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Old 07-27-2013, 11:01 AM
cbnsingram cbnsingram is offline
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Default A question for our Squarebird Scholars

Did Ford produce any Squarebirds with mixed-year parts? The convertible I am building was first represented to me as a 1959, but the VIN says it is a 1960. The car has a 1959 grill, which is probably why the seller ("finder" really) of the car assumed it was a '59.

My question: Is anyone aware of any 1960 convertibles having been manufactured with a 1959 grill?

This is a field car and the grill looks in about the same condition as everything else, so if it was swapped it was quite some time ago. I love the '59 grill and will probably keep it, but just curious if there's any chance it was built this way.

I've purchased early and late year modern vehicles that have sometimes shared traits with the previous or next year, so thought I'd pose the question.
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Old 07-27-2013, 11:20 AM
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jopizz jopizz is offline
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I've owned dozens of squarebirds and have seen some with carry over parts but not year specific items like grills or trim. It was definitely changed at some time in it's life. Maybe someone else preferred the '59 grill also.

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1959 Convertible

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Old 07-27-2013, 11:32 AM
Sherman Sherman is offline
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Hello, Compare the VIN to see if they match. There will be a number in the door jam, under the cowl, and one on the tubular cross-member under the engine.

My 1959 was set up with the 1960 fully automatic convertible top mechanism. The deck lid, flip lid, and top were all hydraulically operated. Most 59's had manual deck lids and flip lids, but the top was still hydraulic.

I'm sure that it is plausible that parts were mixed up at the factory or that someone changed it at one time.
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Old 07-27-2013, 11:47 AM
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partsetal partsetal is offline
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Woa! It has been rumored that there were some late 59's with the automatic top, but no one has ever seen one. If this is genuine, I'm sure there are folks on this forum who would like more details.
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Old 07-27-2013, 11:52 AM
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YellowRose YellowRose is offline
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Default A question for our Squarebird Scholars

It is my understanding, that it was not unusual in Tbird production towards the end of a production of a model year to use parts for the next years run. Especially if they were the same model as the previous year. In fact, it is my understanding, you will find '60 Squarebirds with '61 Bulletbird parts on them that were common to both models.

Does the car have six tail lights or four? Does it have the long winged Tbird on the hood and C pillar, or the V shaped Winged Tbird of the '59? If it has six tail lights, and the long winged Tbirds, it should be a '60. Unless, like someone else I know, the tail light assembly has been changed to the 4 tail light assembly. That takes some doing, but I have seen it done. We have one in our area like this.

The Data Plate Vin #, found on the drivers side post when you open the door, can be compared to the VIN # stamped into the body at these locations for a Squarebird. Compare the VIN #'s. It is possible that the Data Plate is a replacement, or the Data Plate is correct and someone, as said, changed the grill in past years. Here is the graphic showing you where to find them, depending on the year.

In regards to Carl's ~ partsetal comments, I am sure "Fuz" and Alan Tast would love to know more about the '59 Convertible with the '60 top set up! If they don't already know...
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 1958-1960VinNumberLocations.jpg (57.5 KB, 161 views)

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Last edited by YellowRose : 07-27-2013 at 12:04 PM.
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Old 07-27-2013, 01:29 PM
Tbird1044 Tbird1044 is offline
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I worked for Buick for 5 years and it was amazing what we would see on new cars. Sometimes they would come through with Pontiac side mirrors, Oldsmobile glove box doors and Chevy Steering wheels so anything is possible. I would bet however, that as easy as it would be to change out the grill, the higher probability is that someone changed it out over the 53 years. Some of the personal mods made on my car still amaze me and make me shake my head sometimes. Also consider that the center piece on the 1960 is unique and up until a few years ago wasn't available. They are typically dented up from people hitting things, so it would have been logical just to get rid of them. Now you can buy a repo for about $140.
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Old 12-04-2013, 10:12 PM
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I think it's important to know how the Material Handling Dept., supplies parts to the assembly line. It's VERY coordinated with Process Engineering and the Quality Dept.

If a new model is introduced with many of the same parts (like three years of Squarebirds), it's almost hard to tell the last car/first car transition because there are no gaps in the line. "Launch" is a snap.

When a new model is introduced, they clear the assembly plant of all stock and they clean the lines of all debris and they paint. Racks of every old model parts are sent to Ford Parts Depots for repackaging as Service Parts for dealerships. New racks of parts are brought in. Sometimes different tasks are performed in a new area of the line, so Process Engineers direct Hi-Los to where new stock should be.

New model launch may take a week; the line is slowed down so assemblers get used to the new scheme and all the bugs are worked out so people aren't tripping over each other or over tool air hoses, etc. Many jobs require two assemblers working in unison, like the guys stuffing engines or rear axles.

Each rack will have a QC tag: B/O means balance out, C/O is carry over, PILOT means they are 'trying' this new part (but keep the old parts close at hand until released). Then new model parts will have a '2014' placard for the new model year.

We run 'special' cars at different times, like 250 Cobra R's, or a few hundred of the same color for taxi companies. Some runs go to 'UAR' for the United Arab Republic (they have no heaters). Others are 'JAP' for Japan (they have yellow side markers, wheel well extensions, metric gauges, fold-up side mirrors, visors are written in Japanese, etc.). Each foreign country has their own emissions standards, so their Electronic Engine Control computers are specific.

You can immediately see that none of these parts can be interchanged or there's big trouble.

If a part is in short supply, they strip all the parts depot's service parts out of individual packages, just to keep the line running. Many times, Ford will load an airplane with racks of parts and fly them out, just to keep the assembly line running. If a Ford car got a Mercury-specific part, that's an unintentional mistake that is normally corrected before the car leaves the plant. - Dave
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Old 12-04-2013, 11:14 PM
Ca58tbird Ca58tbird is offline
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When I bought my '58 bird back in 1996, it was advertised and titled with the St of CA as a 1959 bird. However after purchase and learning more about model year differences and finally figuring out how to decode, I found it was a 58 model that someone hung a 59 grille on presumably because of a previous front end accident that damaged the 58 grille. When I had stripped her down to bare metal for paint prep I did find evidence of a previous front end cowling repair just under the grille. When I put her all back together I purchased a 58 grille for her and changed the title with the St. of CA to be a 58 model. After moving to MN in 1999 and transferring the title she's been titled in MN since as a 1958 Bird.
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Old 12-05-2013, 01:27 AM
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simplyconnected simplyconnected is online now
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Jed, I'm really surprised any state would fall for that because once you give them your VIN, they can tell you what the car is.

One time, I was quoting my modern car's VIN to AAA over the phone and I accidently told the lady a wrong digit. She immediately corrected me. Still in shock, I rechecked and she was right.
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Old 12-24-2013, 01:45 AM
tmjsong1aolcom tmjsong1aolcom is offline
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I happen to agree with Dave and his explanation of what happened in the factory. Ford would not put a 59 parts on a 60 or vice versa They are into seeling the new model and do not want to confuse the buyer.

How would you like to buy a 60 bird with a 59 grill installed and find out after the purchse when your firends ask you about your new 59 bird and why you bought last years model.

PR nightmare for the manufacturer.

As for a full automatic convert. top for a 59. There has to be proof that this was how the bird came from the factory. IE window sticker/ROT sheet. Just cuz it exists now doesn't have any bearing on how it came out of the factory.

The car would need to be documented and looked at by several people knowledgeable about squarebirds. My guess is the PO wanted a fully auto top and had the 60 pieces installed.

Sun Prairie, Wi.
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