'56-'57 Tbird Hardtop w/Port Hole
Tom Cangialosi has acquired a black hardtop with port hole with stand and is going to put it on eBay for sale. He would like to know the value of it. It looks to be in excellent condition. Any idea what these go for these days? It was my impression that the hardtop with port hole was only available for the 1957 Tbird. However, a review of Automotive Mile Posts shows that this hardtop was also available for the 1955 WITHOUT the port hole. According to them, it became available for the 1956 WITH the port hole and that version greatly outsold the hardtop without the port hole. Here is what Automotive Mile Posts has to say about this.
According to Automotive Mile Posts, the Glass-Fibre hardtop with the port hole was available on the 1956 and 1957 Tbirds, but not the 1955, though it would probably fit since the Glass-Fibre top was available WITHOUT the port hole window. Here is what they show as standard equipment starting in 1956.
This link for the 1956 Tbird also says that the Glass-Fibre hardtop with the port hole window was available on the 1956 Tbird. It mentions that it was far more popular than the version without the window.
Furthermore, this says that the Glass-Fibre top was available for the 1955 Tbird, but it does NOT mention the port hole being available.
Here is the pic of the one he has.
I am still in the midst of unpacking from our move to FL from OH, so many of the books and reference materials I have are still packed. Basically the tops will all interchange with all 3 years with only minor changes of the latches and trim. That being said 55's had no port holes, 56's did, and 57's could be either way. YES there are some early and late production differences to contradict that general statement which I do not have access to at present. Also there is a difference in the number of seams of the headliner for the 56 - 57 years with along with the latches is the best determining factor as to exactly the year. Hopefully someone else will jump in here with the exact differences.
56 Bird No Porthole
I have an early production 56 Fiesta Red that does not have the port hole. I was always told it was a mid year replacement and early 56's did not have that top.
I have also read it was an either or factory option at some point too.
Neverthe less I have a 56 I bought from original owner that never had the portholes.
1957 Port Hole Top Black
when you come up with a price please let me know
'56-'57 Tbird Hardtop w/Port Hole
In 1955, the Glass-Fibre top was available for that year, but NOT with a port hole. One of the main complaints about the '55 was that top blocking your view around that top. So in 1956, they added the port hole to that years top. It was a Standard feature for 1956-1957, but you could still get a top without the port hole. However, 90% of the tops supplied in '56 had the port holes in them. Here is what Automotive Mile Posts has to say about this.
The person we bought Don's 56 T-Bird from has a picture of his Aunt with the 56 with in days of her buying it brand new in a small town in Oklahoma, the car has no port holes in the top in the picture.
Sadly the man is elderly an will not part with the picture it is glued into a family album, and after a fire it's the only picture of his Aunt that he has, an he will not take it to someone and let them copy it I have asked a few times.
Perhaps he would let you take a photo of it? I have had good results taking pictures of pictures once the proper lighting and reflections are controlled.
As mentioned: 55 had no portholes, 56 & 57 either way. This is also confirmed on page 28 of the Nov/Dec 2015 Early Bird. The fiberglass shell is the same, but latches, trim, weather stripping and headliners are a bit different through the years. Just a choice made when ordering like with or without back up lights for example.
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