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  #1  
Old 02-03-2011, 12:43 PM
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YellowRose YellowRose is offline
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Default Welcome, Jimz Bird !!

Welcome to Squarebirds, Jim! Jim hales from Virginia and owns a 1956 Babybird, Green w/Brown Interior! There is an interesting thing about Jim's membership application. First I noticed his time zone was set to Baghdad time! Secondly, I see he listed his home town as Norfolk. Being retired military myself, I know that Norfolk is a big Navy town. Thirdly, his IP # tells me that my first supposition is correct. Jim is serving in the Middle East. My thanks to you for your service to our country, Sir! We would love to see pictures of your Tbird! If you have any you want to share with us you can contact our PC Help Desk gal, Cathie ~ Coral. She can tell you how to post pictures. Or send me the pictures to my email address below and I can post them for you. We have the greatest Tbird Techies from around the world on here. Since we do not have a Babybird Forum, if you need any help just post away in the Squarebirds Forum. They will be glad to help. Should you have any problems navigating our Forum, please contact me. All of you should write down my telephone number in case you ever have problems logging onto the Forum. Call me if you have problems. Enjoy The Journey!
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  #2  
Old 02-04-2011, 10:27 PM
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Dan Leavens Dan Leavens is offline
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Cool

Jim also welcome to our truly international site where you will find some of the most knowledgeable birders around. Ask any questionanswer where you canand participate oftenGreat to see another 56 survivor and is she registered in the TBird registry on our site?
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  #3  
Old 02-05-2011, 11:35 AM
Jimz Bird Jimz Bird is offline
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Default Thanks for The Welcome!

Greetings and Good sleuthing!

I am in Iraq. I am a civilian working here though and not Military.

My standard response is "I did my patriotic duty in Viet Nam, I'm here for the money".

So far that has worked well as it got me a 56 and now I am looking at getting a 58-60. I am at the age where I should be enjoying the finer things of life and what could be finer than a couple of TBirds?

Here is a little background of how I got to this group.

Around Sep-Oct of last year I started looking at 2002-05 TBirds just to get an idea of what they were running as I thought I would get one when I came back to the World this year.

Just for fun, I started looking at 56s on eBay also as I have always wanted one. My first car was a 56 Ford Customline - 292 - 3sp on the floor that I got when I was a jr in High School in 1964 (for $150.00).

Long story short - well kinda short. I got a great 56 that was originally from the Tidewater area in Hampton VA across the Bay from where I live on Willoughby Spit in Norfolk. "Mable" (Part of the longer story) went to the state of MO for a few years to a really great guy named David who took excellent care of her and now prepared her for her return home to Tidewater "to roost". David has had several TBirds as well as other older cars.

I had again considered getting a 2002-5 but I really like the 58-60 better and they are a lot easier to work on mechanically so I am going to go that direction. The availability of parts for the Retro Birds is not real good now and they are expensive to work on. I hang around the Thunderbird Nest Forum also so that is just my take on it from what is said there.

While my 56 won't be a "Daily Driver" it will be driven quite a bit and won't be a Garage Queen. I am not an Investor but just a guy who wants to have a couple of cool cars to drive and work on. If I get my money back if it ever comes time to sell them that is OK but not a reason to buy them, from my standpoint.

I am now checking eBay every day looking at the 58-60 and putting them on my Watch List. I have been lurking here off and on for quite a while but now that I am serious about getting a Square Bird, i felt I should join. I'm not sure if I will get one before I get back to the world or after but I want to stay up with prices and read as much as I can about maintenance and upkeep. Again, I want a Driver that I can maintain and not a just a Queen.

I'm not sure which year I would like to have. They all have unique things about them and while I did have a 58 Ford in High School also, that was not like my first car so I am not partial to the 58 Birds. I like them all so I suppose it will be just when I see one I like and that I can afford - that will be it.

I'm looking forward to spending time here reading and learning.

I am also on the Classicbirds Yahoo group so will probably run into some of you there.
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  #4  
Old 02-05-2011, 12:48 PM
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LuckyJay LuckyJay is offline
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Welcome, Good posts. You should be able to find what you want easily by watching the posts on this forum. Quality Squarebirds show up regularly and the prices are tollerable. I would say that the main differances between the 58 model and the 59-60 models are the rear suspension. The 58 has coil springs and the later 59-60 are leaf springs.
We appreciate the notion that the cars won't be Garage Queens and will be maintained and driven.
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  #5  
Old 02-05-2011, 01:11 PM
Richard D. Hord Richard D. Hord is offline
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Hey Jim,
Welcome to Squarebirds! Look through some of the old post, ask lots of questions and comment often before making your decision.
These guys know the pro's and con's and what to look for in these old Birds! There are plenty of old Thunderbirds out there that need a good home and one has your name on it!
Be careful over there and come home soon!
Once again welcome!
Richard D. Hord

P.S. We would love to see pictures of your '56!!!
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  #6  
Old 02-05-2011, 02:31 PM
Jimz Bird Jimz Bird is offline
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Default A couple of Questions:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wildcat15 View Post
The 58 has coil springs and the later 59-60 are leaf springs.
OK, 1st Question.
Since I am not going to be pushing the SquareB hard or racing it, the coils should not be a problem for a Cruiser should it? I have not started researching the suspension upgrades and tweaks so without starting a "mine rides better than yours" - what is the general thought on, with good and proper shocks, which rides the best?

Quick story: I grew up in a small town in Ohio (Lisbon) of about 2,000 people. Our High School Principal had two new TBirds that I can recall (a 58 and a 60). He would occasionally pick me up and give me a ride in the winter time if it was snowy and cold. That was in his Brand New 1960 Baby Blue (i need to check colors and try to remember just what exactly it was) with matching interior. I was really impressed as I was in 8th grade and just really starting to get into cars. There was a plaque on the dash that said something like "This Thunderbird was made especially for George M. Nace". Did they have those or was that something he had made up?

OK two questions. and a couple of pics.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg OVTBRD Side.jpg (64.0 KB, 20 views)
File Type: jpg OVTBRD RR.jpg (77.7 KB, 20 views)
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  #7  
Old 02-05-2011, 03:40 PM
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simplyconnected simplyconnected is offline
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Welcome Jim,
The biggest problem with coil suspension is finding bushings to replace the originals. Ford used rear coils for a very short production run. That means 'demand' is low and parts are rare and expensive. Many of the nylon parts are hand-made on a lathe. Aside from that, there is nothing wrong with coil suspension. Leaf spring setups are much cheaper at ~$200/set, with plenty of availability.

I am excited to hear about your '56 Customline because I have a '55 that's still 'in process'. Mine came w/272 Y-Block & 2-speed COM, but I'm changing that to a 351W & AOD. Why? I have the parts and I love EFI. I installed Granada spindles and disk brakes on the front and a power booster. Can't wait for Spring, so I can resume work on it.

I believe the "made for..." plaque was a dealership courtesy offer. Even though cars are ordered for specific individuals, many times the situation changes by the time the car actually arrives, so that's something a dealership would install after they receive final payment. - Dave
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  #8  
Old 02-05-2011, 04:39 PM
Richard D. Hord Richard D. Hord is offline
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Hey Jim,
Love the green '56 baby Bird!!!
Richard D. Hord
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  #9  
Old 02-05-2011, 04:41 PM
Jimz Bird Jimz Bird is offline
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Thanks Dave,

OK, that is a consideration. Ongoing maintenance on a driver is something I want to keep in mind so that is a good tip.

Ahh, 351W is a good engine. I also had a new 69 Mach I Mustang while I was in the service with 351 Ram Air and 4sp. Another one I should have kept but "who wooda thunk" eh?

Hang on the that Y-Block. Here is a good Y-Block site if you have not seen it:

http://www.ford-y-block.com/

Really cool Y-Block stuff. I'm thinking of building a 292/312 over next winter for the 56. Want to pull the original engine and keep it intact and drop the other in.

I see the Square Bird that I will get as staying pretty much the Personal Luxury car that they were designed to be.

The only Thunderbird I have had in the past was a RED 83 Turbo Coupe with 5 speed. That was a fun fun fun car.

Thanks again,
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