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1959 Hardtop w/A/C, project.

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  • 1959 Hardtop w/A/C, project.

    It is likely that I will be listing my T-Bird on Ebay pretty soon, but I thought I would post here to check for interest first.

    The car is a 1959 Hardtop with a 352 and Cruise-O-matic, factory A/C, power steering, and kelsey-hayes under-dash power brakes. The color is sandstone metallic, with a black and white interior (originally).


    Body: The car is pretty original and doesn't show evidence of much work or much care given to the body. It has the original paint, but none of it is in good shape and surface rust abounds, particularly on the trunk lid. Rust is overall minimal (surface rust aside). There is rust damage along the bottom edge of the radiator support beam, a couple of small holes in the trunk floor and more severe damage at the base of the spare tire well (it's weak there), and a couple of holes in the front of the driver floor pan (which have been patched temporarily with galvanized steel riveted in). The trunk is the worst looking place. The floor pans have been coated with rustoleum to arrest the spread of rust, which was very minimal (only the aformentioned holes). As for dents, there are 3 worth noting. One is in the passenger side torpedo, which could be filled or the spare door I have could be installed. One is at the front, near where the bird mounts. The other is at the rear on the passenger side, below the fin and in front of the bumper. Both are reperable. There are several "dings" here and there. The car has all exterior trim, and much of it is in very good shape (esp. the chrome spear tips and thunderbird scripts). Both bumpers have dents and need to be straightened and rechromed or replaced. Glass is in decent shape, with some fog and a small crack in the driver side window.

    Mechanical: I removed and rebuilt the engine. I could not afford a full rebuild, where every detail is checked and perfected by a machine shop. I had the crankshaft checked and polished though, and the numbers showed evidence of the engine receiving a full rebuild recently in its operational life. The condition of the bearings and absence of some internal components, such as the camshaft button and spring, support that theory. I replaced ALL engine bearings and installed a new camshaft with the spring and button. New oil pump as well. The fuel pump, distributor, all other ignition components are new, including voltage regulator. Generator works well. It has new bearings and brush springs. Armature was tested and okayed. There have been so many things I did... I can't remember all of them but I have receipts for almost every purchase pertaining to this car. The fuel tank is new. The rebuilt motor runs well, but I have had some trouble tuning it. The carburetor is from a 1964 352 application and the jets are not correct in it. I suspect it has other flaws. I would replace the carburetor with a rebuilt, correct original. The car does drive, but suffers from the classic sloppy shifter. Also, I have yet to experience a first to second gear shift. It will shift from 2nd to 3rd though. As per the discussion in this forum, most likely a band adjustment will take care of the shifting issue. ALL brake lines, steel and rubber, have been replaced, and the wheel cylinders checked and honed (they were in good shape). Stopping is quite good, as far as I can tell, with the power assist and drum brakes. The power steering is not connected and I don't know what it needs. The pump looks spotless inside but does not turn as easily as it should. It may just need some fluid worked through it. The A/C has not been hooked up in decades. All parts are there but nothing works presently. Heater valve leaks and is not in circuit. Heater core is in excellent condition. Radiator was recored.

    Interior: The seats were reupholstered at some point in solid black with vertical ribs. They look very nice and are in good shape. The door panels are now red where they were originally white. The headliner needs to be replaced. The dash pad has been replaced some time ago but was not cut correctly, so the fit is mediocre. It is not supple anymore and is brittle instead, so there isn't much that can be done with it, but it looks pretty good as-is. I wasn't going to do anything with it any time soon. All instruments except the clock. Heater and climate controls are not hooked up. All interior trim is present and in decent shape except for the dome lamp cover. No seat belts.

    All exterior lights and signals work properly.

    I'm not sure what else to say about it just now, but feel free to contact me with questions or interest. I have many pictures that I can send to anyone who wants to see them. They are large files and high-resolution images.

    As for the price, I haven't decided what exactly I need for it, but I expect it will be in the $2-4k range.

  • #2
    RE: 1959 Hardtop w/A/C, project.

    would you consider selling me the stock 5 blade fan blade that came with the car if I send you a stainless steel 5 blade that will fit your car?


    • #3
      RE: 1959 Hardtop w/A/C, project.

      Sorry Jbird, I'd prefer to keep things as original and together as possible. Even if I don't keep the car. Thanks for asking all the same!


      • #4
        RE: 1959 Hardtop w/A/C, project.

        I should note that I took care of the transmission issues. It was the fault of the governor valve. Now the car shifts fine.