1957Birdman

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  1. I agree with auburnseeker. You may want to check with some of the T-Bird parts suppliers to see if they would have any interest. Some of the (Prestige Thunderbird for one) have a stock of cars that allow them to pull out a car to restore when the need arises. If the picture you posted is of the best car than it looks like they would need a lot of work, especially if they were originally east coast cars (potential rust problems). I hope the collection makes it to a good home. Lew Bachman 1957 T-Bird Colonial White
  2. 1957Birdman

    Name the title of the movie?

    Attack of the Bizarro Customizer.
  3. 1957Birdman

    Transmission fluid for a 62 plus

    Hi Andy, I believe that it is Type F. What does your owners manual say? Of course do you know the history of the car? Of course somewhere along the line the transmission may have been rebuilt and the fluid switched to Dexron, which seems to be a popular upgrade. Regards, Lew Bachman 1957 T-Bird Colonial White
  4. 1957Birdman

    1956 Ford Thunderbird

    Hi Larry, If you don't mind my asking, what is your goal in restoring this car? The reason I ask is it looks like a pretty nice car as it sits. If your goal is to create a show car then it makes some sense to do a body off frame restoration. Of course by the time you are finished you will have spent more than you will ever get out of it if you sell it. If everything is rusted out underneath then doing the body off is the way to go. On the other hand, you would be money ahead buying a better car and enjoying it now. I think about these things since I am now over age 65 and I would rather enjoy my car more instead of having it laid up being restored. Trimacar will tell you that he considers these cars commodities since so many of them have survived and it is not hard to get a good car at a reasonable price. The high dollar cars are the 57 E and F code cars. Anyway there is no wrong answer here, either way you will have a nice car. Enjoy it. Regards, Lew Bachman 1957 Colonial White T-Bird
  5. 1957Birdman

    1956 Ford Thunderbird

    Larry, Fordrodsteven is correct. CTCI member Dave Tulowitzky maintains a T-Bird registry of known cars and through that he has calculated the percentages for each color. The other part is that there were also two-tone 1956 T-Birds that had a Colonial White body and a Fiesta Red top. Anyway, Fiesta Red was not a rare color for a 1956 T-Bird. Regards, Lew
  6. 1957Birdman

    1956 Ford Thunderbird

    Hi Larry, Please look at this link from the strat-talk forum: www.strat-talk.com/threads/what-is-the-correct-fiesta-red.160960/#post-903823 This link shows the Ditzler chart for Ford colors for 1956. It lists Fiesta Red with an asterisk and if you look at the legend at the bottom of the page you will notice that an asterisk indicates the color is also available on the Thunderbird for that year. You will also notice that three of the colors (Navajo Gray, Sage (Thunderbird) Green, and Thunderbird Gray) were for the Thunderbird only. Fiesta Red was definitely a color used on the 1956 Ford, either on the whole car or in two-tone combinations such as Raven Black and Fiesta Red or Colonial White and Fiesta Red. I seriously doubt the story about the 1956 Cadillac, it sounds like an urban legend to me. 1956 T-Bird production began on 10/17/1955 and that would be pretty late in the game to be making decisions on colors, especially for the main car production. When was the first fender produced? LEW
  7. 1957Birdman

    1955 Studebaker Commander *SOLD*

    I understand where Matt is coming from since I own a car that can have a number of variations of the Ford Y-Block that are visually similar except for the casting number and appear correct to the average observer. I found out many years after I bought my car that instead of a 292 I actually have a 312 that was originally in a 1958 Mercury. This fact means a zero point deduction if judged in an AACA show and it does not affect my enjoyment of the car. Okay, so the car Matt is selling does not have the absolute correct engine for that year. However, it is the correct engine for a mid-fifties Studebaker and will give someone a lot of enjoyment in the hobby. It least it doesn't have a 350 Chevy engine. I really think that "numbers matching" engines mean the most when talking about high dollar cars. Matt sells quality cars and I think this is one of them. Regards, Lew Bachman 1957 T-Bird Colonial White
  8. 1957Birdman

    1956 Ford Thunderbird

    Hi Larry, You have a very nice car and I hope you get a lot of enjoyment out from it. I'm am sorry your wife isn't with you to enjoy it. There are other T-Bird parts suppliers that are quite good including Prestige Thunderbird and Concours Auto Parts (they also have the leather interior so you may want to check with them for a price). Since the leather is configured the same way as the original vinyl that shouldn't be a problem and will be more comfortable. What is your source for the information on Fiesta Red paint? The reason I ask is that the color is not unique to the T-Bird. It was used on full size Fords also. I also believe that Ford used Ditzler, not Dupont as their paint supplier. Anyhow, I hope your restoration goes very well. Regards, Lew Bachman 1957 Colonial White
  9. 1957Birdman

    1957 ford thunderbird transmission issue

    In Gil Baumgartner's manual on running Early T'Birds in the 21st century he recommends running type F transmission fluid which is what I have used in my car for the last 20+ years. The original type A is no longer available since it was whale oil based. As for the other kinds of fluid, you will need to know if the transmission was rebuilt what fluid they used. I guess if you drain the fluid, torque converter, and do a transmission flush then you would be able to start fresh with Dexron III. I am no expert on this so I probably wouldn't take the chance. I would suggest that you pick up a copy of the Ford-o-matic shop manual from CTCI and have the shop use it to trouble-shoot your problem. Let us know what they find. Regards, Lew Bachman 1957 Colonial White
  10. 1957Birdman

    1956 ford thunderbird

    When was the last time this car was driven? To get it back in driving condition will probably take the following at a minimum: Complete brake service including new lines, hoses, wheel cylinders, master cylinder, and brake linings Cleaning out gas tank and changing the hose to the fuel pump, rebuilt carburetor, etc. A transmission service New tires New battery Going through the suspension to make sure it is all right. In other words, a rebuilt engine is only the first step to getting the car on the road. Is this an east coast car? From the amount of rust underneath I would guess it is. That is just another fact to consider. I agree with Trimacar, better to put the money into buying a better car. Good luck with it, Lew Bachman 1957 Colonial White
  11. 1957Birdman

    1957 ford thunderbird transmission issue

    Hi To Hanby, Welcome to the forum! Is this a recent occurrence with your car? According to the 1956-57 Fordomatic Shop Manual the most probable cause of "No Drive in Dr." is the Front Band needing adjustment. It could also be the valve body. Have you checked the transmission fluid recently, that could also be part of the problem? The Fordomatic Shop Manual is available from CTCI. Regards, Lew Bachman 1957 Colonial White
  12. 1957Birdman

    To FENDER or Not to Fender repair?

    I vote to replace with the NOS fender. Unless it is very expensive you will get a better result at a cheaper price than trying to repair it. Regards, Lew Bachman 1957 Colonial White T-Bird
  13. 1957Birdman

    Sweet 1957 Thunderbird around the corner....

    The "port" windows as Ford called them serve a real practical purpose, to eliminate a hazardous blind spot that 1955 T-Bird owners complained about when the driver needed to look back over his left shoulder. My car has them and they definitely help with visibility. Why round windows? That seems to be because they solved the problem of visibility with little additional expense. It also gave the car a bit of a nautical flair. There was another design that was tried but it didn't work as well as the port holes. You could order a 56 or 57 with or without the portholes, but most had the portholes. The better option is the soft top, just because it stores with the car and the owner does not need to worry about where to store the top when not in use. Lew Bachman 1957 Colonial White T-Bird
  14. 1957Birdman

    Sweet 1957 Thunderbird around the corner....

    I love those west coast T-Birds. Inca Gold (yellow) is a nice color that also looked good on the full size 57 Fords. As for values, the early T-Birds "suffer" these days from the fact that so many of them survived over the years. There were a little over 53,000 manufactured during the 3 years of production and I believe that at least half that number have survived. That is the main reason Corvettes of the same vintage go for higher prices. In 1955 Chevrolet produced 700 Corvettes and Ford produced 16,000 T-Birds. The other thing that has happened is the internet. When I was first interested in getting one of these cars the only place I had to look was in the local classifieds. Then there was Old Cars Weekly and Hemmings. Now you can look on the internet and see several hundred cars for sale any day. There a number of things that have gone down in value since the advent of the internet. The good news is that the selection allows someone to be more selective on the car they buy. Selection plus an excellent parts network will be an advantage of owning an early T-Bird for the foreseeable future. Lew Bachman 1957 Colonial White T-Bird
  15. 1957Birdman

    Question on Harmonic Balancer

    Hi Frank, The short answer is no, the damper is unique to the 1955-57 T-Birds. There are several unique parts used on the T-Bird because of the use of the fan shroud. These include the damper, spacer between the water pump and the engine, a different pulley on the generator, and differences in the power steering brackets. The dampers are available, but you will have to pay $$$ for one. I would suggest you call Rick at Prestige Thunderbird and/or Hill's Thunderbird Center and ask about the availability of one. You can also check with Damperdoctor and see what they may have. They also show up from time to time on Ebay. Good luck, Lew Bachman 1957 Colonial White