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  #31  
Old 01-04-2011, 03:58 AM
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that burgundy bird from cincinnati posted above is a fake

i have a friend named rick martin he has built and rebuilt and restored and raced many original ford stock cars/ pan america rally cars he claims to have won a few races
and is friends of the guy that restored the holman moody bird that is or was in one of the stockcar museums i think its one of the ones pictured

i have a couple dvds that rick made for me about the holman moody birds they are very informative

rick is currently doing a replica of a 62 merc nascar
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  #32  
Old 01-05-2011, 04:26 PM
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Default More On Mark's '60 Tbird

Mark's Dad bought this Tbird from Morton Motor Co., a Mercedes Benz dealership, in Omaha, Nebraska in 1967. I think that company went out of business in the late 70's. In the paperwork he received was this hand written note. The .pdf version was to big to post, so I converted it to a .jpg. Here is exactly what it said was added to the car, either at the factory or at the dealership. Apparently, there was no printed official dealership or factory Optional Equipment Listing. Just this.

1959 Thunderbird Custom Special
w/ following factory - dealer installed options

430 cu. V8------ dual exhausts------ back-up lights
4 barrel carb---- special driving lights-tinted glass
automatic fan--- H.D clutch--------- radio
overdrive------- H.D springs--------- heater
4:11 ring gear---H.D stabilizer------- custom interior
15" wheels------ H.D shocks-------- seat belts
nylon whitewalls-leather upholstery
windshield washers
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Mundsdorff'60TbirdOptions.jpg (127.3 KB, 74 views)
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  #33  
Old 01-05-2011, 06:22 PM
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William Wonder's book Thunderbird Restoration Guide has a fair amount of information on the Holman-Moody cars, on pages 41-43.

Mr. Wonder seems to have interviewed Ralph Moody.

Says there were 8 cars from Ford. They came in pieces, were damaged or defective, and had no serial numbers. Gunnell's book 40 Years of Thunder also says there were 8 cars. All had manual transmissions.

After assembly, all were sold for racing for $5500@. Four of the 8 had "zipper tops" which allowed them to compete in additional races.

All photos I have seen of the cars in 1959, either in any books or this thread show unmodified rear wheel areas. The remaining (surviving) car must have been modified later in life as the rear wheel well area is considerably opened up in the photo of it as a junkyard relic, prior to restoration (page 43).

John
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  #34  
Old 01-06-2011, 08:42 AM
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Default A '59 Mystery Tbird Set Up For Racing...

Thanks for the information, John. This just goes to show how things can be mis-reported, mis-understood, stories get interwoven, etc.. I have no reason to doubt Lee Holman's account of having had 10 cars. Their website says that, and he says that. Now he was only about 16 when they built these cars from various sources. But he was already working in the shop on cars doing various things. He should know. He told me they had unfettered access directly from Henry Ford to the plant, had a letter from him giving them carte blanche access to the plant. That they were able to get anything they wanted and needed because Henry wanted to get back in the racing business and become the dominating force in racing.

One thing is agreed on. There were no serial numbers on these '59 cars because, unlike the four '57 Tbirds, these cars were not pulled off the production line, to my understanding, but put together with parts obtained through the Atlanta plant and the Wixom plant. The '57 Tbirds were picked by the Ford Racing Team that was in effect at that time, and taken from the production line. They shipped those cars to Dipaolo in California (who later joined the H&M team) because he was considered to be a top notch gearhead and a Indy and stock car driver. Hence they had VIN#'s and Data Plates on them. This is all according to the various write ups I have referenced and my conversations with Lee Holman. Rightly or wrongly, this is what has been recorded about them...
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  #35  
Old 01-06-2011, 01:24 PM
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Default A '59 Mystery Tbird Set Up For Racing...

Mark has spoken of several things regarding this '59 Tbird of his. One of them is the special driving lights. Another is the modification of the roof line and others, that set this car apart from the OEM Tbird off the line. Mark has been trying, for years, to find out what happened to this Tbird since it left the factory in '59 and his Dad bought it in '67. If anyone knows anything about the Morton Motor Company, a Mercedes-Benz dealership and the whereabouts of the company records after they went out of business, he would like to know. If anyone knows who might have owned this Tbird before they bought it, or who did the modifications, he would like to know. He just wants to fill in the history of this Tbird for that missing period and find out what their intentions were for this Tbird. Was it an attempt to create a racing car but still keep the interior looking stock? Was it a racing conversion that was never completed for some reason? Does the car have any historical significance, etc.? Should he try to restore it to it's OEM original status, or leave it the way it is? Modify it further, etc.? Here are some additional pictures he sent me. Someone, for whatever reason, thought it should have two additional headlights. So they installed them in the grill. What the idea was about modifying the top, I have no idea.. Here are a few things that Mark sent me about this Tbird.

"I went out to the old Bird that has been setting waiting patiently since the late 70ís for me and took a couple pictures for you. Makes me want to go work on her now! I also found some old snap shots of the 60 SR taken about the time I got married and I will try to simply scan them so you can see a bit of what is there.

In these pictures, you will see the interior frozen in time since 1980 approximately. I put the floor shifter in and the gauges and tape deck. I replaced the dash. Seats original. Steering wheel is original. And I see it has just over 50,000 miles on it. I could not remember. I know we got it with 31,000 on it. So I put about 20,000 miles on it myself."

He also said this about his '60 Golde Top.

"My only purpose is to show you how the SR wheel wells were opened up. This is the sunroof that had the wind bar and rear antenna. It has the smooth roof band and had screw on rear fender bars. This car has the 430 and automatic transmission and power brakes and steering. No AC though. This picture was taken in 1984."

Here are the pictures of the '59 Tbird with the additional external modifications that you had not seen yet, in the other pictures, made prior to Mark's Dad buying the car, and what modifications Mark made to the interior. The black and white pic is the only one I have of the '60 SR so far.
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  #36  
Old 01-07-2011, 08:10 AM
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Default A '59 Mystery Tbird Set Up For Racing...

Mark sent me a couple of more pictures of his '59 Tbird. The interior shot of the steering wheel shows that there is no POWER STEERING wording around the center of the steering wheel as there is on mine or other Power Steering equipped Tbirds. Nor is there the usual PRNDL showing because this Tbird does not have an automatic transmission. There is another shot of the Data Plate also. Here is what Mark said.

"I have one interior picture that shows the center steering wheel cover with no power steering (rare!) and the steering column top end without the automatic trans inserts. It also barely shows the odometer at about 50,000 miles."

Here are a couple of more pix.
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  #37  
Old 01-07-2011, 09:32 AM
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Default More Information From Mark

Mark sent me this information from the Spring, 1975 issue of Thunderbird Illustrated... The quote here attributed to Alex Tremulis runs counter to what Ford was doing at the same time... Providing Holman & Moody with carte blanche access to the Wixom and Atlanta plants to build '59 Tbirds for racing... Perhaps that is the reason Ford pulled those 5 cars from that event and destroyed them. But that does not make sense to me to pull them because it was decided that "the Thunderbird shouldn't be subjected to the racing image". Was there some in-fighting over racing going on at Ford at this time? Who know? Henry Ford seems to have thrown his full support to racing to make Ford a dominant force in it. To learn more about Alex Tremulis, go here. http://www.coachbuilt.com/des/t/tremulis/tremulis.htm

Here is what Mark found...

"From the Spring 75 issue of Thunderbird Illustrated. The article is about Fords Advanced (My Comment-notice the word "Advance" - "Advancier"?) Design Studio lead designer Alex Tremulis. The article goes on about various involvements with the early T-birds and speed trials and Pan Am Road races etc etc. And then this obscure comment that is in quotes attributed to him during his interview with Thunderbird Illustrated. And I repeat here: "Something that few people remember today is the fact that in 1959 the Ford Motor Company went back to Daytona, this time with the 1959 Thunderbird. They built up five cars. They had 3 speed transmissions with overdrives, heavy duty brakes, special spring rates, and shocks. Those cars might have been a dramatic revelation to people if they had been run, but at the last minute, someone in management decided that the Thunderbird shouldn't be subjected to the racing image" " I believe they destroyed four of the cars, but I was lucky enough to be able to buy one of the five automobiles." (My Comment - But here was Holman-Moody running '59 Tbirds at Daytona built from parts supplied or obtained from Ford with the blessing of Henry Ford! Marks comments continue...) His comments go on about speeds with the top up or down, implying a convertible which would not be mine of course. But Tremulis car designs used side vents because he was very interested in wind up lift and was always running tests on that. My car would have been his kind of car, especially since he was asked in the mid 50's to build up the Thunderbirds for the future speed trials and races. An Advanced (My Comment - Advancier?) Thunderbird...........he liked naming his designs too

Interesting stuff huh.........did Ford build some of their own cars? Maybe so? Other than a convertible, mine would fit his mechanical description and certainly fit his mentality for design.

Just food for thought.

mark"

I report.... You decide!

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

Contact me via Private Message for my email address, or (Cell) 210-875-1411 (Home) 210-674-5781
http://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm

Last edited by YellowRose : 01-07-2011 at 02:38 PM.
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  #38  
Old 01-07-2011, 10:49 AM
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Default Check This Out!

Alexander was exchanging posts with Dr. Warpeha ~ Birdboy back in 2003 about building a replica of the #73 Tbird! Here is the link to it. The good doctor did it. I had no idea that he was a member of Squarebirds until I ran across this link a few minutes ago because one of our members was looking at it!

http://www.squarebirds.org/vbulletin...hread.php?t=32
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  #39  
Old 01-07-2011, 11:14 AM
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Default The Feb. 1959 Daytona 500 Race Video

JohnG posted this link to the video of this race back in 2009. If the final shot was taken at the line, then there is no doubt in my mind as to who won this race... If you want to learn more about Tbirds in NASCAR search on NASCAR on this Forum.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D4ouyPmHoWU
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Thunderbird Registry #33025 VTCI #11178

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  #40  
Old 01-07-2011, 11:56 AM
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So this begs the question: was Henry Ford II interested in racing?? In 1959 he was in his next to last year as President and soon to become CEO.

By 1963 he was in negotiations to purchase no less than Ferrari! There were to be a consumer car division and a racing division. Interesting story - see

http://www.automobilemag.com/feature...ies/index.html
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