fixed, but not all. Replacing the shift "Detent Plate" will fix the Park situation. It requires pulling the steering wheel, and is well documented in the Tech section.

Moving on --- what 60 should you buy, and how much?

IMO I would stay away from a convertible. They are beautiful, but the hydraulic system is very costly to repair, and in your case would be a bad choice. They can get stuck in the up or down position, of worse -- in between.

All other things being equal, it's your personal choice as to if you want a completely stock or modified T-Bird.

As far as what to spend. I would put as much money up front into buying a turn key well restored car. Even at that; expect to invest more money when something needs repair. Remember -- if it hasn't been repaired or replaced in 48 years, you will probably have to fix it sometime.

In todays market, you should be able to find a very nice Sunday driver requiring just general upkeep for about $15,000 You could find one for less or even more. You have to very cautious and look past the "Bling". Be more inerested in the mechanical soundness than the nice paint job. Ask if they kept receipts for the work, and take someone who is a GOOD mechanic with you -- someone who will tell you NO and walk away.

IMO E-Bay is a good place to look for pricing and photos, but not for buying unless you can drive to the car to inspect it.

You are at a disadvantage as a first time T-Bird buyer. We know what to look for now that we've been through it. But, like you, we all wish that we knew then what we know now.

If you decide to buy a Squarebird, maybe one of the members lives in driving range of a car that you might want to look at. You should post what city that you live in.

Personally, I have $28,000 or more (I lost track after that) invested in my 60 HT. As of last week, it is totally finished and restored. New engine, transmission, rear axle, front end, brake system, radiator, generator, starter, carburetor, tires, chrome, new paint job -- amoung many, many other replaced items.

So, what would mine be worth, after all of that -- probably $20,000 -- in a good market. Unless you got it for free, you will not get the money you invested back out of it. When they say, "a labor of love", they mean exactly that !!

fomoco59
01-23-2009, 01:22 PM
Well put, Bart.

JohnG
01-23-2009, 04:43 PM
Bart, good job!!


Greg: good luck!


john

tbirds8
01-23-2009, 07:07 PM
Very well put. You have to really like these t-birds, and who doesn't!!! Just find one without alot of rust. Like trunk, floors, rockers and quarter panels. Gezz sounds like mine.

Dan Leavens
01-24-2009, 10:57 AM
Greg welcome to our site and as you can see, from the responses to your original thread our members / guests are very active on our site. They are also very talented and knowledgeable with these Tbirds, no matter which year you choose to purchase. The point is to purchase one and then bring it back to original glory and enjoy the cruisin.:pIf we can help you out in navigating our site:eek: please send me a pm e-mail and I will be glad to help.

Dano Calgary,Alberta Canada

Bart:Thanks for taking the time to explain the in and outs as I am sure it will give Greg some " food for thought".

YellowRose
01-25-2009, 06:11 PM
Hi Greg,

I hope the information that was provided you in PM's and also that provided here was helpful to you in deciding what to do. I wish I would have had that information when I first started looking for my Tbird. I did not come to know about Squarebirds until after I bought it. If I knew then what I know now, I might have passed on mine for one in better condition. Or, I might have gone with a '66 Flairbird instead. However, like you, and so many of us, I am drawn to the design of the Squarebirds more.

Framer_guru
01-25-2009, 08:34 PM
Hello Greg,

Ok, I've been posting on this forum for about 5-6 months after I dragged my 60HT to Florida from the desert of NM. The people on this forum are the ABSOLUTE BEST!!! They have helped me through many different issues I've had since I got mine. I was extremely lucky in that my grandmother gave me the car years ago. Being in the Navy, I have just now finally gotten stationed in the states long enough to do something with it.

Quick history of mine, it belonged to one of my uncles when I was about 3 or so. He drove it for years the the engine messed up on him. When it finally got fixed he just left it at my other uncles house where it stayed for 20 years or so. I fell in love with it when I was 16, now here I am 20 years later and I finally got her!

Now, here are some pics of what she looked like being stuck out there for so long. http://photobucket.com/T-bird_in_progress LOTS and LOTS of work ahead of me. I've even had a couple of the hard core guys here tell me that I must love a challenge because this one looks like it's going to be HARD! Pretty much like everyone else has said, I love to work on her. I haven't actually driven it yet but I have made some mods as I rebuild her. 352 engine with cam and other upgrades, disc brakes up front, new seat foams, etc. It is a LOT of work but I absolutely love doing it so it's win win for me. Like bcomo said, first thing to do is buy a shop manual. That was about the first bit of advice they gave me and it has worked out great! These cars aren't like the classic Mustangs and Chevelles that I'm used to working on. I have found things on mine that I had never seen before! Hahahahahaha!

You said that you aren't very mechanically inclined, true? Pretty much any older vehicle you buy will pose some mechanical issues later down the road regardless of how much they have been upgraded over the years. Engines mess up, bearings wear out in wheels, brakes start grabbing, linkages need adjustment, radiator might start leaking, it all happens. The shop manuals do tell you step-by-step how to fix these problems. If you decide on a Squarebird, good for you! These cars are great, they are beautiful, and there is nothing like them on the road nowadays! When I towed mine out here I had people taking pictures, giving me a thumbs up, talking to me at gas stations and rest stops, and my car looked like hell at the time! Seems everyone loves them!!! Try looking at Craigslist, E-bay, Hemmings, or your local Auto Trader. You can usally find decent cars semi-cheap in them. Good luck with your search and let us all know your final decision!

Jimmy :D

piCARso
01-25-2009, 09:08 PM
Just shoot me! I just spent the last four hours pecking away on the keyboard to see all my witty and philosophical musings vanish into cyber- space. I started out logged in but when I sent off my reply it came back "you are not logged in". Maybe just as well, my ramblings probably would have put you to sleep. My ineptitude mechanically carries over to the internet.First, let me thank Bart, John G and Ray for their very detailed analysis of Squarebird issues. I can't tell you how much I appreciate the time you have taken to share your knowledge and experience with me. Next, thank you to all the others who have shared their insights and pictures of their beautiful cars. If I have not addressed you personally it does not lessen the value of your worthy comments. I feel very priviledged to be privy to all your experiences. It is heartwarming to be so universally welcome into a club where I lack the keys to the object of adoration.
I have thought that a convertible would be nice. Who wouldn't want to drive up the coast of Maine with the top down. Yes, I do need the top to come down and functioning wipers. I just about lose my mind when I hear about Southwest cars that have never been rained on in 50 years, hell it snows or rains here every day( not really). Of course the dash is usually cracked and the paint faded, but a small price to pay for a dry car. The lack of rust I know is important, one less issue to deal with.
Tell me about the engine options and what is preferred. I hear about a police interceptor 352. Is this a sellers gimmick and just the standard 352?
Cross my fingers and hope you get this!
Greg

YellowRose
01-26-2009, 01:28 AM
Hi Greg,

First of all, to keep yourself logged in while writing a PM or a post, you should see a little block next to the login that says "Remember Me". Put a check mark in it to keep yourself logged in. But when you get that message "you are not logged in" you should not loose what you were typing once you have gone through the login procedure. What you typed should still be there for you to send.

I hope the information we shared with you will be a big help to you in making decisions. I thought Bart did an excellent job of stating things people new to this forum should know up front.

As for buying a convertible, there is nothing wrong with doing that. Being in your part of the country might mean that you wont be able to enjoy riding in it with the top down as long as say, someone in Florida, So. California, Texas, or warm places like that. If you desire a convertible, you might consider what has been said by several on this forum, including those who own '60 Tbirds. They have a lot of servo's and motors that run those tops and trunks. When they go out, it can be quite expensive, they say, to get them fixed, or find replacements for them. I think the various Tbird parts places can be of help there though. I am told that the '59 convertibles have a simpler system, not requiring nearly as many servo's and motors and that you are better off getting a '59 convertible than a '60 for that reason. It gets to be quite a problem if you cannot get the trunk open to get the top up because a servo or motor went out. Or if it is partly up/down and one blows and you cannot get the top back in the trunk. I have talked to a number of former convertible owners who no longer own them because of that reason. Servo or motor problems. They look great, though. There is a Casino Cream convertible that was recently sold in Rhode Island.

You mentioned windshield wipers. They are not the greatest vacuum powered windshield wipers on these Squarebirds. What I did was to replace the stock fuel pump with a new one, the top half of which supplies vacuum to the windshield wipers. My fuel pump was in need of being replaced. Then we went into the dash (through the glove box) and replaced the windshield wiper hoses, and the motor. The fuel pump and the wiper motors have diaphrams in them, that after 50 years, can dry out, crack and break, causing loss of vacuum. I probably should have put an electric windshield motor in, but I have good windshield wipers now.

Now for engines. I think where the "Police Interceptor" 352 engine idea came from is that in 1960, Ford advertised the 352 as an "Interceptor" engine. Something they did not do in 1959. Check this web page.

http://automotivemileposts.com/tbird1959specifications.html

and
http://automotivemileposts.com/tbird1960specifications.html

In fact, those two webpages will give you a lot of information about these two years. The 352 "Interceptor" engine was for export only, as was the 332 smaller engine Ford offered. There might actually have been some jazzed up "Police Interceptors", but people started calling the 352 engine in the Squarebirds the "Police Interceptor" when it probably was not. It IS called the "Interceptor" engine in 1960 literature.

The other engine is the 430 MEL (Mercury, Edsel, Lincoln), which many people like because it is a bit more powerful. However, there are drawbacks to it, as Bart and others have told me. Parts for it might not be as readily available as the 352 parts are. There is a bit of difference between the two engines, besides power, so parts between the two engine might not be interchangeable. There is nothing wrong with the 352 engine. It has been a great engine for years. However, if you want more power, look for a 430, called a J Code engine. The 352 is a H Code engine. If you really want something special try and find a 430 J Code engine with the Golde Top sliding sunroof in it. Then you really have something.

Lets see if I ran myself out of space with all this typing.:p I hope this helps! Did you get the information I sent to you on Tbirds available in New England on Craigs List? I sure hope so.. If not, let me know. I think I can resend it.

49effie
01-26-2009, 07:42 PM
What can I add?

Not much as I have had a fixer upper for five years now and it is in offsite storage waiting for my fixer upper barn to be fixed up so that it can come back home (do you see a trend here?)........

I do not fear the mechanics and the fact that when I get it back home I will have to do some major bodywork, which is all concealed structural stuff, to do to get it on the road. Then I can find out what sort of mechanical work it needs.

It is a '59 and a convertible. If you are looking for a convertible I would strongly suggest a '58 (nearly impossible to find or $$’s) or '59. The Zen of operating the top is the best. You release the trunk from the drivers seat and then go back to the trunk, lift up the trunk, swing the filler panel on the trunk lid into place to cover the hole the top will make when it is down, and then push a button in the trunk that basically starts the hydraulic pump to put the top down/up. Simple. The thrill to be outside of the car, pushing the button and watching the top come down is beyond words.

Vacuum wipers. There needs to be a stage set to go back in time to when the vehicle was made and vacuum wipers will take you there quicker than anything else. I assume (true or not true?) that the vacuum wipers are better than on my Effie. In my Effie you can make the choice if you want to accelerate up a hill or see where you are going up a hill in the rain. It's seems like a PITA but it is great. What better way to be transported back to a time where being in a hurry was not the issue it is today.....

For working on these things. True you will need to become adept to doing things yourself (or establish an elaborate bartering system). Do not fear your potential short comings though. With a little effort you can become formidable competition to the electronic diagnostics/parts swapper of today. Working on these things is simpler, but finding someone who can deal with simpler is not so simple. They are put together with face screws and things were made accessible (comparatively so), which can be easily removed (trick is to organize removal for orderly re-assembly) for work instead of the plastic hidden tabs that perpetually present a challenge for dis-assembly with near 100% probability of breaking some of the tabs before figuring out /losing patience on how they go together (one time assembly).

After 5 years of storage I still cannot wait to get it on the road…………...

fomoco59
01-27-2009, 07:41 AM
I agree, "49effie", that the '59 Convertible is the best of the bunch. I helped a friend restore a black one in the 90's, a beautiful car with a simple top mechanism.

I sold my '62 Comet Sunday. I mention that because one of the reasons you refurbish/restore a car is because you have a passion for that particular model. I did not have that with this car. It was in my shop for 6 months and I didn't get much done and I complained alot. I finally decided to let it go to a local Comet collector (I got lucky) and now my shop is ready to bring the '59 home, which I love tinkering with now that it's (never) finished.

tbird430
01-27-2009, 04:25 PM
I vote that you look for a 1960 Sunroof car with the 352cid engine. They made more of this combination, so the purchase price for you should stay down SOME. This way you have the open road feel of a conv't but the security of a hardtop. The 352cid engine will be cheeper to work on & power the Bird just fine.... :cool:

Plus, this car will become an investment over the years. :)

-Jon in TX.

piCARso
01-27-2009, 07:25 PM
Hi Jon,
Thanks for weighing in. Great idea but aren't they hard to find? I would think the sun roof would make them very collectable. I did read the section on tops with interest.
Greg

YellowRose
01-27-2009, 07:42 PM
Hi Greg,

Golde Top HT's are available out there still. In fact, there should be a lot more 352 Golde Tops available than J Code 430 Golde Tops. I know where there are two 430 Golde Tops availabe right now. Or there were. One of them might be gone already. I will post information regarding the other one later on.

However, one has to remember that 430 engine parts are a bit more harder to find, and can be more expensive, including finding the right brackets and mounts for the equipment that attaches to it. One is probably better off finding a Golde Top with a 352 engine. There is not that great a difference in performance in them with what we want to do with them. Drive them on the weekend, go to show and shines, parades, etc.. Thats my two cents.

piCARso
01-27-2009, 07:45 PM
Hello Greg,

Ok, I've been posting on this forum for about 5-6 months after I dragged my 60HT to Florida from the desert of NM. The people on this forum are the ABSOLUTE BEST!!! They have helped me through many different issues I've had since I got mine. I was extremely lucky in that my grandmother gave me the car years ago. Being in the Navy, I have just now finally gotten stationed in the states long enough to do something with it.

Quick history of mine, it belonged to one of my uncles when I was about 3 or so. He drove it for years the the engine messed up on him. When it finally got fixed he just left it at my other uncles house where it stayed for 20 years or so. I fell in love with it when I was 16, now here I am 20 years later and I finally got her!

Now, here are some pics of what she looked like being stuck out there for so long. http://photobucket.com/T-bird_in_progress LOTS and LOTS of work ahead of me. I've even had a couple of the hard core guys here tell me that I must love a challenge because this one looks like it's going to be HARD! Pretty much like everyone else has said, I love to work on her. I haven't actually driven it yet but I have made some mods as I rebuild her. 352 engine with cam and other upgrades, disc brakes up front, new seat foams, etc. It is a LOT of work but I absolutely love doing it so it's win win for me. Like bcomo said, first thing to do is buy a shop manual. That was about the first bit of advice they gave me and it has worked out great! These cars aren't like the classic Mustangs and Chevelles that I'm used to working on. I have found things on mine that I had never seen before! Hahahahahaha!

You said that you aren't very mechanically inclined, true? Pretty much any older vehicle you buy will pose some mechanical issues later down the road regardless of how much they have been upgraded over the years. Engines mess up, bearings wear out in wheels, brakes start grabbing, linkages need adjustment, radiator might start leaking, it all happens. The shop manuals do tell you step-by-step how to fix these problems. If you decide on a Squarebird, good for you! These cars are great, they are beautiful, and there is nothing like them on the road nowadays! When I towed mine out here I had people taking pictures, giving me a thumbs up, talking to me at gas stations and rest stops, and my car looked like hell at the time! Seems everyone loves them!!! Try looking at Craigslist, E-bay, Hemmings, or your local Auto Trader. You can usally find decent cars semi-cheap in them. Good luck with your search and let us all know your final decision!

Jimmy :D
Hi Jimmy,
Incredible, It's not enough that you dug up the dinosaur you are putting the flesh back on. What an amazing prodject. The family connection is special and no doubt very motivating. Good luck on your dream. Thanks for the advice.
Greg

dgs
01-28-2009, 11:40 PM
HEY!
I've got a 1978 Diamond Jubilee Edition Thunderbird ...
A friend's family one of these in HS. It was maroon with the padded vinyl top & filled in rear quarter windows. His had T-tops as well. I've heard that they are pretty rare and becoming collectable. What are they worth now days?

My dad had a '77 Cutlass, and I thought they were two nice cars.

piCARso
02-02-2009, 11:20 PM
Take a look at 140298344734 and 140298344790 on ebay and give me your gut instincts. I know a walk around, history, rust and repair check, and test drive are all important but short of that the pictures look clean. Dealer looks honest from feedback. What are the strengths and weaknesses of these two models and engine sizes?
Appreciate your input, knowing it is in the abstract, sight unseen, just based on the information given and your personal experience.
Thanks Greg

Penelope
02-03-2009, 01:53 AM
They both look nice to me, but I have no idea of the value as I havent been looking for a flairbird. Worth checking out in person, surely!

JohnG
02-03-2009, 06:24 AM
Maybe one of the members of this site lives in that area and could check it out for you??

Any of you guys near Boise, Idaho??? or have a car savvy friend there??

john

RustyNCa
02-03-2009, 09:52 AM
Maybe one of the members of this site lives in that area and could check it out for you??

Any of you guys near Boise, Idaho??? or have a car savvy friend there??

john

I have friends there, but I wouldn't call any of them car savvy :o