This will take you to the main site where there is history, technical information and other information on these cars.
This takes you back to the main page of the forums.
This is the control panel to change your password, information and preferences on this message board.
Click here if your lost your password or need to register on this message board. You must be a registered user to post. Registration is free.
Search this board for information you need.
Click here to buy cool Squarebirds mechandise.
Click here to support Squarebirds.org. For $20 annually receive 20mBytes webspace, a Squarebirds e-mail address and member's icon on the message board.
  #1  
Old 04-29-2009, 04:22 AM
YellowRose's Avatar
YellowRose YellowRose is online now
Super-Experienced and a HELLOFA nice guy
 
Join Date: Jan 21 2008
Posts: 11,886
YellowRose is on a distinguished road
Default The Stainless Steel '60 Tbirds

My intent was to create a new thread for just the SS car stuff and move the posts over into this thread. But I found out that I cant move individual posts without moving the whole thread. I dont want to do that because that thread was mostly about the Last Day Last Car.. So lets post anything further regarding the SS cars here in this thread.

Cathie sent me some information that validates what Kev said in a post about that magazine that said the 2 SS '60 Tbirds were built on July 11, 1960. Here you will find a link the Allegheny-Ludlum's website. There THEY say the cars were built on that date! They oughta know! They had them build in conjunction with Ford, Budd Body Co, and Creative Industries. I think it was the latter who bullt them for Budd.

"I CAN tell you, the SS birds were not stamped out at wixom, they were indeed built by Allegheny and Creative - I posted at least one link on that IN the SS thread...then shipped to wixom for the rest of the build.


There's another link I posted on another thread as well, about the SS birds


Here are the links:


http://www.michiganlcoc.org/pics/sta...stainless.html


http://www.alleghenyludlum.com/pages...inlesscars.asp "

Now the question becomes, at what point did Budd/Creative Industries build the shells and the panels for them? It appears it was after the BUDD production runs for the regular Tbirds was done. Or did they? They might have run these shells and panels on different tooling. They certainly had more than one set of tooling, dies, stampers, etc.

Budd made the shells for the regular Tbirds, and I gather the panels, did the welding of them to the frame and when done, shipped them off to the Wixom plant for finishing on the Tbird line. Wixom received the shells and processed them for input into the line. Both Alan and Phil Skinner have commented on this.

Here is some information on the Budd Body Co.

1954, the company introduced the first all-plastic bodied automobile for Studebaker. Budd was credited with developing unitized body construction during the 1930's, 3 decades before it was widely accepted. The following year, Ford contracted Budd to build the bodies for its new Thunderbird. The Thunderbird was a huge success, and Budd's auto stamping sales began to rebound. During the 1950s, Budd continued to produce automobile bodies, shipped to the manufacturers ready for painting;
__________________

Ray Clark - Squarebirds Administrator
'59 Tbird "The Yellow Rose Of Texas" aka "Tweety Bird"
"It's Hip To Be Square"
Thunderbird Registry #33025 VTCI #11178

rayclark07"at"att.net (Home) 210-674-5781 (Cell) 210-875-1411
http://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm

Last edited by YellowRose : 04-29-2009 at 06:48 PM. Reason: Additional comments
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 04-29-2009, 10:26 AM
JohnG's Avatar
JohnG JohnG is offline
John
 
Join Date: Jul 28 2003
Posts: 2,229
JohnG is on a distinguished road
Default

from page 56 of William Wonder's Thunderbird Restoration Guide:

Perhaps the most unique 1960 models ever produced, however, would be those ordered by the Allegheny Ludlum Steel Corporation in July 1960, near the end of the production run. Two stainless steel versions of the production 'Bird hardtop were produced at a reported cost in excess of $35,000 . These agless 'Birds were produced on the regular production line of the Wixom, Michigan plant.

More than 1,000 dies produced over 300 stainless steel components used in the fabrication of each car, including bumpers grilles and exhaust. Bodies were fabricated on the regular production dies at the Budd Co in Detroit, using stainless steel featuring a special satin finish, not unlike the later Deloreans. Being the end of the regular production run, and sinde 1960s ended the Thunderbird's third year of the second generation body style, these dies would no longer be needed and were ultimately, and unfortunately, destroyed during the production of these two "ageless" 1960 Thunderbirds.

The bumpers and additional trim featured mirror polished stainless steel. Polishing cost alone for these exterior components was reportely $3000 per car. The Thunderbird's normal weight of 3957 pounds was duplicated by using Type 302 stainless for the body panels and Type 430 for the trim. Because the maximum rolling mill for stainless only produced stock that was 72 inches in width, numerous ideas were tried, and an expenditure of $10,000 was made in attempt to obtain the 84 inch width required to form the Thunderbird's roof panel. Eventually two 42 inch sections were welded together to form the roof, with only a very faint trace line visible.

These stainless 'Birds, based in Pittsburgh and Detroit,, were used for automotive shows and special exhibitions throughout the United States and most of Euorope. The Pittsburgh car has appeared in over 30 parades and racked up some 120,000 miles, traveling one coast to the other several times. The Detroit car has also appeared in numerous shows and parades and has logged approximately 80,000 miles, including one trip to the West Coast. Both cars are in excellent condition today, requiring only minor tuneups and an occasional wash with soap and water.

Although both cars received interior and mechanical restorations in the early to mid 80s, with various components such as valve covers and wheel covers being replaced with non stock items over the years, the two stainless Birds will inevitably outlast all their model year predecessors, remaining timeless and shining examples of Ford's personal luxury leader for 1960!

note: page 55 has a picture beloning to Alan Tast of one of them.

Ray, I am not convinced there was more than one set of dies. Dies are terribly expensive to create and, if only used for 3 years, durable enough. If making the two SS cars destroyed them, that reaffirms my feeling. However, as always, that's just an opinion.

Maybe we could track down William Wonder!!

John

ps the online sampling of Wonder's book does not have this material so I copied it for everyone to read.

Last edited by JohnG : 04-29-2009 at 10:29 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 04-29-2009, 06:42 PM
YellowRose's Avatar
YellowRose YellowRose is online now
Super-Experienced and a HELLOFA nice guy
 
Join Date: Jan 21 2008
Posts: 11,886
YellowRose is on a distinguished road
Default The Stainless Steel '60 Tbirds

Earlier this afternoon, I had a lengthy, enjoyable and very informative conversation with Gene Makrancy, author, photographer and chronicler of these stainless steel Ford cars. He will be sending me some 30 pictures of these cars in various stages of being built, along with a brochure. He has made a number of trips to Allegheny-Ludlum for interviews and photo shoots. While on one of the latter a few years ago, he actually got to drive one of the Tbirds for a short distance. He has confirmed a number of things that have been said by Alan and others. But first of all, here is something that Phil sent me last night.

"It has long been a misconception that these were the last cars off the assembly line. While the tooling may have been damaged (it was NOT) from the stainless process, remember that there were often more than one set of tools, especially when pumping out nearly 100,000 copies.

Phil"

When talking with Gene, he confirmed that, surprisingly, the tooling was NOT damaged by the process according to what he was told. He also confirmed some other things. As Phil said, these SS cars were NOT the last cars through the Wixom line. They were put through on July 11, 1960, just as Allegheny-Ludlim said. The shells and panels were made prior to that, at the end of the Budd Body Co.'s production run. And therein lies the misleading story all these years about these Tbirds being run at the end of the WIXOM production run.

According to Gene, Budd had run all the remaining shells, panels, welded them to the shells, and stock piled them for use in the July, August, and September scheduled runs. So, sometime before July 11th, they ran the production run for the SS cars. The final '60 Tbirds to come out of the Budd line. A lot of the work had to be hand done after the shells and panels were cut. When completed, they were sent on to the Wixom line to be inserted into the processing stream. He said that it caused quite a lot of excitement on the line when they started processing through. But, except for the finish, they were just like any other Tbird and they went about their job of finishing them off as they traveled down the line. I will have pictures soon showing them or the '66 Lincolns going down the line with Tbirds ahead or behind them.. Maybe the same with the '60 SS Tbird run. I will post the pictures when I get them from Gene.

Let me see what else I can tell you. We had a long conversation. Oh, I think this was interesting. He said after the '66 Lincolns were built, someone decided to hold one up because the '67's were coming out soon and they wanted to show off one as a '67. So they put some '67 parts on one of them to make it look like a '67. That is why, he said, if you look at one of them, it will be different from the other two.

He also said these Lincolns were sent to a car dealership in PA for testing and evaluation. The PA State Police were involved in the safety evaluations and would not allow them to pass inspection because they were to bright and flashy! They insisted that their finish be dulled because they were concerned about them being so flashy and reflecting light so much that they could cause accidents. So the cars had to be scrubbed and their surfaces dulled to the point where they could pass inspection! This process cost either $3,000 or $5,000 per car. I do not remember which.

He also confirmed that the bumpers, grills and their trimmings were NOT chrome, but stainless steel polished to look like chrome. He said these cars have been redone several times to update and keep them in good shape, but those who own them now seem to not be paying a lot of attention to them any longer, which is a shame.

He also told me that not only were there these cars made in stainless steel but that there were several trucks also made. However, the company who bought out the company who owned them did not want to bother with them. They considered it an unneeded expense and scrapped them!

Well, my brain is about fried trying to remember everything he told me, but this is a good part of it. I hope you enjoy these comments passed on to me. Here are several pictures I already had. They probably have been posted before on here, but I figured I would put them in this dedicated SS post for posterity. More pictures to follow when I get them.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 60StainlessSteelTbird.jpg (28.5 KB, 79 views)
File Type: jpg 60StainlessSteelTbird-rear.jpg (92.0 KB, 81 views)
File Type: jpg 60StainlessSteelTtbird-frontside.jpg (96.9 KB, 80 views)
File Type: jpg 60StainlessSteelTbird-RedInterior.jpg (93.0 KB, 80 views)
File Type: jpg 60FordTbirdStainlessSteelcar.jpg (51.8 KB, 80 views)
__________________

Ray Clark - Squarebirds Administrator
'59 Tbird "The Yellow Rose Of Texas" aka "Tweety Bird"
"It's Hip To Be Square"
Thunderbird Registry #33025 VTCI #11178

rayclark07"at"att.net (Home) 210-674-5781 (Cell) 210-875-1411
http://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm

Last edited by YellowRose : 04-30-2009 at 01:56 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 04-29-2009, 06:46 PM
Hawkrod Hawkrod is offline
Experienced
 
Join Date: Oct 31 2005
Posts: 288
Hawkrod is on a distinguished road
Default

I really appreciate you follow up on this. It confirms everything I have been saying and also expands greatly on our knowledge of how cars were built. Hawkrod
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 04-29-2009, 09:43 PM
trim code 76 trim code 76 is offline
Experienced
 
Join Date: Aug 3 2006
Posts: 207
trim code 76 is on a distinguished road
Talking

Ray,
Once again, Thank you very much for your diligent, hard work! You are a bulldog! I have learned so much about the SS cars. Most of what I was told in the past were the false rumors you stated above. I feel this has gone a long way to keeping this important part of the squarebird alive and well AS FACT! MY printer and photo paper are ANXTIOUSLY AWAITING THOSE PHOTOS!!!!!!!!
Greg
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 04-30-2009, 08:45 AM
fomoco59's Avatar
fomoco59 fomoco59 is offline
Super-Experienced
 
Join Date: Jun 10 2005
Posts: 732
fomoco59 is on a distinguished road
Default

I spoke with a local friend who's currently the ITC historian about the SS '60's. He personally helped with restoration on one of them...

"About the Stainless '60s. Allegheny Ludlum produced 2 of these at the end of the '60 production run. They knew that the stainless steel was much harder and more likely to damage or wear out the molds. One was supposed to have been stored in a time vault. The other spent quite a bit of time touring the country advancing the benefits of stainless steel. In the end it was quite worn out and really needed a restoration. Members of the VTCI did so in the early 80's and it made its debut at the 1983 VTCI Eastern Regionals in Niagara Falls along with another stainless '66 Lincoln Continental convertible. The '60 needed everything but, of course, was rust free. It was the only car that had its finish buffed with steel wool! It still exists and is owned by Allegheny Ludlum.

Tom Kneebis"
__________________

Mike Lemmon
'59 Raven Black Hardtop

http://www.tbirdregistry.com/viewdat...tryNumber=2461
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 05-12-2009, 04:41 PM
Meridious Meridious is offline
Experienced
 
Join Date: Nov 16 2007
Posts: 159
Meridious is on a distinguished road
Default

I just purchased that book. I like the text, but I hate the sorry, blurred, black and white photos. Can't see a detail of anything.

Grrrrrrr.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnG View Post
from page 56 of William Wonder's Thunderbird Restoration Guide:

Perhaps the most unique 1960 models ever produced, however, would be those ordered by the Allegheny Ludlum Steel Corporation in July 1960, near the end of the production run. Two stainless steel versions of the production 'Bird hardtop were produced at a reported cost in excess of $35,000 . These agless 'Birds were produced on the regular production line of the Wixom, Michigan plant.

More than 1,000 dies produced over 300 stainless steel components used in the fabrication of each car, including bumpers grilles and exhaust. Bodies were fabricated on the regular production dies at the Budd Co in Detroit, using stainless steel featuring a special satin finish, not unlike the later Deloreans. Being the end of the regular production run, and sinde 1960s ended the Thunderbird's third year of the second generation body style, these dies would no longer be needed and were ultimately, and unfortunately, destroyed during the production of these two "ageless" 1960 Thunderbirds.

The bumpers and additional trim featured mirror polished stainless steel. Polishing cost alone for these exterior components was reportely $3000 per car. The Thunderbird's normal weight of 3957 pounds was duplicated by using Type 302 stainless for the body panels and Type 430 for the trim. Because the maximum rolling mill for stainless only produced stock that was 72 inches in width, numerous ideas were tried, and an expenditure of $10,000 was made in attempt to obtain the 84 inch width required to form the Thunderbird's roof panel. Eventually two 42 inch sections were welded together to form the roof, with only a very faint trace line visible.

These stainless 'Birds, based in Pittsburgh and Detroit,, were used for automotive shows and special exhibitions throughout the United States and most of Euorope. The Pittsburgh car has appeared in over 30 parades and racked up some 120,000 miles, traveling one coast to the other several times. The Detroit car has also appeared in numerous shows and parades and has logged approximately 80,000 miles, including one trip to the West Coast. Both cars are in excellent condition today, requiring only minor tuneups and an occasional wash with soap and water.

Although both cars received interior and mechanical restorations in the early to mid 80s, with various components such as valve covers and wheel covers being replaced with non stock items over the years, the two stainless Birds will inevitably outlast all their model year predecessors, remaining timeless and shining examples of Ford's personal luxury leader for 1960!

note: page 55 has a picture beloning to Alan Tast of one of them.

Ray, I am not convinced there was more than one set of dies. Dies are terribly expensive to create and, if only used for 3 years, durable enough. If making the two SS cars destroyed them, that reaffirms my feeling. However, as always, that's just an opinion.

Maybe we could track down William Wonder!!

John

ps the online sampling of Wonder's book does not have this material so I copied it for everyone to read.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 05-13-2009, 02:22 AM
Coral Coral is offline
Super-Experienced
 
Join Date: Apr 3 2009
Posts: 1,128
Coral has disabled reputation
Default



We have received written permission to recopy the articles !

Now comes the challenge to get them scanned and uploaded in a readable format....
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 05-13-2009, 02:59 AM
YellowRose's Avatar
YellowRose YellowRose is online now
Super-Experienced and a HELLOFA nice guy
 
Join Date: Jan 21 2008
Posts: 11,886
YellowRose is on a distinguished road
Default The Stainless Steel '60 Tbirds

According to what was recently received in the way of information about the below subject, this is an example of how information gets passed on as gospel over the decades. We recently received information that the dies were NOT destroyed during the production of the two SS Tbirds, as recently posted on the Forum... Nor were those two cars built at the very end of the production run as has been stated all these years, after all other Tbirds were run. We know now, from Allegheny-Ludlum themselves, that they were built on July 11, 1960. Nearly two months before the end of production on Sept. 9, 1960..

"Being the end of the regular production run, and since 1960s ended the Thunderbird's third year of the second generation body style, these dies would no longer be needed and were ultimately, and unfortunately, destroyed during the production of these two "ageless" 1960 Thunderbirds."
__________________

Ray Clark - Squarebirds Administrator
'59 Tbird "The Yellow Rose Of Texas" aka "Tweety Bird"
"It's Hip To Be Square"
Thunderbird Registry #33025 VTCI #11178

rayclark07"at"att.net (Home) 210-674-5781 (Cell) 210-875-1411
http://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 05-13-2009, 07:21 PM
Anders's Avatar
Anders Anders is offline
Moderator
 
Join Date: Jan 19 2008
Posts: 2,160
Anders is on a distinguished road
Default

Wow. I was 4 years and two days then....
__________________
..."Lil darling Ruth"
http://www.tbirdregistry.com/#33158
Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 07:23 PM.

Driving, racing or working on cars can be hazardous. The procedures and advice on this website including the message board are opinion only. Squarebirds.org and its webmasters and contributors do not guarantee the correctness of the advice and procedures. The Squarebirds.org and its webmasters assume no liability for any damage, fines, punishment, injury or death resulting from following these procedures or advice. If you do not have the skills or tools to repair your car, please consult a professional. By using this site you agree to hold harmless the Squarebirds.org, its authors and its webmasters from any resulting claim and costs that may occur from using the information found on this site.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Any submissions to this site and any post on this site becomes property of Squarebirds.org . The webmasters reserve the right to edit and modify any submissions to this site. All material on this is site is copyrighted by the Squarebirds.org. Reproduction by any means other than for personal use is strictly prohibited. Permission to use material on this site can be obtained by contacting the webmasters. Copyright 2002-2016 by Squarebirds.org.