55 Tee-Bird resto-mod
I started this same thread on another web site. When I signed up for this site I was invited to share my "story" here. It is a looong story and I calculate it will be a couple years from now (now = end of 2016) before I get this car done. Hope to be driving by spring of 2019. So, here goes!
I bought the car in the fall of 1975 (41 years ago) It was a running, driving car when I bought it. It had been converted to 12V and had a 289 - three speed manual in it. The exterior was and still is) primer gray. The interior consisted of a seat and a dashboard. No door panels, kick panels or carpeting. the soft top was in tatters and the fiberglass hardtop was repaired where it had cracked. The floors were rusted and patched with small pieces of metal tack welded in. When I drove through a rain puddle my legs were getting wet. The glass in the doors was cracked / broken. Probably because the 6V motors raised the windows up really fast and jammed them into the hard top.
I'm a pretty good mechanic and can fix most anything. I took a night course in auto body repair with plans to repair and paint the car. I planned on doing a frame on restoration. I pulled the engine and traded for a 292 automatic. I bought a set of windows for the doors. I bought the few pieces of chrome trim that were missing from the car. Then job, home ownership and family took over all my time.
I met a guy who was the president of the local area T-bird club and very much into the "little" birds. After much discussion I was convinced to stay with the resto-mod that had been started before I bought the car. A lot happened in the next 35 or so years. I got a job transfer to CA and took the car from MA to CA with no engine/trans in it. I then moved to SC and brought the car with me (still no engine/trans) In SC I finally figured out why I had to keep adjusting the doors to make them open / close properly. The bottoms of the door posts were rusted and the braces under the floor were gone. I bought a welder and repaired the door posts. I fabricated floor braces and put them in. I fabricated panels for the floors and both sides (inside) the trunk. I started working on the body (sanding and priming). I bought a non-running '81 Thunderbird. I stripped the '81 completely. I began putting in the wiring harnesses from the 81 Bird. I modified and installed the tilt steering column from the '81 into my '55. I put the 302 automatic into my car. I fabricated a bracket for the AC compressor so it would fit under my hood. I modified the power steering pump bracket so it would fit between the frame rails. I also fabricated a new cross-member piece for the rear of the transmission. It was at this point I moved from SC back to MA. Unfortunately I had no place to keep the car and I left it at my sister's house, under a tarp for a year. The elements were not nice to my car! The car was then inside my dark damp falling down garage for ten years. So here we are now. I retired in the spring of 2014. I built a new garage in 2015. This year I installed a two post lift and I bought a rotisserie. I began meeting up with the guys who are club members of CTONE (Classic Thunderbirds of New England). The car was originally white with a black and white interior. I plan to bring it back to that color scheme but probably not "snowshoe" white. I have many ideas of possible changes but mainly I want to make it a safe driver and finally enjoy it after these 41 or so years.
Hope I haven't bored you guys! There will be more to come. Now I just need to learn how to add pics to this thread.
1955 Thunderbird project in process
Tee-bird registry # 63034
CTCI member #37081
Last edited by YellowRose : 09-30-2016 at 11:41 PM.