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  #1  
Old 05-30-2012, 06:24 PM
lawyercalif lawyercalif is offline
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Default From "Ebay" to "Betty Mae" A Restoration Story

Its been about a year ago since I bought a 1959 T Bird Convertible on Ebay for the fantastic price of $7500.00. A good price for a Squarebird Convertible but there is always a reason for a bargain, you usually get what you pay for. So here is what I have done to the car up to today, I will not give all the prices because it would scare me if I ever figured it out. Suffice it to say my $7500.00 car is now about a $20,000.00 plus car.

1. Shipping from Michigan to California $1500.00
2. Brakes were locked so I rebuilt entire original brake system (Now I am taking most of it out and putting in Power Disc Brakes).
3. Car would stall out for no particular reason, put in new Gas Tank (that was the problem), after rebuilding carburetor and installing Petronix Ignition.
4. Discovered that the floors and sub rockers were rusted out. The quarter panels had been replaced previously and were pop riveted in place, rivets showing through the bondo. Had body shop do complete rebuild of floors, subframe, wheelhouses, quarter panels, etc.
5. New Paint
6. New Interior, including side glass, fix power windows.
7. New Top
8. New Dash and Classic Instruments (got rid of need for CVR)
9. New sound system
10. Then I noticed a knock in the engine. So replaced with a modified 390, Edelbrock Performer Intake, MSD Ignition, Holley Carb, Hightorque Starter, etc.
11. Rebuilt C6 Transmission
12. New Rear Springs, New control arm bushings, rebuilt power steering pump.
13. New Radiator
14. To switch to disc brakes, I bought 15" Crown Victoria Wheels which I am having chrome plated.
15. Next month I plan to buy Coker Wide White Walls.
16. Install the Power Disc Brakes, I have already purchased all parts, and have mocked it up on my parts car.

So there you have it. I am told I will be getting my car back tomorrow. Once I have the new wheels and whitewalls I will take more pictures. This has been a long expensive journey, but it has been worth it. She looks great and will run as good as she looks. She is now worthy of being called "Betty Mae" after my dearly departed wife.

Last edited by lawyercalif : 05-30-2012 at 07:25 PM.
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  #2  
Old 05-30-2012, 07:52 PM
Joe Johnston Joe Johnston is offline
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Years ago I had a dentist that was into Packards. He told me the 2 basic rules of the old car hobby.

1) Don't just buy, but read all the manuals for your car

2) Keep all the receipts but NEVER add them up!

You have made a lot of progress in a year and soon will be able to really enjoy it!!
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  #3  
Old 05-30-2012, 08:44 PM
Richard D. Hord Richard D. Hord is offline
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Hey Daniel,
Congratulation, and thanks for saving another Squarebird! Enjoy
Richard D. Hord
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Registry #33436
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  #4  
Old 05-30-2012, 11:06 PM
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YellowRose YellowRose is offline
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Default From "Ebay" to "Betty Mae" A Restoration Story

Daniel, thank you for sharing the story of saving your '59 Tbird "Betty Mae". I can relate to a lot of it. Also, my condolences regarding loss of your "Betty Mae". I can certainly relate to that also... It has been 14 years since I lost my Faye to ovarian cancer. There is not a day that goes by that I do not think of her.... The website I created in her memory and as an informational and educational way of warning other women around the world still runs. I have long ago lost track of the number of women who have told me that the information there helped save their lives. It is not always so, unfortunately. Anyone interested in viewing it can click on this link. Please share it with the woman you love. The life it saves might be hers... You might have a box of tissue nearby...
http://fayclark.home.texas.net/
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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

rayclark07"at"att.net (Home) 210-674-5781 (Cell) 210-875-1411
http://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm
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  #5  
Old 05-31-2012, 12:28 AM
lawyercalif lawyercalif is offline
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Ray, sorry to hear your wife also died of cancer. My wife was a wonderful woman, but she could not kick the cigarette habit until after she got lung cancer. I had thirty six good years with her. When I met her I had a blue 59 Thunderbird. We always wished we had kept it. So she would be proud of "Betty Mae".

I just visited your wife's web site. It is a wonderful thing you are doing there.
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Old 05-31-2012, 12:58 AM
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YellowRose YellowRose is offline
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Default From "Ebay" to "Betty Mae" A Restoration Story

Thank you, Daniel. My wife was also a smoker, but after nearly losing her life to ovarian cancer during two operations, she quit cold turkey. I think she would have survived for a longer period of time if it had not been for a necrotizing fasciitis bacterial infection that she got while in hospital. As it was, she survived for three years and we got to celebrate our 40th year of marriage with many friends and family.

My Yellow Rose Of Texas is my tribute to her, my best friend, and the love we shared. After having the paint scheme changed from Casino Cream and white, to bright yellow and white, everyone started calling her "Tweety Bird". That is okay with me because she loved Tweety Bird and Sylvester Pussy Cat. So they ride shotgun with me, along with a little guy we picked up in Pennsylvania many years ago. If you look closely, you will see the long stem yellow roses she loved so well that I had put in the center console, the seat side panels and in the white, trimmed in yellow floor mats encased in clear plastic. Also, when the doors are closed the white paneling from the kick panel back through the door panels to the rear seat area shows the outline of a Thunderbird wing. The exterior paint scheme and interior layout is all my design work. Here is a pic.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg YellowRose8sm.jpg (81.3 KB, 79 views)
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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

rayclark07"at"att.net (Home) 210-674-5781 (Cell) 210-875-1411
http://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm
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  #7  
Old 05-31-2012, 02:07 AM
lawyercalif lawyercalif is offline
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Tweety Bird is a very special Bird indeed. Love all the personal touches. You have done a great job with it.
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  #8  
Old 05-31-2012, 02:48 AM
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YellowRose YellowRose is offline
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Default From "Ebay" to "Betty Mae" A Restoration Story

You and I have been blessed with wonderful women for wives. We could not ask for more. We are all looking forward to seeing pix of "Betty Mae" once you get her back home. You have done a wonderful job of restoring her. Please consider this.... While the weather is nice, drive her to a really nice location with a nice background and pose her... Take some really good quality, large digital pictures (300dpi, 3,000pixel, or 3MP or even larger) and email them to me. Shoot mainly from the side or angled down the side, from the front or back. A good angled shot from the front down the side so you can see the front, down either the driver or passenger side to the tail end is good. I want to consider her for the upcoming 2013 Squarebirds Calendar... Choose a background that is nice, but that does not focus the picture on the background, but on "Betty Mae".
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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

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 : 05-31-2012 at 01:17 PM.
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  #9  
Old 05-31-2012, 11:36 AM
lawyercalif lawyercalif is offline
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Will do. I think there may be some place here in Southern California where a convertible might look at home. I appreciate the offer to put her in the calendar. I will do it probably next month after I get my wheels back from the chrome shop and mount the white walls.
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  #10  
Old 05-31-2012, 04:57 PM
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Deblib Deblib is offline
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Daniel and Ray, so sorry for your losses. I knew you called Rose your tribute car, but didn't connect the dots that your wife was gone.

Your rose is a beautiful car, with many special touches! Sounds like Daniel's will be as well! Can't wait to see it.
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