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  #1  
Old 07-07-2016, 11:40 AM
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Default Rare 57

Hi,

Some time ago I posted pics of my friend's 57 (see my Barn Find post). It turns out this car was a rare bird. The original engine was a 289 with dual 4-barrel carbs. Someone told me there were only about 200 of those models manufactured.

He blew the first engine and it was replaced with a 312 with a single 2-barrel carb. The original engine is long gone.

Even though the VIN and engine number wouldn't match up, would retrofitting the car with aluminum heads and dual 4-barrels increase the value of the car (close to what it would have been worth with the original engine)?

Would appreciate any comments or advice that I could pass on to the owner.

Cheers,
Richard
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  #2  
Old 07-07-2016, 11:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HighwayThunder View Post
Hi,
The original engine was a 289 with dual 4-barrel carbs.
I think you mean 292, not 289. 289's didn't come out until around 1963.

As for increasing the value my experience shows that 57's that are as close to original as possible have the highest value.
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  #3  
Old 07-07-2016, 11:55 AM
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Default oops!

Yes, you're correct. Meant to say 292.

Cheers,
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  #4  
Old 07-07-2016, 12:57 PM
Joe Johnston Joe Johnston is offline
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Any modifications that deviate from the data plate information would be subject to the owner's or buyer's taste. For example, if the car should be white, and you painted it red, it really doesn't matter as it can be changed back but a buyer may not want to spend the money on a paint job and move on to a white car that is per the data plate. On the other side of the coin, he may really like red and be glad and not worry about the "wrong" color.

A car that is all stock, appeals to more buyers because it is acceptable as it is and could be modified into anything a new owner wants. However, a modified car will be criticized by a smaller market base, as those who are looking for stock, will pass it by as needing work and money spent to make it original. Also those who are interested in a modified car are likely to say "I wouldn't have done it like that!" and need to re-modify to their liking.

In short, the change in value just depends upon the appeal and extent of the changes. Everything can be changed back if enough time and money is spent, but most modifications do not yield a profit when there are so many Little Birds on the market.

The documentation of it being built with dual quads must be provided as well as a source of the information stating 200 were produced. Having someone "say so" doesn't cut it to the informed buyer, you need documentation. There is a big possibility the intake was changed early on in its history by the first owner, or by the dealer before the car was first sold, and that is an entirely different story than being built (as in coming off the assembly line) with dual quads. Cars have been modified since day one and stories get embellished over the years. TARC (The American Road Thunderbird Club) provides invoices similar to what we think of as a "build sheet" for some 55's and most 56 & 57's for a nominal fee. This build sheet would prove beyond a doubt the car was really built with dual quads as it lists all the options and the prices.

If the original engine had factory dual quads, I wonder why the intake wasn't swapped onto the replacement engine? It certainly would fit and all the parts were available. If indeed so equipped, the greatest value would be to restore with original parts with attention to all the details.

The vin and engine numbers never matched on Fords until the mid 60's when it was mandated. The only numbers matching is the casting date on the engine block and heads should be prior to assembly by several months or less.

Get the original invoice from TARTC to know what you exactly are dealing with, then build, modify or return to stock, but most of all enjoy it!

Last edited by Joe Johnston : 07-07-2016 at 01:10 PM.
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  #5  
Old 07-09-2016, 09:14 PM
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If there was only 200 made he probably made a mistake disposing of the 292 engine. But it probably sounded like a good idea at the time and he didn't realize how rare it was.
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  #6  
Old 07-09-2016, 09:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HighwayThunder View Post
...Even though the VIN and engine number wouldn't match up, would retrofitting the car with aluminum heads and dual 4-barrels increase the value of the car (close to what it would have been worth with the original engine)?...
Why would any engine under 300 cubes have dual quads??? One 650CFM carb would be too much by itself.

The only aluminum heads available for a Y-Block would be a pair offered by John Mummert (built by Edelbrock to his spec's). They are MUCH better than any head offered by Ford because they are built for today's fuels with hardened valve seats, stainless valves, Viton seals, bronze valve guides, they are much lighter, they allow high compression ratio AND they transfer heat far better than cast iron. They are FAR from OEM but need to be if the car is not a trailer queen.

BTW, my Y-Blocks and FEs do not have VIN numbers. - Dave
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Old 07-09-2016, 10:08 PM
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All sorts of people claim that a certain deviation was a factory car. A 292 with dual quads? I doubt it. It is possible that some one (maybe even a Ford dealer) put the dual quads on the car. Sounds like another fish story, like the guy that claimed his 55 came with the 55 sedan Fairlane trim or the guy that claimed the dual quads on a 56 was factory installed (dealer install only).

If there were 200 produced like this (292 with two 4 bbls), then it would be well known and documented. Ask a Tbird expert, not just some guy making a claim.

I would like to see the codes on the VIN plate

The only comment to pass onto the owner is that his claim is wrong
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  #8  
Old 07-10-2016, 05:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paul274854 View Post
...I would like to see the codes on the VIN plate...
I agree, let's see the Patent Plate.
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  #9  
Old 07-10-2016, 12:45 PM
Joe Johnston Joe Johnston is offline
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Quote:
Why would any engine under 300 cubes have dual quads???
They were even available for the 239 Y-block.

Sort of proves the old adage "You never have too much fuel unless you are on fire!" and unfortunately these Haystack Holleys back in the day had that reputation.
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Old 07-10-2016, 02:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Johnston View Post
They were even available for the 239 Y-block.

Sort of proves the old adage "You never have too much fuel unless you are on fire!" and unfortunately these Haystack Holleys back in the day had that reputation.
And the early 283 Corvettes,don't forget them!
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