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1960 T-Bird Ranchero build??

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  • 1960 T-Bird Ranchero build??

    Just toying with the idea of converting my 1960 T-Bird hardtop into a Ranchero. I would cut a section out of the roof, and move the rear window up to the front seat back. Then install a floor and sides for the bed. Am I nuts??( okay, I am)

  • #2
    Unless you have some serious skills working with unibody cars I wouldn't recommend it. It's not like working on a car with a frame.
    John Pizzi - Squarebirds Administrator

    Thunderbird Registry #36223
    jopizz@verizon.net 856-779-9695

    http://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm

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    • #3
      I have seen pictures of one made into a 4wd truck, with the type of body mods you are talking about. But I believe it had a solid frame. You can google it and probably find it.

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      • #4
        Ranchero Bird

        never thought about the unit construction, bad idea. I wish Ford would have made a '60 Bird with a Starliner roof. I have thought about installing a Starliner roof, but may be more than I am capable of doing myself. Thanks

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        • #5
          Finding a Starliner roof might be a big problem. Starliners are starting to go for big bucks because there are not that many survivors.

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          • #6
            A few years back I restored a 1971 Mercedes 280SE sedan that had been converted into a pick-up (we call then utilities or 'utes' in Oz). The conversion was a very professional job and done years ago as a promotional vehicle for a tyre company. The Merc was of unitary construction and they fabricated the rear tray out of welded checker plate steel which made it extremely strong and rigid. Anything is possible with enough time and dollars. I can show you a picture if you're interested.

            Cheers
            Mark
            Never assume conspiracy when mere incompetence will explain things.

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            • #7
              Do you mean one of,,,,,,,,,these?
              Attached Files

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              • #8
                Originally posted by davidmij View Post
                Do you mean one of,,,,,,,,,these?
                That's the one I saw.

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                • #9
                  I kinda like it ...

                  but I'd lower the stance a little. Tail gate would probably be the hardest part. Mike

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                  • #10
                    The car was built on a light truck 4 X 4 chassis (and frame I would imagine), so that explains the extreme trim height.

                    Uni-body Rancheros (Fairlane/Falcon) were modified station wagon bodies so there should not be any major structural issues. As mentioned, tailgate fabrication would be difficult.

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                    • #11
                      I usually don't like things like that, but you do have to give the builder credit for completing the project! That was a lot of work. Would like to see it close up & agree about it being too high. I saw a Pinto wagon years ago that was on a Jeep running gear - he had the floor channeled over the frame and the roof was only a couple of inches higher than stock. Nice job, but being a Pinto, the original floor was probably rusted away when he started, making the channeling an easier job. Just because you can, doesn't mean you should!

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                      • #12
                        Here's a picture of the tailgate - just click on the link and then on each picture.
                        http://www.salguod.net/weblog/archiv...ird-ranc.shtml
                        You could always be lazy and go with a net too.
                        So what is so hard about the tailgate? (probably a dumb question) but wouldn't you just use the rear half of the Ranchero - the tail gates are attached to the bed, right?

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by davidmij View Post

                          Here's a picture of the tailgate - just click on the link and then on each picture.

                          http://www.salguod.net/weblog/archiv...ird-ranc.shtml

                          You could always be lazy and go with a net too.
                          If you look closely, the gate is fabricated from bar stock.

                          So what is so hard about the tailgate? (probably a dumb question) but wouldn't you just use the rear half of the Ranchero - the tail gates are attached to the bed, right?
                          The tailgates were cut from tailgates of the period donor station-wagon. To fashion a proper looking gate on a BIRD would involve sectioning the rear body panel and fabricating an inner frame.

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                          • #14
                            That link above is my web site, I was just going to post it.

                            That '58 was placed on a 4WD '77 Chevy Blazer frame with the requisite SBC. Evidently the prior owner used it to haul a trailer full of mowers for his landscaping business.
                            DGS (aka salguod)
                            1960 Convertible - Raven Black, Red leather
                            www.salguod.net

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