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New Guy with 60 Tbird, upgrade or stock??

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  • New Guy with 60 Tbird, upgrade or stock??

    My dad and I collect cars. My dad has Parkinson's now, so I spend a lot of time now helping him with his cars. A few years back he bought a restored 1960 Tbird. He has been talking about doing some work to it so I came here to research things.

    Here is the situation. The car is nice, but it is a 352, manual tranny, manual brakes, manual steering car, it is pretty stripped even by 1960 standards. I was here looking for what it would take to put some factory options on it so it would be a little more drivable. But digging around, I see that only 2% of the Tbirds had manual transmissions. Then I see the postings about there potentially being stripped cars sold so ford could race cars like it in NASCAR. That is very interesting. This car seems like it fits the bill, having the right motor, tranny (I think, not sure if it is close ratio or not), brakes, manual steering and the 3.70 rear axle.

    I am referring to this thread

    Any thoughts on this? Does anyone know more about it than in the article? I wouldn't want to mess up a car that has an interesting story like that by modernizing it, but if no one really cars, then maybe I shouldn't either. Ironically, my dad was always the "keep it stock" guy and I was always the "restomod" guy... but now he is leaning towards making things more drivable and I am leaning towards trying to conserve historical pieces.

    Thanks in advance for any advice
    - MrC
    Last edited by jopizz; April 7th, 2017, 12:18 PM.

  • #2
    Welcome to Squarebirds. Your '60 is certainly a pretty rare car. Whether it was built for racing is hard to say. There aren't many records available. For that reason I would not want to upgrade it or customize it with power options. However that is your decision. If it was me I would sell your car and buy one that is equipped with an automatic transmission and power options. You will probably make out better price wise since automatic cars are plentiful. That way you can customize it any way you want without destroying something that is truly a collectors item. Whichever way you decide to go we are here to help you out in any way.

    John Pizzi - Squarebirds Administrator

    Thunderbird Registry #36223 856-779-9695


    • #3
      Kool Car

      MrC ,
      Save the stripped T Bird. They are rare and worth preserving. I have a 60 T Bird with manual brakes , manual steering , T85 3 speed Over Drive and enjoy driving it x 10. T85 transmissions straight 3 speed or over drive only came in one ratio 1956 thru 1964.
      Attached Files


      • #4
        You could make a replica of the Holman-Moody race car:


        • #5
          Thanks for the feedback, guys. I am definitely thinking this car needs to be saved. I think it would be awesome to sticker the car up like holman-moody car. It would go well with my vintage pinto drag car that I am building into a tribute Bob Glidden drag car.

          I would really like to find some more information on this, even if it is just getting the requirements NASCAR had back then for entering cars.



          • #6
            New Guy with 60 Tbird, upgrade or stock??

            Matt, if you go to the Thunderbird Production History Forum below and The 8 Holman-Moody '59 Squarebirds link and click on it, you might find more information on these Squarebirds that Holman-Moody were racing back then. They were not the only company racing Squarebirds either, as others were also. But they were getting components from Ford, putting them together and building race cars out of them. But only for a year or two, then they switched to the newer Galaxie, as I recall.

            Ray Clark - Squarebirds Administrator
            '59 Tbird "The Yellow Rose Of Texas" aka "Tweety Bird"
            "It's Hip To Be Square"
            Thunderbird Registry #33025 VTCI #11178

            Contact me via Private Message for my email address, or (Cell) 210-875-1411 (Home) 210-674-5781