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Old 05-10-2004, 10:01 AM
tarps3 tarps3 is offline
Join Date: Jul 21 2003
Posts: 837
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Default '58 air conditioning question

I went to a car show this weekend and saw something unusual on a '58 TBird.

I've seen the rectangular air conditioning vents located just above the radio on other squarebirds equipped with factory air, but this one was very different.

The radio, and vent surround located above it, were of one BIG piece. However, the vent surround looked really different. It had 3 round vents with vanes in them (located horizonatlly across the face) - they were fully adjustable in any direction and about 1.5 inches in diameter. Above them, there were the control knobs (essentially located at the top of the dash) which controlled the fan and air volume. There was a name plate between the knobs which said "Frigidaire" I think.

Then, on the SIDES of the dash pods (one above and to the right of the clock and the other on the corresponding location above the glove box) were 2 more round vents directing air toward the occupants. These were actually installed in the "sides" of the padded instrument pods and were identical to the other vents.

I've never seen anything like it. The material and surrounding metal plate were identical to the dash and glovebox door (grooved metal) and the piece looked to be a factory or a dealer installed item. The thing looked like it had been there since the car was new and the amount of aging looked consistant with the rest of the interior (original untouched).

Did Ford contract with outside manufacturers (i.e. Frigidaire) to provide an AC system for the '58 Birds? It certainly looked like it. And the owner, who was around 75 years old, said the car always had it and he's had the car for about 25 years or so.

Like I said, I've never seen a setup like this one and it looked really, really neat!

Any insights from '58 Bird Owners??

'60 hardtop
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