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YellowRose
04-29-2009, 03:22 AM
My intent was to create a new thread for just the SS car stuff and move the posts over into this thread. But I found out that I cant move individual posts without moving the whole thread. I dont want to do that because that thread was mostly about the Last Day Last Car.. So lets post anything further regarding the SS cars here in this thread.

Cathie sent me some information that validates what Kev said in a post about that magazine that said the 2 SS '60 Tbirds were built on July 11, 1960. Here you will find a link the Allegheny-Ludlum's website. There THEY say the cars were built on that date! They oughta know! They had them build in conjunction with Ford, Budd Body Co, and Creative Industries. I think it was the latter who bullt them for Budd.

"I CAN tell you, the SS birds were not stamped out at wixom, they were indeed built by Allegheny and Creative - I posted at least one link on that IN the SS thread...then shipped to wixom for the rest of the build.


There's another link I posted on another thread as well, about the SS birds


Here are the links:


http://www.michiganlcoc.org/pics/stainless/stainless.html


http://www.alleghenyludlum.com/pages/companyinfo/stainlesscars.asp "

Now the question becomes, at what point did Budd/Creative Industries build the shells and the panels for them? It appears it was after the BUDD production runs for the regular Tbirds was done. Or did they? They might have run these shells and panels on different tooling. They certainly had more than one set of tooling, dies, stampers, etc.

Budd made the shells for the regular Tbirds, and I gather the panels, did the welding of them to the frame and when done, shipped them off to the Wixom plant for finishing on the Tbird line. Wixom received the shells and processed them for input into the line. Both Alan and Phil Skinner have commented on this.

Here is some information on the Budd Body Co.

1954, the company introduced the first all-plastic bodied automobile for Studebaker. Budd was credited with developing unitized body construction during the 1930's, 3 decades before it was widely accepted. The following year, Ford contracted Budd to build the bodies for its new Thunderbird. The Thunderbird was a huge success, and Budd's auto stamping sales began to rebound. During the 1950s, Budd continued to produce automobile bodies, shipped to the manufacturers ready for painting;

JohnG
04-29-2009, 09:26 AM
from page 56 of William Wonder's Thunderbird Restoration Guide:

Perhaps the most unique 1960 models ever produced, however, would be those ordered by the Allegheny Ludlum Steel Corporation in July 1960, near the end of the production run. Two stainless steel versions of the production 'Bird hardtop were produced at a reported cost in excess of $35,000 . These agless 'Birds were produced on the regular production line of the Wixom, Michigan plant.

More than 1,000 dies produced over 300 stainless steel components used in the fabrication of each car, including bumpers grilles and exhaust. Bodies were fabricated on the regular production dies at the Budd Co in Detroit, using stainless steel featuring a special satin finish, not unlike the later Deloreans. Being the end of the regular production run, and sinde 1960s ended the Thunderbird's third year of the second generation body style, these dies would no longer be needed and were ultimately, and unfortunately, destroyed during the production of these two "ageless" 1960 Thunderbirds.

The bumpers and additional trim featured mirror polished stainless steel. Polishing cost alone for these exterior components was reportely $3000 per car. The Thunderbird's normal weight of 3957 pounds was duplicated by using Type 302 stainless for the body panels and Type 430 for the trim. Because the maximum rolling mill for stainless only produced stock that was 72 inches in width, numerous ideas were tried, and an expenditure of $10,000 was made in attempt to obtain the 84 inch width required to form the Thunderbird's roof panel. Eventually two 42 inch sections were welded together to form the roof, with only a very faint trace line visible.

These stainless 'Birds, based in Pittsburgh and Detroit,, were used for automotive shows and special exhibitions throughout the United States and most of Euorope. The Pittsburgh car has appeared in over 30 parades and racked up some 120,000 miles, traveling one coast to the other several times. The Detroit car has also appeared in numerous shows and parades and has logged approximately 80,000 miles, including one trip to the West Coast. Both cars are in excellent condition today, requiring only minor tuneups and an occasional wash with soap and water.

Although both cars received interior and mechanical restorations in the early to mid 80s, with various components such as valve covers and wheel covers being replaced with non stock items over the years, the two stainless Birds will inevitably outlast all their model year predecessors, remaining timeless and shining examples of Ford's personal luxury leader for 1960!

note: page 55 has a picture beloning to Alan Tast of one of them.

Ray, I am not convinced there was more than one set of dies. Dies are terribly expensive to create and, if only used for 3 years, durable enough. If making the two SS cars destroyed them, that reaffirms my feeling. However, as always, that's just an opinion.

Maybe we could track down William Wonder!!

John

ps the online sampling of Wonder's book does not have this material so I copied it for everyone to read.

YellowRose
04-29-2009, 05:42 PM
Earlier this afternoon, I had a lengthy, enjoyable and very informative conversation with Gene Makrancy, author, photographer and chronicler of these stainless steel Ford cars. He will be sending me some 30 pictures of these cars in various stages of being built, along with a brochure. He has made a number of trips to Allegheny-Ludlum for interviews and photo shoots. While on one of the latter a few years ago, he actually got to drive one of the Tbirds for a short distance. He has confirmed a number of things that have been said by Alan and others. But first of all, here is something that Phil sent me last night.

"It has long been a misconception that these were the last cars off the assembly line. While the tooling may have been damaged (it was NOT) from the stainless process, remember that there were often more than one set of tools, especially when pumping out nearly 100,000 copies.

Phil"

When talking with Gene, he confirmed that, surprisingly, the tooling was NOT damaged by the process according to what he was told. He also confirmed some other things. As Phil said, these SS cars were NOT the last cars through the Wixom line. They were put through on July 11, 1960, just as Allegheny-Ludlim said. The shells and panels were made prior to that, at the end of the Budd Body Co.'s production run. And therein lies the misleading story all these years about these Tbirds being run at the end of the WIXOM production run.

According to Gene, Budd had run all the remaining shells, panels, welded them to the shells, and stock piled them for use in the July, August, and September scheduled runs. So, sometime before July 11th, they ran the production run for the SS cars. The final '60 Tbirds to come out of the Budd line. A lot of the work had to be hand done after the shells and panels were cut. When completed, they were sent on to the Wixom line to be inserted into the processing stream. He said that it caused quite a lot of excitement on the line when they started processing through. But, except for the finish, they were just like any other Tbird and they went about their job of finishing them off as they traveled down the line. I will have pictures soon showing them or the '66 Lincolns going down the line with Tbirds ahead or behind them.. Maybe the same with the '60 SS Tbird run. I will post the pictures when I get them from Gene.

Let me see what else I can tell you. We had a long conversation. Oh, I think this was interesting. He said after the '66 Lincolns were built, someone decided to hold one up because the '67's were coming out soon and they wanted to show off one as a '67. So they put some '67 parts on one of them to make it look like a '67. That is why, he said, if you look at one of them, it will be different from the other two.

He also said these Lincolns were sent to a car dealership in PA for testing and evaluation. The PA State Police were involved in the safety evaluations and would not allow them to pass inspection because they were to bright and flashy! They insisted that their finish be dulled because they were concerned about them being so flashy and reflecting light so much that they could cause accidents. So the cars had to be scrubbed and their surfaces dulled to the point where they could pass inspection! This process cost either $3,000 or $5,000 per car. I do not remember which.

He also confirmed that the bumpers, grills and their trimmings were NOT chrome, but stainless steel polished to look like chrome. He said these cars have been redone several times to update and keep them in good shape, but those who own them now seem to not be paying a lot of attention to them any longer, which is a shame.

He also told me that not only were there these cars made in stainless steel but that there were several trucks also made. However, the company who bought out the company who owned them did not want to bother with them. They considered it an unneeded expense and scrapped them!:eek:

Well, my brain is about fried trying to remember everything he told me, but this is a good part of it. I hope you enjoy these comments passed on to me. Here are several pictures I already had. They probably have been posted before on here, but I figured I would put them in this dedicated SS post for posterity. More pictures to follow when I get them.

Hawkrod
04-29-2009, 05:46 PM
I really appreciate you follow up on this. It confirms everything I have been saying and also expands greatly on our knowledge of how cars were built. Hawkrod

trim code 76
04-29-2009, 08:43 PM
Ray,
Once again, Thank you very much for your diligent, hard work! You are a bulldog! I have learned so much about the SS cars. Most of what I was told in the past were the false rumors you stated above. I feel this has gone a long way to keeping this important part of the squarebird alive and well AS FACT! MY printer and photo paper are ANXTIOUSLY AWAITING THOSE PHOTOS!!!!!!!!
Greg

fomoco59
04-30-2009, 07:45 AM
I spoke with a local friend who's currently the ITC historian about the SS '60's. He personally helped with restoration on one of them...

"About the Stainless '60s. Allegheny Ludlum produced 2 of these at the end of the '60 production run. They knew that the stainless steel was much harder and more likely to damage or wear out the molds. One was supposed to have been stored in a time vault. The other spent quite a bit of time touring the country advancing the benefits of stainless steel. In the end it was quite worn out and really needed a restoration. Members of the VTCI did so in the early 80's and it made its debut at the 1983 VTCI Eastern Regionals in Niagara Falls along with another stainless '66 Lincoln Continental convertible. The '60 needed everything but, of course, was rust free. It was the only car that had its finish buffed with steel wool! It still exists and is owned by Allegheny Ludlum.

Tom Kneebis"

Coral
04-30-2009, 09:59 AM
William Wonder mentions Alan in the intro of his book....SO Alan.... :D
Do you know him...worthy of a track down?

The 'time vault' bird is SUPPOSEDLY a myth....I'll have to hunt up the article again....

JohnG
05-01-2009, 09:59 AM
I wondered that too (no pun) and made a stab at looking for him (Wonder) and got nowhere. The book shows him as having association with classic cars to the early 70s so he might be well retired as also not hooked up to the Internet. Yahoo people search revealed a few William Wonders but I don't even know his middle initial...

I did contact the publisher of the book asking for author information but have gotten no reply. As the book has a 1997 printing, their records might be poor, although it occurs to me he would still be getting royalities every time one of us buys a copy.

So that trail has not lead anywhere so far... :(

John

Coral
05-01-2009, 10:22 AM
In light of the fact Wonder used Alan and others to do up his book, nor has written anything since....not saying he is without personal knowledge about birds.... but....

Anyone can regurgitate words and copy pictures, slap on a fancy intro and publish it....

I think you catch my drift, :D

JohnG
05-01-2009, 10:43 AM
I think if you read the Acknowledgment section right at the beginning of his book, you will see he did considerable research and work, using a wide variety of resources, including Alan. See page 4 at

http://books.google.com/books?id=bmyANIk7xNsC&dq=%22william+wonder%22+%2B+restoration&printsec=frontcover&source=bl&ots=TOgJG3rfew&sig=krYI4Ovkk9SRG8aOr7Wk9EGWXmw&hl=en&ei=_Aj7SdzyOpbUlQfTuKmkAw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1#PPA4,M1

The book is a true accomplishment and contribution to the hobby.

Coral
05-01-2009, 10:56 AM
I wasn't trying to dish him or the book itself...Yes the compilation is a good resource!

what I AM saying is we already have Alan as a member, and HIS books...

so we don't need to wonder about Wonder... :D

YellowRose
05-01-2009, 05:43 PM
Just so you know, I am the recipient of 30 Stainless Steel photos showing the '36 Ford, the '60 Tbird and the '66/67 Lincoln!:D I am in the process of downsizing them to fit on a web page and securing them. Gene Makrancy agreed to provide his copyrighted photos to me, providing I put some copyright information on them, and secure them from being stolen.. So I will do that.:cool: I will let you know when I am finished and where they can be viewed.

Coral
05-02-2009, 12:41 AM
Kewl Beanz!
:D

YellowRose
05-02-2009, 11:49 AM
Gene Makrancy has written about and photographed considerably the Stainless Steel '36 Ford, the '60 Tbirds and the '66/'67 Lincolns. He has given me permission to post his photographs. One of the stipulations was that I would indicate on the photo's that they are each copyrighted and cannot be used by others without his express permission. So I have put a copyright statement on each photograph to accommodate this. I tried to put it where it would not interfere much with what you are viewing, but also that it could not be taken off the picture without taking part of the car with it. I have also agreed to take some other security measures... We would not have gotten these 30 pictures to enjoy had I not taken some precautions to protect his photographs. There are a few more coming and I will add those when I get them. So here ya go! Enjoy the pictures!:D

http://squarebirds.fortunecity.com/GeneMakrancy/MakrancyPix60StainlessSteelTbird.htm

Ca58tbird
05-02-2009, 12:42 PM
Ray, great job on getting the pics and posting them for all to see! Gee whiz, I don't feel so bad now knowing I have a few little dings in my 58 bird after having seen the all the dents in this SS bird's door panels. What a shame. Betcha the owner cried over those dents.

Richard D. Hord
05-02-2009, 03:28 PM
THANKS RAY!
You went out of your way again, working so hard to get these pictures and getting them posted, for all of us to enjoy!:)
Question, it looks like only the skin is stainless, am I correct or not?:confused:
Still what a beautiful example of The Ford Thunderbird!!!
Thanks again,
Richard D. Hord

Alan H. Tast, AIA
05-02-2009, 05:29 PM
Only the exterior skin is stainless - the remainder of the underbody is carbon steel. During the '91 VTCI International in Falls Church, VA when one of the stainless cars was on display we had a Q&A session about it. One of the comments that came up was that the stainless has to be separated from the inner structure with either a copper spacer or some other material to prevent dielectric action between the two dissimilar metals.

bird 60
05-02-2009, 08:25 PM
I've got & couple of questions.
Which weighed more , the Stainless or regular T. Birds, &
by how much? What guage were the Stainless as per the Steel?

Chris....From the Land of OZ.

Mintgreenbird
05-02-2009, 10:31 PM
Nice Job Ray --- sorry to see so much damage to the right side of the SS 60 bird-- I wonder why it has not been restored along with the dents in the left door

am I seeing correctly that the underside of the hood and trunk are painted white?

and looking at the engine those do not seem to be stock valve covers --- a lot of differences that i did not expect to see :confused:

YellowRose
05-03-2009, 02:18 AM
Thank you! I will try to answer some of your questions. I do not know what gauge of stainless steel was used. I do know that the body was made of Type 302 stainless steel. The trim was made of Type 430 stainless steel. Alan has answered the question regarding the exterior of these two Tbirds.

As to why the damage to the Tbird in the picture has not been restored, leadership changes over the years. At first, they were very well cared for. Then someone made the decision to allow Employee's of the Month to drive them each month. Then later on this was stopped, and then started again, I think. So the cars were damaged from daily use. They have been overhauled completely in the past. But there does not seem to be the interest in A-L to overhaul them again.

Yes, white paint was used under the hood, and in the trunk and other places on the car. Someone over the years, probably replaced the original valve covers with those you see on the car.

'59 Tbird weighs 3810 lbs. I think the regular '59 & '60 Tbirds weigh the same. The '60 SS Tbird weighs 3,955lbs according to information I have.

I will probably put some more information on the web page about the Tnirds later on tonight. Or tomorrow.

Mintgreenbird
05-03-2009, 02:37 AM
Thanks Ray -- that answers my questions---- just cant belive they were allowed to get that way--:confused:

YellowRose
05-03-2009, 06:49 PM
I have added more information about the two 60 SS Tbirds, and an additional picture. You can find it all here:

http://squarebirds.fortunecity.com/GeneMakrancy/MakrancyPix60StainlessSteelTbird.htm

bird 60
05-03-2009, 09:31 PM
I noticed that the windshield wipers overlap, as the typical Squrebirds are tip to tip. Stainless Steel or not I still prefer paint. Thanks for digging up the info Ray & what's the latest on "Yellow Rose"?

Chris ....From the Land of OZ.

YellowRose
05-03-2009, 11:44 PM
A new fuel pump was put on Rose over the weekend. The oil was flushed and changed and a new Mobile 1 filter put on. The temp. sending unit needs to be checked to see if it went. If so, a new one will go on. Then the Temp gauge needs to be calibrated. After that, she needs to be checked out, road tested and cleaned up. I might get her back later this week. Thanks for asking.

tbird430
05-04-2009, 12:08 PM
It's just my opinion, but I wish the VTCI restorers would have left the stock valve covers & polished stainless steel Sunray wheel covers on that RARE Bird! :(

I can't beleive the damage to the right front fender either!!

-Jon

YellowRose
05-05-2009, 12:30 AM
Actually, the Gene Makrancy article says it was a member of the VTCA, (Vintage Tbird Club Of America) not the VTCI who did the restoration. However, after reading the history of the ITC (International Thunderbird Club) I found that VTCA was the original name of VTCI, but they changed it from VTCA to VTCI. So it appears that it was VTCA/VTCI members who did the restoration. As to why they made those changes, I have no clue!

scumdog
05-05-2009, 02:07 AM
I can't beleive the damage to the right front fender either!![/COLOR]

-Jon

Likewise.

What a magic car.

Howard Prout
05-05-2009, 07:01 AM
I found that VTCA was the original name of VTCI, but they changed it from VTCA to VTCI. So it appears that it was VTCA/VTCI members who did the restoration. As to why they made those changes, I have no clue!
I was a member of VTCA (Vintage Thunderbird Club of America) before it became VTCI (Vintage Thunderbird Club International). The reason for the name change was to be inclusive of those of us who do not live in the USA. My window sticker and licence plate frames are VTCA!

Richard D. Hord
05-05-2009, 08:37 AM
Hey Guys,
I know it will never happen, but I would love to see one of us get this SS Thunderbird and get her back to her glory. :D
I least one of us would love her and take care of her.
THIS IS A SHAME!!!
THUNDERBIRDS FOREVER!!!
Richard D. Hord

saverio
05-05-2009, 01:06 PM
BEAUTIFUL LOOKING CAR!!!!

FYI - There is a Norcal VTCA club in northern California.

sal

YellowRose
05-07-2009, 07:09 PM
I just posted a half dozen pix of one of the SS '60 Tbirds under construction and on the line...With a Lincoln behind it.. :DEnjoy!..

http://squarebirds.fortunecity.com/GeneMakrancy/MakrancyPix60StainlessSteelTbird.htm

chewrocks
05-07-2009, 10:06 PM
I found this on youtube. A few pics of the SSbird.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hAxrCZEwMyY

Victor

There are a few vids and pics from the Wixom plant on you tube.... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pl6GdREeV4c&feature=related
Looking thru these reminded me when I was 18, at the end of 1973 I worked at Ford pre-delivery here in Tigard Oregon. Fords and Lincolns destined for the Northwest were shipped out here by train. They were not cleaned after construction and shipped as is. The cars were cleaned and detailed here before being sent to the dealer. I was in charge of right side windows for the short time I worked there, OH BOY sounds like fun! thinking back I dont remember any of the Pintos, Mustang or Borncos really standing out but when a T-bird or Lincoln Mark IV would come down the line it was a treat to open the door of one of thoughs big beautiful new cars. I do remember too the day that a FULLY loaded, limited edition Mark IV was scheduled. When it rolled onto the line word spread quickly that it was on its way. For me that car is the one that really sticks in my mind. I think it made everyones day just to be able to see and touch that car.... sorry for rambling. I'm done.

JohnG
05-08-2009, 06:30 AM
hey Victor great videos! Thanks!!



john

YellowRose
05-08-2009, 10:12 AM
Hi John,

The video says the stainless steel Tbirds came off the line on July 11, 1960 because that is when they did! They were made towards the end of the production run, but certainly not at the end of it. Allegheny-Ludlum themselves told us the date and year on their own website.

http://www.alleghenyludlum.com/pages/companyinfo/stainlesscars.asp

Coral
05-08-2009, 11:03 AM
Slightly off topic here but I was watching this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k2kLTj3aHFA

and the time for the 'bird was just about zip... :mad:
the Falcon claim was a six-seater reportedly to get 30 MPG...
:confused:

HOW?

Penelope
05-11-2009, 07:44 PM
Talk about timing - I just received an email about the stainless steel fords and it has some high quality photo's. Unfortunately it isnt the T-Bird, but you can get an idea of the high polish on the stainless here...

When you read the story, you can also see how the wrong info gets out there! As we now know, the dies were not destroyed by the SS. Also the author's taste comes into question here...the T-Birds are MUCH better looking.

Subject: 1936 Stainless Steel Ford




1936 Stainless Steel
Ford


This is the 1936 Ford Tudor Sedan built for and owned
by Allegheny Ludlum Steel. This is 1 of only 4
in existence and is the only one currently in
running & in road worthy condition. The car
is in exceptional condition, with the interior
and even the frame looking great. All 4 cars
each had over 200,000 miles on them before they
removed them from service.

These cars were built for Allegheny as promotional and
marketing projects. The top salesmen each year
were given the honor of being able to drive them
for one year. The v-8 engine (max 85 hp) ran
like a sewing machine andwas
surprisingly smooth and quiet. I
thought this was a much better looking
automobile than the Ford Thunderbird that
visited us last year. FYI, the car was insured
(we were told) for the trip to Louisville via
covered trailer for 1.5 million
dollars.We were also told that
the dies were ruined by stamping the stainless car parts,
making these the last of these cars ever
produced.

Coral
05-11-2009, 08:01 PM
Today I received my copy of T-bird 40 years of thunder and this car (well...) is photo'd next to the 'bird and the Lincoln...
I am trying to figure out how to get these pages scanned and uploaded for all to view........in a readable fashion

Hawkrod
05-11-2009, 09:19 PM
Today I received my copy of T-bird 40 years of thunder and this car (well...) is photo'd next to the 'bird and the Lincoln...
I am trying to figure out how to get these pages scanned and uploaded for all to view........in a readable fashion

Be very carefull about scanning in currently available material as you are likely violating copyrights. It is okay to post bits for the purpose of discussion (covered under fair use law) but any large portions are very likely illegal to post and could create problems for both you and any forums you post links on. Hawkrod (yes, I am an author and yes, I have sent cease and desist orders to ISP's!)

Coral
05-11-2009, 09:23 PM
Thank you Hawkrod...I am applying copyright info to the pages; giving credit where credit is do!
We are lucky to be living in the age were so much can be learned, without taking from a single source!

Hawkrod
05-12-2009, 12:49 AM
Thank you Hawkrod...I am applying copyright info to the pages; giving credit where credit is do!
We are lucky to be living in the age were so much can be learned, without taking from a single source!
Giving credit does not make it okay to post. The point is the book is protected by copyright, you are not allowed to post any of it except for commentary, parody etc... you are not allowed to post parts of it just to share it with others. That is against the law. You can actually expose yourself finacially. Trust me, I got more from a settlement than I was making on one of my duds! LOL Hawkrod

trim code 76
05-12-2009, 01:54 AM
Sorry to be off subject here but, Coral/Cathie, where are you in central ILL? I spent a majority of my life in Springfield and got a scollership to play football for SIU (Carbondale). BTW much better picture!
Greg

Coral
05-12-2009, 09:47 AM
Giving credit does not make it okay to post. The point is the book is protected by copyright, you are not allowed to post any of it except for commentary, parody etc... you are not allowed to post parts of it just to share it with others. That is against the law. You can actually expose yourself finacially. Trust me, I got more from a settlement than I was making on one of my duds! LOL Hawkrod

I wrote to Krause this AM for written permission, will update with news when I get it. I had thought the commentary part was what we were doing here, but I'm apparently wrong, LOL
There is another source to get permission on this article, since Krause or Gunnell are NOT the creator of it but copied it into the book.

Thanx again Hawkrod

Coral
05-12-2009, 09:51 AM
Sorry to be off subject here but, Coral/Cathie, where are you in central ILL? I spent a majority of my life in Springfield and got a scollership to play football for SIU (Carbondale). BTW much better picture!
Greg

Coral/Cathie I answer to both, thanx for the nod on the pic -
We are in the Charleston / Mattoon area, Casey to be exact
Carbondale is a very pretty area, been down there a few times.

Hawkrod
05-12-2009, 11:02 AM
I wrote to Krause this AM for written permission, will update with news when I get it. I had thought the commentary part was what we were doing here, but I'm apparently wrong, LOL
There is another source to get permission on this article, since Krause or Gunnell are NOT the creator of it but copied it into the book.

Thanx again Hawkrod
Actually, there is really only one full copyright holder but he can issue limited or full rights. Usually either the publisher owns it or the writer owns it, it depends on how it was contracted. Commentary is basically discussion of an article, not discussion of the subject of an article. I know it may seem like no big deal but I would hate to see something bad happen because somebody did not understand that what they were doing was not allowed. I spend way too much time getting web sites shut down and I am sure there are other authors doing the same thing. We all protect our work when we find violations. There is actually software and companies that detect violations. It is getting quite sophisticated. There is also now similar software for pictures and art as well as for music and video. The protection thing is getting bigger and bigger by the day! Hawkrod

Here are some related links on web based copyright detection:

http://internetinvestigations.co.nz/

http://www.physorg.com/news94982094.html

http://yro.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=07/04/06/0048250

http://online.wsj.com/public/article/SB116640468524853020-jD46fkyB33ZgQiMfJcpSZ4LqgLA_20071218.html?mod=blog s

Meridious
05-12-2009, 03:41 PM
I just purchased that book. I like the text, but I hate the sorry, blurred, black and white photos. Can't see a detail of anything.

Grrrrrrr.

from page 56 of William Wonder's Thunderbird Restoration Guide:

Perhaps the most unique 1960 models ever produced, however, would be those ordered by the Allegheny Ludlum Steel Corporation in July 1960, near the end of the production run. Two stainless steel versions of the production 'Bird hardtop were produced at a reported cost in excess of $35,000 . These agless 'Birds were produced on the regular production line of the Wixom, Michigan plant.

More than 1,000 dies produced over 300 stainless steel components used in the fabrication of each car, including bumpers grilles and exhaust. Bodies were fabricated on the regular production dies at the Budd Co in Detroit, using stainless steel featuring a special satin finish, not unlike the later Deloreans. Being the end of the regular production run, and sinde 1960s ended the Thunderbird's third year of the second generation body style, these dies would no longer be needed and were ultimately, and unfortunately, destroyed during the production of these two "ageless" 1960 Thunderbirds.

The bumpers and additional trim featured mirror polished stainless steel. Polishing cost alone for these exterior components was reportely $3000 per car. The Thunderbird's normal weight of 3957 pounds was duplicated by using Type 302 stainless for the body panels and Type 430 for the trim. Because the maximum rolling mill for stainless only produced stock that was 72 inches in width, numerous ideas were tried, and an expenditure of $10,000 was made in attempt to obtain the 84 inch width required to form the Thunderbird's roof panel. Eventually two 42 inch sections were welded together to form the roof, with only a very faint trace line visible.

These stainless 'Birds, based in Pittsburgh and Detroit,, were used for automotive shows and special exhibitions throughout the United States and most of Euorope. The Pittsburgh car has appeared in over 30 parades and racked up some 120,000 miles, traveling one coast to the other several times. The Detroit car has also appeared in numerous shows and parades and has logged approximately 80,000 miles, including one trip to the West Coast. Both cars are in excellent condition today, requiring only minor tuneups and an occasional wash with soap and water.

Although both cars received interior and mechanical restorations in the early to mid 80s, with various components such as valve covers and wheel covers being replaced with non stock items over the years, the two stainless Birds will inevitably outlast all their model year predecessors, remaining timeless and shining examples of Ford's personal luxury leader for 1960!

note: page 55 has a picture beloning to Alan Tast of one of them.

Ray, I am not convinced there was more than one set of dies. Dies are terribly expensive to create and, if only used for 3 years, durable enough. If making the two SS cars destroyed them, that reaffirms my feeling. However, as always, that's just an opinion.

Maybe we could track down William Wonder!!

John

ps the online sampling of Wonder's book does not have this material so I copied it for everyone to read.

Coral
05-13-2009, 01:22 AM
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v359/astikennels/a0801.gif

We have received written permission to recopy the articles !

Now comes the challenge to get them scanned and uploaded in a readable format....

YellowRose
05-13-2009, 01:59 AM
According to what was recently received in the way of information about the below subject, this is an example of how information gets passed on as gospel over the decades. We recently received information that the dies were NOT destroyed during the production of the two SS Tbirds, as recently posted on the Forum... Nor were those two cars built at the very end of the production run as has been stated all these years, after all other Tbirds were run. We know now, from Allegheny-Ludlum themselves, that they were built on July 11, 1960. Nearly two months before the end of production on Sept. 9, 1960..

"Being the end of the regular production run, and since 1960s ended the Thunderbird's third year of the second generation body style, these dies would no longer be needed and were ultimately, and unfortunately, destroyed during the production of these two "ageless" 1960 Thunderbirds."

Anders
05-13-2009, 06:21 PM
Wow. I was 4 years and two days then....:o

Coral
05-14-2009, 02:49 AM
:p

I wasn't even a thought in my parent's heads yet...
hum..maybe I should get a bullybird...

Richard D. Hord
05-15-2009, 06:29 PM
Hey Guys,
Ray has pretty much covered all the bases on the Stainless Steel Thunderbirds.
But I dug up some more slides.
Go to You Tube, type in Stainless Steel 1960 Thunderbird.
SWEEEEEETTTT!!!!!:)

Coral
05-16-2009, 09:31 AM
Until Ray gets these pages attached to the Stainless Steel webpage he created they can be viewed on this web album

http://picasaweb.google.com/astikennels/SSStories?authkey=Gv1sRgCNPy5uPO142kkgE&feat=directlink

The slide show portion will not work with the pix enlarged, so to read them, simply click on a page and then click the small magnifying glass over to the right hand side.

YellowRose
04-19-2012, 12:41 PM
Marcelo sent me a link last night to Automotive Mile Posts and their information they have posted regarding the 1960 Stainless Steel Squarebirds. There is some good additional information here. Thanks, Marcelo! Here is the link to it.

http://automotivemileposts.com/tbird1960stainlesssteel.html