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  • original vs modified

    I'm sure this has come up before, I tried looking in the archives and got lost.
    Do the birds loose any value by modifying them? That's probably too broad of a question. I don't mean anything radical. My 60 HT isn't anything special as birds go, no air, no power windows or seats, it's just a really nice original bird. Probably the nicest toy I've owned. I don't know if changing wheels/carbs/some chrome on the motor/front discs or stuff like that would change the value or the car. I'm already starting to change it by adding a PCV system. I'm assuming that if I keep anything that I take off it means someone else can put it back to original.
    I do enjoy driving the car-when I can- they're talking zero or below for a couple of days, I'll have to wait to spring but now she's in a heated garage and I've got time on my hands and a credit card that isn't maxed out yet.I just don't know which way to go with her and guess it's time to ask the pros.
    Any suggestions??
    Thanks.
    Joe

  • #2
    There are perhaps several levels of "modified". At one end, if you can put it back to how it was, that's pretty conservative. On the other end, when you take the cutting torch to it, you have moved a long ways.

    As far as value goes, an old saying is "a car is worth what someone will pay you for it". So one guy might be knocked out by your wire wheels while another is thinking "can I get some original wheels and hubcaps someplace?". George on this site did some great stuff putting new instruments into the area where the radio is - some people would love it while purists might be put off.

    In the final analysis, unless you are going to sell it at some point and hope to squeeze every last dime out of the sale, it seems like you should enjoy it all you can and feel good about making it your own personal car, however modified that may be. The only exception to that might be a car that is totally original and near perfect with hardly any mileage (there was one a year ago with 19K that Mark had I recall). Rather than modify that car I would say a person ought to sell it and buy a car with more wear and tear.

    John
    58 Hardtop
    1958 Hardtop
    #8452 TBird Registry
    http://www.tbirdregistry.com/viewdat...tryNumber=8452


    photo: http://www.squarebirds.org/users/joh...d_June2009.jpg
    history:
    http://www.squarebirds.org/users/johng/OCC.htm

    Comment


    • #3
      if your car is a driver and not an extremely low mileage museum piece, I say do whatever you want to it and have fun. These cars, even really nice examples, aren't worth a whole lot when compared to a lot of other collector cars so it really doesn't matter. I have a 4-door Olds that is a mild custom. If the car was restored perfectly to factory specs, it wouldn't be worth a whole lot more than it is currently. I've decied to just enjoy it and make it my own unique car. I've had much more fun.
      In the end, it's really up to you...it's your car. Don't worry about selling it to fund your retirement... ha.

      Just my 5-cents worth.
      Casey

      Comment


      • #4
        My $.02

        Obviously one in prestine original condition is worth the most.
        Myself, I don't care. I want to keep mine close (looking) to original. I have the reprod K/H wheels on mine (not an option for 60) I might change the wheels to something more hot rod-ish. Baby moons or something. Years ago when my dad had this car he put a hi perf 390 in it. I've kept that family tradition alive with another hi perf 390. (I also like loud mufflers)

        I really just want someting that drives good, is road worthy and will turn and stop. The stock brakes suck !!! Thats all there us to it. I have discs, I also have heavy duty sway bars frt & rr. Don't get me wrong here. It's no race car. My 87 SS Monte Carlo will still out handle it (The Monte isn't as fast though).Technically, in concours judging, I'm told now, that they don't dock you for adding safety features. It's a fun and WAAAAAY safer car now. On concours day, I park it in Show n Shine. (Driver catagory)
        John Byers
        1960 Convertible (Orig owner)
        sigpic

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        • #5
          Original vs Modified

          Joe1946

          The responses by JohnG, tarps3 & byersmtrco are very accurate
          and are given from experience.Any change you make to you 60 will basically be your choice and your style. As tarps3 says our squarebirds currently ( hopefully in the future ) do not attract a whole pile of $$$ BUT we all bring them up to speed, as we see them. I went through your situation several years ago with my 58HT and came up with replacing what had to be, as weathered over the years. I also installed seat belts, driver's mirror and mechanical repairs the 50 years had brought.I have kept mine original and have kept things like hub caps etc. for down the road if and when someone buys it. Other than that you have a classic car that interprets what you want it to be and the fact you have it, speaks well of your choice.

          Dano Calgary,Alberta Canada
          Dano Calgary,Alberta Canada
          Thunderbird Registry
          58HT #33317
          60 HT (Sold )

          Comment


          • #6
            Thanks

            Thanks to all. T had been thinking along the same lines. I would like some gauges in it and like the idea of heavier antisway bars. Compared to a 69 Fairlane I've got with manual brakes the Bird stops just fine. The Fairlane will be up for sale in the spring, it's just nowhere near the car the Bird is.
            I have been burnt in the past by putting too much cash into a car and then when it comes time to sell.... You know the story.
            The Bird has 64,000 on her now so I guess that doesn't qualify her as a low milage car.
            Again, thanks again for the advice. I've got to go take a look at my dash and start thinking about gauges.
            Joe

            Comment


            • #7
              I agree with what has already been posted. But, I'm a purist, so here are some of my personal thoughts.

              I would only change what you can put back to original later. For example, I wouldn't cut holes in the door panels for speakers, But cool wheels are nice -- and chrome stuff too. That can be un-done if necessary.

              If you look at E-Bay, you'll see that 99% of the T-Bird parts being sold are original parts. An A/C vent grill just went for $175 -- that's just for the grill alone. It looks like people are willing to pay to keep their birds looking stock.

              E-Bay is another good way to see what the "pulse" is for original versus modified Birds -- at least on E-Bay. Good (and bad) photos of engines, and other stuff that you can save in a folder for reference material too.

              But most of all -- enjoy the car.
              Bart
              1960 Hard Top/430
              Thunderbird Registry Number 1231

              Comment


              • #8
                my vote

                I'll throw my $.02 in too. Its so expensive to redo a car that it really doesn't matter what you have, with our birds, you need to do what you like best. I have a 59 convertible with a 430. But its not a J code car, a previous owner got ahold of a 59 430 drive train and put it in there. So it will never be bone stock. Its a street rod (actually its a very expensive pile of parte). Build what you want to drive, you can't go into it thinking its going to be an investment- unless you can do all of the work your self and don't get a wage. Mine will be a resto mod. So the body is unchanged, we've dechromed it a little, and we are lowering it. Nothing to radical, just improving on what I think is a beautiiful car already. Besides, technology has changed in the last 50 years so you may want a dual master cylinder with disk brakes, etc.
                Last edited by Husky35; January 20th, 2008, 03:39 PM.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Gauges

                  Joel1946. TChicken had an excellent thread on aftermarket gauges that he installed in his 60, which is a very good read and has pictures.Go to the search button,push enter and enter the word " gauges" Then scroll down to the thread 07.22.2007 and see how they look. If you need help George can probably send you a private e-mail, which I am sure he will be glad to assist.Hope this helps.

                  Dano Calgary,Alberta Canada
                  Dano Calgary,Alberta Canada
                  Thunderbird Registry
                  58HT #33317
                  60 HT (Sold )

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I like his gauges too. Very 69-70 Mach-1 !!! I had thought about getting an AC bezel to mount them in. Someone mentioned the big bucks those go for. I'll mount them in the dash, I just want the bezel to go around them.
                    I'll think of something.

                    I'm not too worried about total orig there either. My dashpad was custom made years (decades) ago. It's similar to orig, but it was hand made. There is stitching on the edge. I've always liked it. There are little oddball things about my car that make it unique. I'll always leave them. Then add some of the different stuff I like.

                    Again, it's all personal pref.
                    John Byers
                    1960 Convertible (Orig owner)
                    sigpic

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Thanks again

                      I appreciate everyones input. I like the idea of a dual master cylinder. Does someone make a kit for the squarebirds? I'm also thinking of trying to find a less than perfect console that I could modify for gauges. I was looking on the web last night and there are some really nice looking gauge pods out there that would blend in nicely with the console. Then I wouldn't have to cut up mine. Look out, there goes the credit card.
                      Thanks again.
                      Joe

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        see what George (TChicken) did to his at

                        http://www.squarebirds.org/vbulletin...ghlight=gauges


                        They are above the radio and look quite sharp!

                        john
                        1958 Hardtop
                        #8452 TBird Registry
                        http://www.tbirdregistry.com/viewdat...tryNumber=8452


                        photo: http://www.squarebirds.org/users/joh...d_June2009.jpg
                        history:
                        http://www.squarebirds.org/users/johng/OCC.htm

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          They do look good.

                          I looked at that site and he did an excellent job. The gauges really look like they belong there. I can't bring myself to cut up my dash so I'm looking at gauges on the console. I've got an idea in my head, it might not work but I'm in the progress of working on it.
                          What about the dual master cylinder?? I'm really interested in that, another good idea for safety.
                          The list is starting to grow.
                          Thanks.
                          Joe

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I picked up my dual master cylinder wiythout the booster at the local napa store. I believe I got one from a mid 70's granada. There are posts about the conversion on this site. I also picked up the conversion kit from http://www.abspowerbrake.com, they have everything you need to convert the front to power brakes without having to modify the spindles. Hope this helps!! and good luck.

                            As far as modifying goes. I agree with the guys that say do what makes you happy, as long as you keep her looking good.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Brake mod: were you able to do it and use the stock rims?? I hate changing rims in part because the tire guys beat up the beads on the tires. Not to mention cost...

                              As a direction to discuss, there are modifications that make the car safer and those that make it more environmentally friendly.

                              Certainly disk brakes make it safer (those drums are marginal at best).

                              PCV systems, better ignitions and unleaded gas all make the car greener. Overflow containers for the coolant might be as well.

                              Any of these things make for a better car that is, in my opinion, hard to fault.

                              On the other hand, cutting a hole in the console for a GSP seems to violate things a bit...

                              john
                              58 Hardtop
                              1958 Hardtop
                              #8452 TBird Registry
                              http://www.tbirdregistry.com/viewdat...tryNumber=8452


                              photo: http://www.squarebirds.org/users/joh...d_June2009.jpg
                              history:
                              http://www.squarebirds.org/users/johng/OCC.htm

                              Comment

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