View Full Version : 58 t-bird 430

10-07-2009, 05:37 PM
Ok i was looking in the t bird today and i see a sticker under the center consol That says May 58:eek: Could this be a 58 430 car Where are the vin on it And ill look at them tomarrow Ill post a pic of the sticker later

10-07-2009, 07:10 PM
Hi Anthony! The Data Plate will be found on the pillar after you open the drivers door. As you open the door, look down from the top hinge. There on the inside of the pillar that the door closes on, you should see the Data Plate with the VIN # on it, and a lot of other data about the car. Write all that down and tell us what it says. I can send you the link on how to decode it. Data Plate information.


BTW, Automotive Mile Posts says that only ONE 1958 Tbird was produced with a 430 engine in it and it was a convertible. You own a convertible? Read this!

The 1958 375-Horsepower Engine

A sales catalog printed in March 1958, and at least one ad published during the year, mention the availability of an optional engine for the 1958 Thunderbirds. The 1958 Lincolns all had a new 375-horsepower, 430 cubic inch V-8 as standard equipment for the year, and since all Lincolns were built at the Wixom Assembly Plant right next to the T-birds, it wouldn't have been difficult to install the 430 in both cars. However, the Thunderbird engine bay wasn't designed for this engine, so there were a few installation details that needed to be worked out before it was feasible to install the 430 in the Thunderbird on a production basis.

There are no known documented production 1958 Thunderbirds with this larger engine installed. However, one engineering prototype convertible reportedly did have this engine installed after it left the assembly line, to allow the engineering and assembly departments the chance to work out the installation details in the Thunderbird. Even after all this planning, it's reported that the assembly line did slow down somewhat when a 430 equipped Thunderbird came down the line. This engine was available as a regular production option for the 1959 and 1960 model years, with limited availability, and was teamed only with the Cruise-O-Matic automatic transmission. The 430 engine installed in the T-bird was rated at 350 horsepower.
1958 Ford Thunderbird Contents (http://automotivemileposts.com/tbird1958selections.shtml)

Production (http://automotivemileposts.com/prod1958tbird.html) | Paint (http://automotivemileposts.com/paint1958tbird.html) | Trim (http://automotivemileposts.com/tbird1958interiortrim.html) | Standard Equipment (http://automotivemileposts.com/tbird1958standardequipment.html) | Optional Equipment (http://automotivemileposts.com/tbird1958optionalequipment.html)

Select Another Thunderbird Year (http://automotivemileposts.com/contentstbird.html) | Main Contents (http://automotivemileposts.com/maincontents.html)

10-07-2009, 08:40 PM
This car is a looker lol its ben siting in the woods for 35-40 years I gess ill have to take a chain saw with me tomarrow there is a tree growed right beside the door

10-09-2009, 09:59 AM
Are you sure it is even a 430cid engine under the hood?

I mean before you go through all that work cutting a tree down, maybe some pics of the engine in this Bird would help us investigate the matter further for you?

Are you also sure this Bird has the coil spring rear suspension (with trailing arms), unique to the 1958 T-Birds? I've seen plenty of Squarebirds with the wrong grill, taillamp panel, & trim installed... :cool:

-Jon in TX.

10-09-2009, 02:15 PM
Im 100% sure its a 430 Hears the vin I dint have to cut the tree down just a small chunk

10-09-2009, 02:55 PM
The very first letter of that VIN # says it is a 352 Engine! As I said before, there is ONLY ONE known '58 Tbird that I know of, that a 430 engine was put into. That was a convertible and it was destined for engineering within the Ford Wixom plant. I guess they wanted to see what it was going to take to change the engine bay to put 430 engines into the '59-'60 cars, which they did, starting in 1959. Here is the Data Plate break down for you. You can see that in the Engine section for 1958, the 430 engine is NOT listed.


Now, it is entirely possible that someone in the past put a 430 engine into that Tbird. One way you can tell is IF it still has the small overflow tank, also known as the radiator supply tank, or expansion tank. If that small tank is still on the engine and is sitting parallel to the radiator, you have a 352 engine in that car. IF it is pointing down the left side of the carb, at a 90 degree angle from the radiator, you have a 430 engine. Hope this helps. Personally, I do not know why you would want to have a 430 engine. I am told that parts are harder to come by for the 430 and more expensive once you find them.

10-09-2009, 03:54 PM
I'd like to see the motor mounts & brackets myself. ;)

It would be an interesting '58 Bird that's for sure- since someone already installed that 430cid powerplant. :cool:


10-10-2009, 02:17 AM
Ill get some picture of mounts Maybe ford stamped the vin plate wrong thats y no 58 has showed up they where just test runing them But most likly its only a scrub ;)

10-10-2009, 09:55 AM
It is very doubtful that Ford stamped the data plate wrong. What is more likely is that sometime after it rolled out of the plant, someone decided they wanted a 430MEL engine in that Tbird, if that is what it is.

10-10-2009, 07:25 PM
This car is now Registry Number 33656.

Best Regards
John Rotella

10-12-2009, 09:38 AM
Amazing isn't it that in just four days I have uncovered yet one more 1958 Thunderbird with a 430 V-8! (joke)

There is a black hardtop in Pennsylvania which the owner says has a 430. The engine has a cover on it that says "400HP". Here is the link http://www.tbirdregistry.com/viewdatasheet.asp?RegistryNumber=33695

I don't understand why people want to create fairy tales and romantic diversions about their Thunderbirds. The truth is, reality is better than fiction. The true stories behind these cars are always more interesting than anything we can create today.

In the 1950s and 1960s, Thunderbirds were cars for the privileged class. "Privileged" can take on many meanings of course but in my recollections, I didn't know anyone who was a boring, introverted type who also bought a Thunderbird. Thunderbird buyers could usually afford any car they wanted, they were not looking for flash as much as they were looking for distinction. This is why we always see so many paint and upholstery variations available every year starting in 1955 right through the mid 1970s. Stories about special engines and secret deals made in the back room of Wixom were not needed. Thunderbird speaks for itself.

I have added a good number more Squarebirds to the Registry over the weekend. I always appreciate a "heads up" when you locate one.... use this page http://www.tbirdregistry.com/vinsearch.asp to determine if the Thunderbird is already registered. It's an active data base, so you must be sure to get the VIN exactly right.

Thanks for your help and support of the Registry.


10-12-2009, 09:56 PM
hi John
Thank you very much for your post and comments. It is not possible to overestimate what a resource and accomplishment the Registry is!


10-16-2009, 01:49 PM
I got 3 more birds Ill get all the info off them so they can be in regisrty And the pic are coming of the mounts soon as i get a chance to take them