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Everything posted by 1957Birdman

  1. If you want a better handling car then I would suggest the following: Get radial tires Install gas shocks Install a beefier anti-sway bar in place of the original and an anti-sway on the rear (there was no rear anti-sway bar on the car originally) The CASCO kit for the shocks and sway bars runs $600, but will make a world of difference in the way your car drives. Good luck with your project, Lew Bachman 1957 Thunderbird Colonial White
  2. I'm not sure why you want to change things if the car is running as it should. The start and die problem is most likely related to a faulty or miss-wired ballast resistor. I know I had that problem many years ago. I got a new ballast resistor and it fixed the problem. Lew Bachman 1957 Thunderbird
  3. Ed, I understand where you are coming from and I am not generally a fan of deviating from what came with the car originally. One of the things I like about the Pertronix implementation is that other than an extra wire it is not obvious that there has been any change from the stock setup. I see the advantages of the Pertronix as follows: Never have to set the points or dwell Clean installation without any extra boxes under the hood Easy to go back to points and condenser if necessary (I carry mine with me in the trunk just in case) No points to get pitted and wear over time. Better gas mileage The only time my car has really croaked on me it was because the fuel pump went bad. I have put 25K miles on the car with no problems with the Pertronix. Of course as soon as I say this I will probably have problems. Hopefully not. Lew Bachman 1957 Thunderbird
  4. I would leave things alone, assuming the car runs fine. Unless you are going to drag race your car I doubt that you will notice much of any difference in normal driving. I have had a Pertronix in my car for 24 years with the same wiring as original without any problems. Best regards. Lew Bachman 1957 Thunderbird Colonial White
  5. Great car with a really nice color combination. I have owned 2 1966 Mustangs and I still have a soft spot in my heart for the original pony car. This car is really unusual in that it has a 6 cyl engine and all the options. I think I read that 70% of all the original Mustangs were delivered with a V8 engine. Anyway I hope it finds a good home. Lew Bachman 1957 Colonial White Thunderbird
  6. A lot of 312 blocks were ruined when rebuilt because the shop manual had incorrect bearing cap torque specs, causing them to be over tightened and cracked when rebuilt. If you find a 312 block it is important to have the bearing webs magnafluxed to ensure they are sound. Since the 292 and 312 look the same from the outside there is no real difference between the one and the other given the way these cars are used today. My car has a 312 from a 1958 Mercury. The only way to tell that is from the casting number on the block. The 312 was produced from 1956 through 1960 for cars only. All truck applications used either 272 or 292 engines. Lew 1957 Thunderbird
  7. A great looking 56 T-Bird with a non standard color. The only 56 T-Bird blue is Peacock Blue, which this car definitely isn't. It is possible that the car was ordered with a special color (S Code), but if so it should have been one available on other Ford products during that time. The 1956 Lincoln had two blues that appear to be a better match. Of course it may not match the data plate at all. It would be interesting to see a picture of the interior. For 1956 there were five color combinations: red and white; black and white; turquoise and white; green and white; and tan and white. It does not look like this car's interior matches any of these color combinations. It actually reminds me of a color Light Blue that was available for the 1966 Mustang. One other thing is the car should have a 312, not a 292. It probably does and of course they both look the same in the engine compartment either way. Lew Bachman 1957 Thunderbird - Colonial White
  8. If I remember correctly Uncle Tom said of the post war Oldsmobile that "stepping on the accelerator is like stepping on a wet sponge, the goes squish instead of swish." Based on that criticism Olds engineers developed the Rocket V8. He also believed that the original 55 T-Bird used many of the ideas that he proposed for his 3 in one dream car. He wasn't mad about that, just happy that Detroit was listening to him. His test of the 1948 Tucker is certainly an interesting read. One suspect piece of information was Tom's estimate that the factory had 200 cars in various stages of manufacture on the assembly line. That estimate seems a little high considering that only 48 cars were actually built. One last thing. If you want to see Tom do tire testing there is a video on Youtube with Tom testing General tires on a 1957 Lincoln. Enjoy, Lew Bachman 1957 T-Bird
  9. P = 312 CID Y-Block V8 6 = Model Year 1956 F= Dearborn Assembly Plant H=Body Style (Thunderbird) 254255 is the consecutive unit number which includes all Ford cars assembled There is more useful information on the data plate. Good luck finding it. Lew
  10. The data plate is silver with a black decal overlaying it. If you open the hood and look into the engine compartment from the passenger side it is on the firewall to the right of the heater blower assembly. It is possible that it was painted over when the car was restored and that is the reason that it isn't easy to see. If that is the case you should still be able to see the numbers as they are stamped in the data plate. In terms of figuring out the value of this car I would suggest looking at completed sales on Ebay. That will give you a good 30K foot view of what cars are selling for currently. I agree that the lack of a convertible top reduces the value. If the new owner wants to get one the cost will be at least $2,500 or more depending on what the person decides to get. Best regards, Lew Bachman 1957 T-Bird
  11. It is a 312/225 HP, assuming it has the original engine. It definitely has the right type of engine, meaning a Y-Block. The gaps of any early T-Bird are not going to be like modern car's, but they shouldn't be too wide either. The data plate is located on the firewall in the engine compartment on the passenger side. It will have the serial number (no VIN in 1956) starting with P6FH______ . It will also show body, color, trim, and production codes. I will be able to translate it once you post it. All 56 T-Birds have corner exhaust ports. Try to find out if the owner was a member of CTCI. If he was a he may have gotten a copy of the factory invoice. There is also good information on that, including the which Ford dealer sold the car originally. I would go along the lower part of the car with a magnet to see how much bondo there might be. If you can take any pictures of the inner rockers underneath the car that would be helpful. It will give us an idea of any rust issue there. Once you figure out exactly what you are working with then I would have the car serviced and drive it some, especially if it hasn't been driven in a while. It sure makes a difference when selling a car if the car runs well. Regards, lew
  12. I agree with 61 Polara. This is an older restoration. It is going to show wear but I don't see anything out of the ordinary. For a lightly optioned car (automatic transmission, radio and heater, and backup lights) in this condition and missing the convertible top I would think $25K would be a strong offer.
  13. It looks like a quickie white over black paint job to me since whoever did the painting didn't mask the door locks. It is also missing the windlace that goes behind the seat. The door jam on the drivers side looks like it was replaced either by a patch panel or the fender that that side was replaced. It's not a perfect job but it isn't terrible either. As for the trunk it looks like there is another covering over the trunk floor that you will need to lift up to determine if everything is okay there. I would definitely want to look underneath the car to be sure there aren't any rust issues. Price also depends on how the car runs. If it is low on power, runs hot, and wanders all over the road then that will bring down the price. Suggest that you write down the information on the data plate (on the firewall) and post it here. We can tell some more information about the car with that. Did the owner get the factory invoice from CTCI? I agree with Dave and Matt's comments for the most part. Part of what affects 2 seat T-Bird prices is the survival rate of these cars, which in my opinion is among the highest of the 1950's cars as a percentage total sales. Supply and demand is key. Good luck with the sale. Best regards, Lew Bachman 1957 T-Bird Colonial White
  14. I vote for letting the next guy do it. Unless the rest of the car is spotless I doubt that it is worth the effort when you consider the time involved. IMHO it is much more important to be sure the car is running well, stops well, etc. Lew Bachman 1957 Thunderbird Colonial White
  15. Hi Tim, If you are a member of CTCI then you can get them to list the serial number (no VIN in 1957) in the club magazine and see if anyone has any information. You can also check with Dave Tulowitzki (tulobird@aol.com) who keeps a registry of cars and may have some information on yours. I wouldn't get your hopes up too much. I tried to trace my car and the second owner back didn't respond to me when I contacted him. All I know for sure is that my car was sold by Holmes-Tuttle Motors, 7122 Beverly Blvd in Los Angeles. Good Luck, Lew Bachman 1957 Thunderbird Colonial White
  16. The Ford car line had optional air-conditioning starting in 1955. It was an under the hood setup. Dealers also offered a dealer installed option called PolarAir. I read somewhere that this version actually worked better than the factory version. I have even seen one of these PolarAir units installed in a 1956 T-Bird (the early T-Birds did not offer air conditioning as an option). Thank goodness the new units work so much better! Lew Bachman 1957 T-Bird (no AC but still fun to drive)
  17. Kanter Auto Products does not appear to offer a harmonic balancer. Another thing to be aware of is that the balancer pontiac1953's friend needs is unique to the T-Bird. It is important to have all T-Bird pulleys so that everything lines up properly. Lew Bachman 1957 T-Bird
  18. I think we really owe a debt of gratitude to Hershey Region and Steve Moskowitz for proceeding forward with the intent to save the car show this year. Planning for an event like this is a gargantuan task under the best of circumstances. Doing it without any guarantee that it will be held takes a high level of dedication which we all can appreciate. Please let us know if a letter writing campaign to the powers that be in Pennsylvania would help. I'm sure that we would fill the right person's mail slot with respectful letters pointing out the advantages of having the car show while managing the risks appropriately. Lew Bachman 1957 T-Bird
  19. Pontiac1953, Is your friend missing the harmonic balancer altogether or does he just need a good one to replace the one that he has? They are rebuildable, but the cost is $295 with a $300 core charge. Concours Auto Parts offers a new one for $575. I have one for a 57 T-Bird that would need to be rebuilt. I would be willing to sell it for $200 plus shipping. Let us know specifically what the need is. Best regards, Lew Bachman 1957 T-Bird Colonial White
  20. Does your car have the power seat? If it does and if it is functioning correctly than it is adjustable both forward and backward and up and down. If it does not have the power seat than no, it is not adjustable. Lew Bachman 1957 T-Bird Colonial White
  21. Steve, What do you see as the biggest issue standing in the way of having the car show on Saturday of Hershey week this year? If it is the unwillingness of the governor of Pennsylvania to allow groups of more that 250 (?) people to meet for an event than it would be good to know that. I would think that with the extra space to spread the show out over several fields that maintaining physical distancing could be easily accomplished. Anyway, please let us know what your thoughts on this are. Best regards, Lew Bachman 1957 Thunderbird Colonial White
  22. Hi Codie, Welcome to the forum. I owned both a 1985 and then a 1987 LTD Crown Vic. Both of them were equipped with the 4 speed overdrive automatic. It is quite a good transmission and should go for 125K miles or more with no problem. Will a more modern transmission work in your car? Probably, but you will need to change the computer and probably a lot of wiring to make the new transmission work. After you do all of that you will probably have an extra gear making it a five speed transmission. To my way of thinking that is hardly worth it considering all the time and expense associated with it making the change. If you want a better performing car than I would suggest building up the engine using the specs of a 1986 Mustang GT. They had a more powerful engine and would give your car more zip. In the end, I don't see this car as being one that is worth putting a lot of money into. There are just too many of them out there and they are nothing more than four door sedans that has the thick film ignition (TFI) that caused Ford owners and the company a lot problems. My opinion and hope this helps. Lew Bachman 1957 T-Bird, Colonial White
  23. Eustice Conway had a wood burning truck on the History Channel TV show "Mountain Men". He and his friend Preston Roberts put it together on the cheap and it seemed to work quite well. Unfortunately the parking brake failed and the truck rolled down a hill and smashed into a tree. The episodes are probably in the 2015 or 2016 season. Lew Bachman 1957 Colonial White Thunderbird
  24. Hi Anthony, Let me suggest that you look at this website: https://www.ctci.org/4-southeast/ , which is the Classic Thunderbird Club International. There are a number of chapters of the club in Florida that you can contact to see if someone is willing to satisfy your desire. Good luck! Lew Bachman 1957 Thunderbird Colonial White