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1958-1960 Tonneau Cover Revisited....

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  • 1958-1960 Tonneau Cover Revisited....

    One of our new Squarebird owners is looking for a 1958-1960 Tonneau Cover for his '60 Convertible. I have contacted every major Tbird parts house supplier that I know of, including those who have parts cars, to see who might have one. No one.... That wants to sell one.. I have talked with Pat Wilson, who has the molds for the 1958-1960, 1961-1963, and 1964-1966 Tbird Tonneau Covers. The latter two are still being sold by Pat, $799 for the Bulletbird, and $899 for the Flairbird. I think the cost for the one for the Squarebird was in the same price range when it was available.

    Here is the rub. Pat says there is no market to manufacture any more Squarebird Tonneau Covers, so some years ago, he took them out of production. Some Squarebird owners have bought the covers for the Bulletbird or Flairbird and had someone modify them to make them fit a Squarebird. Pat does not recommend that you do that, that you try and find a Squarebird version. I am told that the Squarebird Tonneau Cover is wider than those for the Bulletbird or Flairbird, (both are 64x44x24, and weigh between 70 & 85lbs), and they have to be extended in width to make them fit the Squarebird. I have also been told that the width from the INSIDE of the rear quarter window from the passenger side to the INSIDE of the rear quarter window of the Drivers side, is 60 1/2"... I would appreciate anyone who has a 1958 - 1960 Convertible (or a Hardtop because they should all be the same) please measure that spacing between them and confirm that 60 1/2" or whatever you come up with. That allows the owner to roll up or down those two windows when they have the cover in place. Also, anyone who owns a Squarebird Convertible, I would appreciate the Length, Width, and the 3rd measurement of the Cover on your Squarebird...

    Now... IF you are seriously interested in buying and installing a Tonneau Cover on your 1958-1960 Squarebird Convertible, and paying the price he is asking for one, please let me know here... You can simply post a YES. The only way we are going to be able to convince Pat to start up production of that Cover again for the Squarebird is to show him that there is sufficient demand for him to do so... I have no idea how many orders that might require.

    I have done days of research, and contacting everyone I know, to see, if, by chance, someone has one of these in their warehouse and does not know it. I have been told by a very reliable source, that one of our Major Tbird parts suppliers, when asked a couple of years ago, if they had one for the Squarebird, said NO! But then he went into the warehouse and found ONE that they did not know they had, called the guy back and said YES, we have one. I was told that it was a prototype version and not one of the originals and had to be modified to make it fit. That person owns it now, and is NOT about to let it go, because it is going on his Squarebird Convertible. As a result of that, that led me to call ALL our major Tbird parts houses and asked them to check their warehouses for a Squarebird Tonneau Cover... NO Luck with that, as they did not find any! Finding one of these is nearly impossible now, UNLESS, someone owns one, does not use it much, and would like to sell it. If that is the case, PLEASE contact me and let me know. This Ole Bloodhounds Nose is getting raw, keeping it to the ground so long, trying to sniff one of these out....
    Last edited by YellowRose; August 28th, 2019, 01:29 PM.

    Ray Clark - Squarebirds Administrator
    The Terminator.....
    Contact me via Private Message for my email address, or Call (Cell) 210-875-1411

    https://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm

  • #2
    Ray : A bit hard to measure because I have a tonneau in place and the top is up . These are approximately . Inside of quarter window at front by door, approximately 58 1/2 " to 59 " . The depth from package tray to front of quarter window trim where tonneau would rest is approximately 30 " . Windows go up and down with no interference . Sorry but that is all I can measure at the moment with top up and car inside .

    Note : This is not a Tonneau from Bob's Birdhouse who used to sell them or Pat Wilson's .

    Martin.

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    • #3
      Hi Martin, and thank you for trying to get accurate measurements. That is close to what I was told for width, which was 60 1/2", approximately. I see that you know yours is not a Bob's Birdhouse or Pat Wilson tonneau cover. I spoke with Howard Prout a few minutes ago about his. He did sell his Tbird complete with the tonneau cover. He said that the problem with his was not the width, but the placement around the seats. It did not line up correctly. He also said that he bought his from a Tbird parts house in New York, but he could not remember the name. It was Tbird something or other, he thought. So far, I keep striking out in trying to find one for the Squarebird.

      Ray Clark - Squarebirds Administrator
      The Terminator.....
      Contact me via Private Message for my email address, or Call (Cell) 210-875-1411

      https://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm

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      • #4
        If anyone can get the width measurements from rear window to rear window, as above, off their 1958-1960 Squarebird hardtop or Convertible with NO tonneau cover on it, I would appreciate it. From inside rear quarter window on the passenger side to inside quarter window on the driver side... Martin had difficulty getting a really goo reading with his cover in place. Hardtops will not have that problem, or convertibles with the cover off... Thanks!

        Ray Clark - Squarebirds Administrator
        The Terminator.....
        Contact me via Private Message for my email address, or Call (Cell) 210-875-1411

        https://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm

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        • #5
          Ray - does this help. I can get to my car right now easily. This is from stainless trim to stainless trim.

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          • #6
            Martin sent me two drop dead gorgeous pictures of a bright yellow 1960 Squarebird Convertible with a tonneau cover on it. Notice it also has the hooded spotlight/side view mirror on the drivers side. Also, in one shot, I can barely see what looks like a couple of decals on the passenger side of the front window, but you cannot make out whose they are... That does not appear to be an OEM 1960 Tbird color, though the Ditzler Paint Chart does list Paint Code G Yosemite Yellow as a 1960 paint color. However, the VTCI OFS for 1960 Squarebirds or Automotive Mile Posts does not.. Here is what Martin had to say about this Tbird, and I will post the pix plus one of another gorgeous Squarebird with the tonneau cover and the continental cover that belongs to Sal Scheri's son now... And also Martin's gorgeous 1958 Squarebird with tonneau cover, a past Tbird Of The Month in the Squarebirds.org Calendar...

            "Ray: Here is a picture of a 1960 convertible that the owner modified a ’64 style tonneau for. This car is located in Alberta or British Columbia I believe. Gives you an idea what it would look like and that it is possible. Not a bad look as I like the ’64/ ’66 style the best. A Bullitbird, or ’61 to ’63 will not work as it is flat all along the back at the package tray. The only ones with a dip or valley are the squarebirds and the flairbirds. When Bob Mench first brought out the reproduction squarebird tonneau I saw it down in Carlisle Pa. As soon as I saw it, without measuring anything, I told him that it did not look right at the seat pockets. I already had mine at that time. No wonder they did not sell or got complaints from anyone that did buy. Like Howard and a few others that I saw installed."

            As for the one in the picture, it looks like they cut off about 3 1/2 to 4“ behind the soft padding/vinyl covered section. Also, the squarebird is straight across the back at the flipper/package tray where as the flairbird has a slight curve to it. So, the ’64 tonneau would be that much longer at least. If you look at the picture you will see it cut right behind the edge trim section. I measured my " factory original“ 1964 tonneau and it measures, at its widest point where it would lay on the quarter window interior trim at 58 1/2". May be onto something here. Have to re-measure the depth and the width of the valley on the trunk/package tray and the seat centre to centre for the pockets.. Martin."

            When you look at the picture of the rear of the car, you can see what Martin said about having to cut off about 3 1/2-4" to make it fit. Otherwise that additional length on the 1964 tonneau cover would have overlapped the next section behind it.. Martin also said this. "I sold one just like this last year and it was a factory original. About the same colour with black vinyl padding. Still have one more ’64 tonneau and also a factory original. It is red with black vinyl pad. All the factory originals came with black vinyl padding.The one on our ’66 is a reproduction."

            In doing research on tonneau covers, Martin confirmed some of the details about them, as did Jim Mills, the VTCI 1964-1966 Technical Editor. Jim said Original tonneau covers should have padded headrests in the recessed area which all help to I.D. the originals. If you look on the underside, if original, it will be pretty raw with exposed glass reinforcement only paint would be overspray of original factory paint and it should have a number written on it with a wax lumber crayon witch was sequential number in the order they were made. Jim Mills VTCI 1964-66 Technical Editor.

            I think it was Jim who said that there were only 300 Original tonneau covers made for the Bulletbirds and the 1964 Flairbird, if I got that right. Since then, others came along, and made aftermarket versions for the Squarebirds, Bulletbirds, and Flairbirds.
            Last edited by YellowRose; August 30th, 2019, 12:25 AM.

            Ray Clark - Squarebirds Administrator
            The Terminator.....
            Contact me via Private Message for my email address, or Call (Cell) 210-875-1411

            https://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm

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            • #7
              Chris, thanks for posting that pic! Yup, that does help! Nearly 59" from side to side... Martin is doing some additional investigation into how one of his Flairbird tonneau covers will sit on his Squarebird and I will let ya know what he has to say about that...
              Last edited by YellowRose; September 1st, 2019, 02:40 PM.

              Ray Clark - Squarebirds Administrator
              The Terminator.....
              Contact me via Private Message for my email address, or Call (Cell) 210-875-1411

              https://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm

              Comment


              • #8
                Thanks to great detective work by Dan Leavens and Martin ~ OUR5T8BIRD, we now know that beautiful 1960 Squarebird Convertible was owned by Harry Ashbrook of Kelowna, BC. I had an enjoyable conversation with Ken Carr, President of the Okanagan Classic Tbird Club in BC, and Harry's Daughter, both who gave me considerable information regarding Harry, and his '60 Squarebird and other vehicles. Harry did restorations on classic cars. He is alive but he is not at all well and has some memory problems. As his health declined he decided to give his '60 Thunderbird Convertible to his grandson that lives in Alberta. Harry has a daughter Cheri, she is the mother of Harry’s grandson. Harry was almost a founding member of the CTC club. He joined about 3 months after the inception. He is a past president of the CTC and has attended the Kelowna S&S for years. I have encouraged Cheri to suggest to her Son, that he should consider joining our Forum so we can assist him in maintaining it, and help find parts for it as needed.

                Ray Clark - Squarebirds Administrator
                The Terminator.....
                Contact me via Private Message for my email address, or Call (Cell) 210-875-1411

                https://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm

                Comment


                • #9
                  Some additional information on tonneau covers..

                  After the 1962 and 1963 Bulletbird production run Ford also adapted the tonneau for the 1964 Thunderbird body, and although there wasn’t a formal Sports Roadster model, both the cover and the wire wheels were stand-alone optional items for regular convertibles. They weren’t offered by the factory in 1965 or 1966, but the tonneau would still fit the later convertibles and some were sold by dealers or added later by collectors. Others started manufacturing tonneau covers for the Squarebirds, and since the 1964-1966 Flairbird bodies are the same, the 1964 tonneau covers fits right in place on them.

                  http://automotivemileposts.com/tbird...equipment.html


                  Ray Clark - Squarebirds Administrator
                  The Terminator.....
                  Contact me via Private Message for my email address, or Call (Cell) 210-875-1411

                  https://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Hey guys thanks for the info on toneau covers

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I had an interesting conversation again with Ken Banks in Ohio, regarding the tonneau covers he has been selling. Here is what he told me about them. About 25 years ago, he and a friend traveled to Tennessee looking for parts for Tbirds, following up on some leads they had regarding them. They met a guy who had a lot of parts, had a Squarebird and a Bulletbird also, and some other classic cars. He wanted a lot for the parts, but while looking through things they spotted a bunch of tonnea covers up against a wall stacked on each other. So they started talking with him about them. From what they understood, he had taken a tonneau cover off his Bulletbird, (I think), and asked someone who repairs boats close by and worked in epoxy, if he could make tonneau covers for him. Apparently, the guy knocked out 25 of them for him and he tried to sell them at S&S events, and did not move them because there was no hardware for them and not a lot of demand therefore. So he stopped trying to sell them and they sat there for quite some time, until Ken and his friend came along. After dickering with him for awhile, they settled on a price and they bought all 25 of them and hauled them back home. Then they went about obtaining the necessary hardware for them. Over the years his friend sold the 15 he had, and Ken sold all but the two he has left. I think that there was a combination of 1962-1964 tonneau covers they obtained, and I think some Squarebird covers also. Ken said that over the years he sold 1962 tonneau covers to Squarebird owners and they fit.... He knows this to be a fact, because he knows some of those people he sold them to, and if they had not fit, he would have been hearing about it. So, now Ken has one Bulletbird tonneau cover that was spoken for and one Bulletbird tonneau cover that is still available, for $350 including the hardware, plus shipping, is my understanding. The shipping may cost more than the cover... Anyone interested can get the details from him by calling him. Keep in mind, these are not Bob Mench, T-Boid, or Pat Wilson tonneau covers. These are knockoffs made from one of those previous versions according to the story. His phone number is: 937-845-3450.

                      I am going to post pix that Ken sent me. One of a Squarebird with a 1962 Bulletbird installed on it. One of a Bulletbird with the Bulletbird Tonneau cover. Also some pix of width and length measurements that he made of his Bulletbird tonneau cover. Also a picture of it. So here are the measurements first, followed by the pix.

                      Tonneau Cover Measurements:

                      1. Width = 61 inches

                      2. Length = 43.5 inches

                      3. Heigth = 27 inches

                      Seat on center width = 31.25 inches

                      Regards, Ken Bender


                      Ray Clark - Squarebirds Administrator
                      The Terminator.....
                      Contact me via Private Message for my email address, or Call (Cell) 210-875-1411

                      https://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm

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