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  • 1958 convertible top

    Hi all - first time poster.
    I am in the market for a 58-60 convertible.
    Iíve found a 58 at a dealer.
    They say the roof mechanism isnít working but it can be operated manually.
    Iím in Australia and the car is in the US
    I will organise an inspection if I decide to go ahead but my question is - did all 58s have an automatic top?
    I only ask as the video they sent showing manual operation shows no solenoid on the deck lid.
    Would it operate manually if an automatic mechanism was there?
    Thanks in advance
    Steve

  • #2
    1958 convertible top

    Hi Steve and welcome to the Forum! I just sent you a Private Message with information you need to know. Please follow up on that. Especially since you are interested in a '58-'60 Convertible from the USA. From what Bill ~ Penelope and others Down Under tell me, importing a classic car from the USA has become a lot more difficult there these days.

    Regarding the 1958, though it is the rarest of the three years of Squarebirds, there are some things that you need to know about that year. It did not have leaf springs in the rear because there was a plan, it is said, to air bag it. But that did not happen. It has shock absorbers on the rear, and probably four of them up front, two on each side. It is difficult to find parts for the rear end of the '58, especially rubber bushings from what I understand. Some owners have opted to replace the shocks with leaf springs.

    Regarding the convertible top, in 1958 and 1959, it was a manual set up. In 1960 they went to a space age automatic convertible top that many have had problems with. Mainly from not exercising it on a regular basis.

    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

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

    Comment


    • #3
      When Ray says the top is manual that only refers to the trunk lid. That has to be opened by hand. The convertible top itself is not manual. It opens using a switch in the trunk. I suggest you read the 1958 convertible top manual that is in the Technical Resource Library. It will have all the information on how the top works with detailed pictures. If the top is not going up and down using the switch it is extremely heavy and not easily done by hand.

      John
      John Pizzi - Squarebirds Administrator

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

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

      Comment


      • #4
        Over and above that, be aware that the 58 is a one year only coil rear springs model, 59 and 60 both moved to leaf springs. I've never found the interior of a 58 to be particularly attractive
        Scott
        South Delta, BC, Canada
        1960 White T-Bird, PS, PB that's it
        Red Leather Interior!
        www.squarebirds.org/users/sidewalkman
        Thunderbird Registry #61266
        http://www.squarebirds.org/picture_g...ibrary/trl.htm

        Comment


        • #5
          Thanks for that. Is there much of a difference in the interiors between 58-60? I can't see it apart from the seats

          Comment


          • #6
            Thanks John - much appreciated

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Spk99 View Post
              Thanks for that. Is there much of a difference in the interiors between 58-60? I can't see it apart from the seats
              1958 and 1959 interiors are basically the same except for some color differences. 1960 has different seat patterns and door/trim panels.

              John
              John Pizzi - Squarebirds Administrator

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

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

              Comment


              • #8
                Thanks for accepting me Ray. Yes, unfortunately importing is much more difficult to Australia than it was mainly due to potential asbestos use on the cars. We also get slapped with a large tax when it lands here. But, so many thing in Australia are difficult so we are used to I suppose. Thanks for the info on the roof and the suspension. Im not a mechanic so can I ask, if you know of course, what people convert to leaf springs?

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                • #9
                  The 60 interior mounts differently to the door. I'm doing a 60 interior in my 59.
                  Last edited by p38fighter; October 25th, 2018, 09:04 PM. Reason: missed a word

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    1958 convertible top

                    Steve, I do not know what percentage of '58 owners have converted to leaf springs, but a number of them have... If you do a Search on this Forum for 1958 leaf springs, you should find a number of post regarding the 1958 rear end that might get you some additional information..

                    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

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

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by jopizz View Post
                      1958 and 1959 interiors are basically the same except for some color differences. 1960 has different seat patterns and door/trim panels.

                      John
                      There is a lot more stainless in a 60, the band under the dash that continues onto the door panels is all stainless in a 60, and a few other minor changes. More cosmetic in the interior and exterior.
                      Scott
                      South Delta, BC, Canada
                      1960 White T-Bird, PS, PB that's it
                      Red Leather Interior!
                      www.squarebirds.org/users/sidewalkman
                      Thunderbird Registry #61266
                      http://www.squarebirds.org/picture_g...ibrary/trl.htm

                      Comment

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