'59 Tbirds W/4-Way Power Seats
Jim ~ elijahbird7 tells me that he has an operational 4-way Passenger Power Seat in his '59 Squarebird! This caused me to do some research because, to my knowledge and according to the OFS, there was no 4-way Passenger Power Seat available in 1959! His Squarebird was scheduled to be built on Dec. 17th, as I recall, fairly early in the '59 production run. According to Automotive Mile Posts, only the 4-way drivers power seat was listed as an available option in 1958, and 1959. In the 1960 production run, in addition to the 4-way drivers power seat being mentioned as optional equipment, there is a first mention of the 4-way Passenger power seat being optional equipment. ($92.10) New option for '60.
Now here is where it gets interesting to me.
There is a reference to the 4-Way Passenger Power Seat in the OFS. Here is what it says when it is listed with an @ sign next to it. There were no years listed next to it, as there were for other factory installed items. If an item was available only for 1958 it had that year next to it, for 1958, 1959, or 1960, it had those years next to it. Here is the quote from the OFS for the Squarebird.
"@ Shown in factory assembly manuals as an RPO item, but not listed in sales/service literature."
There are no years listed next to that @ sign...
I tried to find out what RPO meant but could not find any explanation for it. Now here is what Jim found when he got his '59 home. "Got it home today and tonight I was reading the owner's manual. On page 3 it references the 4-way power front seat. The last paragraph states: "The right front seat can also be adjusted in the same way by pressing the switch at the right side of that seat." So, I guess it is factory correct."
Well you know that it is referenced in your 1959 Owners Manual! They either had the seat or modified the existing passenger seat to make it 4-Way powered. Not only is it mentioned there but also in the 1959 Shop Manual! Quote from page 13-5 "If both front seats are power operated and one seat is inoperative, the source of trouble is between the junction block and the inoperative seat mechanism."
More proof of dual power seat availability? Unfortunately, Jim was not provided with a Build/Rot sheet or Gate Receipt, so he cannot check those, though I have suggested that he try to contact the previous owner(s) to see if they have them. Here we have a situation where the OFS does not show this 4-way power passenger seat being available for 1958-1960, but Automotive Mile Posts shows it available for the 1960 production run. The 1959 Owners Manual and the 1959 Shop Manual (mine says the same thing) talks about it as if it is a fact that it was available for the 1959 production run.
I wonder what Alan Tast and "Fuz" know about this since they helped author the OFS?
Last edited by YellowRose : 12-03-2013 at 11:19 PM.