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 02-20-2012, 06:52 AM
Griffin Griffin is offline
Experienced
 
Join Date: Feb 19 2012
Posts: 172
Griffin is on a distinguished road
Default New member needs some advice

Hi all

I've just joined Squarebirds and already I'm impressed with the knowledge and support your community offers. We don't have too many 58-60 convertibles down under and so I thought I'd start looking further afield.

I would like a 58, 59 or 60 model convertible (who wouldn't?) Hopefully my budget will stretch to a good original car or an older restoration. Naturally, my main concern is rust and the condition of the body so that has to be the first priority. I've owned and driven classic cars for many years but I'm not that familiar with the Squarebirds apart from loving the shape. So, I'm after any advice you can offer on what to look out for in order to find the best car possible especially since getting it over to Australia will add quite a bit to the cost.

I'd appreciate your opinions on prices and what you get for your money. I'm not after a show car, just a nice driver that doesn't have too many unpleasant surprises. I like the look of the 60 model but realise that it has issues with the power top. Coincidentally, I dropped by to see my mechanic last Saturday and he was working on a 60 convertible with a top that wouldn't close. The mechanism is quite complicated!

Perhaps we could start with opinions on these two cars (I donít know if they are still available):

http://inlandempire.craigslist.org/cto/2800098166.html

http://www.collectorcarads.com/Ford-Thunderbird/43708

Regards

Mark
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 02-20-2012, 07:04 AM
JohnG's Avatar
JohnG JohnG is offline
John
 
Join Date: Jul 28 2003
Posts: 2,228
JohnG is on a distinguished road
Default

hi Mark

Welcome to Squarebirds!!!

If you are looking for a convertible, my first suggestion would be to ponder the structural differences between those and hardtops. The Squarebirds are unibody cars - no traditional frame. Thus the roof is a key structural component of the hardtop. The convertible, lacking that, has additional reinforcement in the lower portions of the car.

I mention this for two reasons:

1) you need to check the lower portions of any car you look at for rust, not only for the usual cosmetic reasons but also as it might impact the integrity of the car. Really go over the rocker panels. Also , if feasible, remove the splash pans behind the front wheels and see what damage is hidden there. Rain water is supposed to pass all the way thru but if the area is clogged, it sits there and eats up the body.

2) there are any number of fake convertibles in existence - cars that were converted (no pun . . ) from hardtops. They look nice but lack the structural integrity mentioned above. Careful research on the VIN of the vehicle is needed, at the very least. The VIN may appear in two places: stamped into the frame, and on a data plate on the driver's door pillar. Not only do you run the risk of grossly overpaying, but end up with a poorly made car (there are horrror stories of such cars cracking the windshields under stress - - flexi flyers!)

Please keep us posted! There are many highly experienced and knowledgeable members here to help . . .

best wishes

John

Last edited by JohnG : 02-20-2012 at 07:07 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 02-20-2012, 10:36 AM
jopizz's Avatar
jopizz jopizz is offline
Excellent Auto Mechanic for over 40 years.
 
Join Date: Nov 23 2009
Posts: 4,759
jopizz is on a distinguished road
Default

The main areas to look at with any squarebird are the inner and outer rocker panels, quarter panels, radiator support and behind the splash shield as mentioned. With a convertible you also have floor pans, trunk pans and convertible top package tray as problem areas. The two cars you mentioned look to be excellent cars but if you are buying sight unseen it is always a gamble. The prices seem fairly reasonable for a nice convertible. If you are going to be buying one in the states and you can't see it in person I would post it here and see if any members who live nearby can look at it for you. It's worth asking. I am a big fan of the 58-59 convertible top mechanism over the fully automatic '60.

John
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 02-20-2012, 10:44 AM
Dan Leavens's Avatar
Dan Leavens Dan Leavens is offline
Moderator / Administrator
 
Join Date: Oct 4 2006
Posts: 4,502
Dan Leavens is on a distinguished road
Cool

Mark both of the cars on the links for sale seem to be well priced but as John stated need to be checked out thoroughly. The major concern is RUST unless the seller has already resolved this issue and replaced a lot of metal.
Convertibles due to the low production numbers are certainly rare but need to be inspected again as John mentioned very carefully. For example in 58 there were approx. 2800 converts produced, so dojng the math 54 years later just how many ( in good condition # 2 ) are really around

Of course then you need to factor in the top mechanism working / not working / costs to repair / weather etc. before deciding on purchasing. For example here in Calgary, Alberta Canada we have about 2 1/2 - 3 months of convert weather so, it wouldn't be a good idea to by one. I have a 69 MGB convert for my wife but drive it very little due to the weather. Take your time and check out several ones and remember " patience is a virtue" especially with these old classics.
__________________
Dano Calgary,Alberta Canada
Thunderbird Registry
58HT #33317 60HT # 23023
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 02-20-2012, 11:45 AM
YellowRose's Avatar
YellowRose YellowRose is offline
Super-Experienced and a HELLOFA nice guy
 
Join Date: Jan 21 2008
Posts: 11,831
YellowRose is on a distinguished road
Default New member needs some advice

Mark, you might want to check in country to see what be for sale there. I would suggest that you contact the Thunderbird Owners Club Of Australia, or other Down Under Tbird clubs, to see if they know of anything available. Here is the link to their website. If you can find a good candidate there it will certainly save you from having one shipped in.
http://www.toca.net.au/index.htm
__________________

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 : 02-20-2012 at 11:59 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 02-20-2012, 12:14 PM
tbird430's Avatar
tbird430 tbird430 is offline
Super-Experienced
 
Join Date: Jun 18 2007
Posts: 2,616
tbird430 is on a distinguished road
Arrow

And then you have the 1960 sunroof birds. Factory sunroofs with 352cid engines will be cheeper to buy in these models.

A great investment with the added fun of a "somewhat" convertible feel...

__________________

The 1960 Ford Thunderbird. The WORLD'S most wanted car....

VTCI Member#6287.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 02-20-2012, 05:54 PM
Griffin Griffin is offline
Experienced
 
Join Date: Feb 19 2012
Posts: 172
Griffin is on a distinguished road
Default

Thanks for that information everyone. I appreciate it. I recently sold a 1965 Mercedes 230SL and am very aware of the need for structural integrity in the sills and floors in a convertible. My car was very well maintained when I bought it 12 years ago but still required considerable rust repairs that only became apparent when I put it in for some minor body work.

Naturally, any car I am serious about will need to be inspected thoroughly. I know the pitfalls of buying a car sight unseen having done this a couple of times in Australia. I can use the services of a professional inspection service although unless they know the model well, I suspect the report will be pretty generic.

As to buying one in Australia, well, as many of you have said, convertibles are pretty rare in the US. They are very rare here and are priced accordingly. Iím seeing more coupes available now although not as many as first generation Thunderbirds or ones from the mid 60ís and later. Still, Iím keeping my eye out.

Iíll keep you posted.

Mark
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 02-21-2012, 09:08 AM
Anders's Avatar
Anders Anders is offline
Moderator
 
Join Date: Jan 19 2008
Posts: 2,160
Anders is on a distinguished road
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Griffin View Post
Hi all

I've just joined Squarebirds and already I'm impressed with the knowledge and support your community offers. We don't have too many 58-60 convertibles down under and so I thought I'd start looking further afield.

I would like a 58, 59 or 60 model convertible (who wouldn't?) Hopefully my budget will stretch to a good original car or an older restoration. Naturally, my main concern is rust and the condition of the body so that has to be the first priority. I've owned and driven classic cars for many years but I'm not that familiar with the Squarebirds apart from loving the shape. So, I'm after any advice you can offer on what to look out for in order to find the best car possible especially since getting it over to Australia will add quite a bit to the cost.

I'd appreciate your opinions on prices and what you get for your money. I'm not after a show car, just a nice driver that doesn't have too many unpleasant surprises. I like the look of the 60 model but realise that it has issues with the power top. Coincidentally, I dropped by to see my mechanic last Saturday and he was working on a 60 convertible with a top that wouldn't close. The mechanism is quite complicated!

Perhaps we could start with opinions on these two cars (I donít know if they are still available):

http://inlandempire.craigslist.org/cto/2800098166.html

http://www.collectorcarads.com/Ford-Thunderbird/43708

Regards

Mark
If I could, I would buy this baby on the spot. It have been at a museum, and looks fantastic. Love the color too.
http://www.jameslist.com/advert/3770...rd-thunderbird
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 6913742_large2.jpg (30.1 KB, 110 views)
__________________
..."Lil darling Ruth"
http://www.tbirdregistry.com/#33158
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 02-23-2012, 04:12 AM
Griffin Griffin is offline
Experienced
 
Join Date: Feb 19 2012
Posts: 172
Griffin is on a distinguished road
Default 1960 Convertible in Phoenix

Hi All

Is anyone familiar with this 60 convertible in Phoenix? It's on Craigslist. I've tried emailing but the message keeps bouncing back.

http://phoenix.craigslist.org/evl/cto/2811406229.html

Regards
Mark
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 02-23-2012, 06:52 AM
JohnG's Avatar
JohnG JohnG is offline
John
 
Join Date: Jul 28 2003
Posts: 2,228
JohnG is on a distinguished road
Default

factory tonneau cover ????????
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 06:02 AM.

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.