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Everything posted by poci1957

  1. Hi Matt, I always respect your expertise and candor and I think you are right about 60 years of spotty refurbishment attempts being their usual problem. They were indeed recognized as something special very early and had a following by the time they were 20 years old. I would venture to say most were restored in the 1970s and 1980s so they were restored at 20-30 years old and now the restoration work is 30+ years old, complete with 30 year old tires and rubber. My dad bought a 1955 T-bird in 1980 and that was my first entry into the old car world, so I have a soft spot for them. But alas I am not blind to their faults and unfortunately Bernie's comments about the Budd bodies are all correct, Todd C (PS--Bernie correctly says T-bird bodies did not fit and flow like a GM body but I would add neither did Corvettes from the 1950s-70s)
  2. Well that is pretty much my take, with the added point that leaving your soft top folded while the hardtop is on will ruin it. . Glad that I am not missing the logic on this, thanks, Todd C
  3. Hey Matt, just an aside on this, sports car people in general always love to refer to "both tops" and T-Bird people in particular. What do your customers REALLY tell you about the ownership experience dealing with both tops? I have always thought storing a removable hardtop to be a hassle more trouble than it is worth, is it just me? Todd C
  4. I saw this on Facebook last week and thought it was very clever using an "image-in-the-mirror" appearance like an ambulance:
  5. When I was learning upholstery in the mid-1980s my mentors said the same of Wiss trimmers shears. I made it a point to buy several all of which I still use, it is an honor to have a Wiss family member join us here on the site, Todd C
  6. Hello Flying A, and welcome to the AACA forum. I am speaking to you from the Pontiac side of GM and have long been intrigued by the logistics (or is that illogic?) of GM shipping bodies between plants. SHORT ANSWER I believe Chevy convertible bodies in 1955-57 were indeed built at the Lansing Fisher Body plant and shipped out to their respective assembly plants, so your car is likely correct. IIRC all Pontiac convertible bodies were built there too in this manner in 1955-56 (station wagons also worked this way out of Cleveland). To further check numbers (at least on Pontiacs) you can get the convertible production number and the Atlanta plant serial numbers and see if both body and chassis appear to be from about the same time of the year. LONGER ANSWER and the interesting part of this example to me is that in 1957 all Pontiac convertible bodies were moved to Pontiac (MI) Fisher Body. And now even though the Fisher plant in Pontiac was adjacent to the Pontiac Assembly plant they STILL shipped convertible bodies to the branch plants for final assembly, probably 10-15% of the time. I ask would it not be easier to ship an entire assembled car on wheels rather than a painted body shell as an immobile unit? It all dates back to the earliest days of the automobile when building the rolling chassis and powertrain was the job of the MOTOR division and the responsibility for building a body was a different discipline and subcontracted to a coachbuilder (who had usually evolved from a carriage builder). GM merged in Fisher Body to be their in-house coachbuilder and the car was provided by two divisions—the car division to produce the rolling chassis and the front end sheet metal and Fisher Body to build the painted and trimmed body shell from the firewall back. SO Fisher would ship bodies from its plants to the car plants nearby in Detroit/Flint. As branch assembly plants were built around the country each usually had a Fisher plant nearby to feed it bodies and indeed Fisher was larger and ran more plants than each car division. And even though this division of work was rooted in the early 1900s it was the GM way until the mid-1980s. As Dave39 says, building a convertible or station wagon body rather than a normal sedan or hardtop was unique enough to justify a dedicated separate plant with nationwide shipping. Good luck with yours, Todd C
  7. I had not thought about that, yet another plus for the four post in a home garage. Indeed my 24ft space is actually more like 23.5 inside as frank questioned, Todd C
  8. This vent window comment is an excellent tip and the dash chrome was indeed my red flag on the Corvair. I agree the Mustang is not a bargain at $18,500 BUT note the seller said "negotiable" which means to me it could be a good deal if closer to $15,000 or maybe less. Upon in-person inspection that is, and Mustang convertibles are notorious rust buckets so an inspection is a must, Todd C
  9. A common issue to look for on old cars like these 1956-57 Chevys is their having been “messed with.” Many average cars for sale have been pieced together by someone of limited skill and/or budget just to turn a quick buck. They will have cheap quickie paint jobs and cheap quickie interiors that are a turnoff to experienced collectors but to a newcomer may not raise a red flag until it is too late. Likewise a mechanical example is that NO 1950s full size car had a floor shift so these were installed by a later owner and likely in an amateur fashion. Many of our group referred you to our own Matt Harwood who has a vintage car dealership, you might Google his site just to see a selection of honest cars. Others can chime in but I would say common clues to a car’s rough past to look for are: -seemingly shiny new paint but over tattered weather stripping or trim and/or with overspray on edges and/or inner fenders. -an incorrect replacement interior, often with cheap thick vinyl and thick piping like a booth in a diner or a generic gray velour cloth. Someone there paid money for a job of little value just to make the car look presentable to an amateur buyer. The beauty of the six cylinder Mustang here IMO is that it escaped the clutches of an amateur mechanic or the six would be gone and be replaced by a transplanted V8 of indeterminate quality. The same could hold true of a six in any Mustang/Camaro/Firebird type car, Todd C
  10. I agree the Jeep is overpriced and I think the 56-57 Chevies are mechanics specials that would take extra money to complete and would not be that nice when done considering the end cost. My knee-jerk opinion was that the Corvair looked best but a few details like the painted over serial plate make me think it is rougher than it looks. I like the Mustang---I would want to examine in person but it looks pretty good so far, seems the least "messed with" and they will take less $$. It is lower cost because it has a 6 cylinder but in my world a solid 6 cylinder convertible at a hardtop price equals a good deal. Good luck, Todd C
  11. i guess this wasted space must be a two post problem because my four post fits in one space just fine. This is 24ft, with a car on one side and a workbench on the other
  12. Seems like a quandary—hot blonde good, tolerate another reality show not so good. I am afraid not. Unless she can really do car upholstery...........
  13. I saw a few episodes and must say I liked it more than this annoying description would have me expect. But to avoid the "...drama (and) gas fueled egos" I watch on fast forward just in case, Todd C PS--never heard of Ant's Christina El Moussa until now but she is certainly good looking
  14. Regrettably I think you are right about that; both the dumbing down and the cheapness.
  15. That was my initial concern as I also enjoyed Edd. But turns out I like the new guy well enough too, although I would welcome a new show with Edd anytime. I liked the earlier Britishness too, but even after the move to California this show does not have the swearing and shouting of other TV car shows, Todd C
  16. That means you lose a parking space, bad idea unless there is a very good reason IMO
  17. Your setup is like mine, I have 24x48 but with the cars two deep and the door on one end just like yours, I put my lift in the space where your Grand Marquis is with the idea that I would have my workbench and toolbox on the side wall and a heater in the corner. That way my primary workspace would have everything I needed close at hand and I could sort of contain the heat in that area. You will have an even better setup for a lift with almost unlimited height, enjoy, Todd C
  18. I am a harsh critic of the cable TV cars shows and do not watch very many. I liked Fantomworks more than most and I like Chasing Classic Cars but it is indeed a step above most of our old car experiences. I despise Fast & Loud and the (many) others of that ilk with tattoos, yelling, swearing, dramatic deadlines, blatant profiteering, etc. My favorite is Wheeler Dealers. I know the British host can be a bit annoying to some, referencing spanners and petrol and such, but I like the format and I like the shop segments FAR more than most. They show a quiet, purposeful one man workshop covering a wide range of mechanical and cosmetic work plus the occasional venture to a professional service to see how specialty work is done. Informative and not (usually) insulting even to an experienced hobbyist, Todd C
  19. Mine was purchased from Greg Smith in Indianapolis and I also ordered delivery and setup (their service was either in house or closely associated). It was what I needed at the time but when I moved and needed to move the lift I was able (with helpers) to take it partially apart and reassemble it myself.
  20. Trulyvintage is right that the old car owner with obscure stuff like 7/8" spark plugs is asking too much to expect the counter person to know. It has always been like that really, it's just that in the days of greasy counters and big parts books you might walk in with a bearing and seal asking for "one of these" and get it right. My experience is the Autozone counter person does usually want to be helpful but the system does not make it easy with old oddball parts. BUT the upside of this computerized parts world is that you can do some research online yourself and find things. I recently needed a tiny speedometer gear pinion seal for a Turbo 350. I had bought one from rockauto for pennies just to have in reserve and when I needed it I found it was not correct. I ran the number online and other sources also said it was correct. I went to NAPA to buy one and they gave me the same part. So I entered the GM part number from my original in a Google and came up with a few cross reference numbers. I found (on line) that the local O Reilly's had a box in stock, I went in and asked to see them and I bought the right part for less than $1. Old timers may lament that they shouldn't have to do this themselves but I was happy to walk in knowing what I needed to see without having to go through the drill over and over again. And this was for a part made by the millions, imagine for the same for something obscure. Todd C
  21. Mine has big urethane casters that attach easily and allow me to push the unit around by myself. I would say if I needed to move it to another space I could do it and be ready for use in 15-20 minutes start to finish. They can be seen in this photo, Todd C
  22. Four post lifts get little respect from pros but I agree with Jack M that for a home garage there are real advantages. The common refrain is that a 2 post is preferable since it will allow the wheels to hang for suspension work and that is true, BUT if you buy the sliding jack you eliminate that problem. The sliding jack slides back and forth between the ramps. When the car is on the lift and up in the air you place the jack at the lifting point and manually jack it up, no air or electricity needed. If you are only servicing that end of the car you can securely work on it while on the jack OR you can put it on jack stands and move the jack to the other end to elevate that axle too. A heavy cross tray is included to hold the jack stands under an axle. ADVANTAGES: No need to bolt down the lift or have specific concrete thickness; since the load is distributed on four posts pretty much any solid and level concrete will support it. No need to get on the ground to place the lifting arms under a car, just drive on and no worry about stability or balance The lift includes casters that can easily be installed to roll it to a different space anytime. I used mine as a movable scaffold for hanging my ceiling panels and lights. I also partially disassembled it and took it along when I moved. No need to avoid the posts when opening the car doors, you can freely get in and out Can be raised and allow a second car to safely park underneath—plastic drip trays are included. No need for air supply and plugs into any 110V outlet. When working on the car you can use the ramps as your workbench for tools and parts I have had mine for over ten years and one move and have had no problem with the hydraulics, pump, cables or any other part. DISADVANTAGES: Raises slowly compared to a professional lift and requires purchasing the sliding jack to be most effective.
  23. A quick look at a source book shows the “Lifeguard Safety Equipment Package” optional for 1956-57 Fords including padded dash & sun visors and seat belts. The new safety door latches and dished steering wheel were standard. In 1958-59 they listed the Lifeguard Safety Equipment Package with padded dash and sun visors only for $19 and with those items plus seatbelts for $33. The padded dash and visors seem to have been standard on 1956-59 Thunderbirds, seat belts were optional. All these items remained available in 1960 and later but they seem to have stopped using the “Lifeguard” name. Mercury definitely had it in 1956-57 and probably in 1958-59. Even Lee Iacocca later said that the “Lifeguard” marketing campaign heavily promoted in 1956 did not work nearly as well as was hoped.
  24. Hello Mr. Buick, very exciting news, you recall I said that multiple buildings seem ideal so you can have one for clean storage and another for work—especially dusty work like bodywork or woodworking. When I had my previously mentioned rural machine shed my storage problem was mice and I was never able to keep them out completely—I am not sure it is possible. As you note the doors and windows are the primary problem, with the possibility of tunneling under the walls or floor depending on your situation. I ended up buying a Car Capsule to (successfully) keep out mice and dust, photo attached. Aside from that you can certainly make a nice workspace. Depending on what you have to work with you can do walls and ceiling, then good lighting, power outlets and air supply, not necessarily in that order. See attached and you will see my (new) garage interior using walls and (later) ceiling of ½” OSB panels and pegboard. I used OSB rather than drywall for about the same money thinking the OSB would be more resistant to dents and holes. I painted them white to help with lighting then just used 48” florescent lights from Menards for about $15 each. There are other better (more expensive) fixtures but these were economical and dependable and did not require permanent installation in case I want to change them around later. Will watch your post and hope to see photos and comment more when you move forward, good luck
  25. Thanks John S, I was pleased to find them. How I had them so handy is that my local newspaper (and presumably others) put their whole microfilm archive online and charge an annual fee for access. The search engine for keywords seems excellent and I can access in seconds what would take days at the microfilm machine at the library. I have found the newspaper here had pretty extensive coverage of automotive issues from circa 1904 through the 1920s. They actually had a regular Sunday page of automotive news, lots of ads of course, and even a list of locals who bought cars that week and what kind(!) Very interesting stuff, Todd C