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How would a late production with next years parts be judged


junkyardjeff
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I have a 1955 Ford convertible my dad bought new that came from the factory kind of messed up,it was built august 9th 1955 and has a 56 Body shell (yes its slightly different then a 55) along with 56 door seals and 56 padded sunvisors plus a 4th color in the interior (supposed to be three) where it looks like it they ran out of the one color and substituted another. I was wondering if any of the factory mistakes would even be noticed if it was judged.

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If it is how it came from the factory, there should be no deduction regarding authenticity. Documentation might be difficult if there were a question but first hand knowledge explained to the team captain should be helpful. Period photos would be even better if you have any. Some states would have titled that as a '55 while others would have probably originally titled it as a '56. 

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If a judging team member was that knowledgeable about a particular model, he/she would probably also know about those factory variances. Follow Mr. Hinson's advice about documentation. I would not refer to those differences as "factory mistakes". Plenty of manufacturers tried to use up or make up inventory.

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I have a late production '56 Thunderbird that was manufactured in August, 1956, and it has some early 1957 Thunderbird parts.  I was at a local car show, when I met a 90 year old gentlemen who was retired from the Ford plant in Atlanta. He explained that late in the production year it was not unusual for parts designed for the next year's model to begin arriving prior to the retooling of the assembly line.  If they were out of present year parts and compatible new model year parts were available, they would install whatever was at hand to keep the line moving.  That explains how there is an original '57 Thunderbird currently in my restorer's shop that has documented evidence that it came from the factory  with wheel covers for a 1958 Thunderbird.

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I was hoping to find more people with similar cars but did not as I know my 55 is not the only one to come out of that plant that way,I am slowly redoing the interior and could not find any samples of that fourth color so its going back to the way its supposed to be but keeping all the old material. With the color substitution it would seem mine was the last made in that color of interior but I heard they made cars for around 10 more days before change over to 56s,with that many days of production after mine was built one would think there should be a few more but those cars probably are not on the road any more and no one paid any attention to them. I will probably never show it where it will be judged but curious on what would happen to those late cars with next years parts if one was to be judged.

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A few years ago there was a Model T, now called the Rip Van Winkle Car, that showed up at a fairly serious Ford meet for judging. The car had been bought by an old farmer in Kansas who never wanted to buy a car, but got talked into it by someone. He literally drove it home from the dealer to his barn and parked it. There it sat, off the ground and maybe covered by a tarp, for 60-70 years. A car collector bought it and very carefully cleaned it up, but preserved all the original details. It had something like 20 miles on it and all of the original tags and markings as delivered. The new owner entered it in the show to see how it would be judged, not telling anyone how everything was as-built except for the air in the  tires, fluids, and possibly tires and tubes.  There were a bunch of points taken off for mis-matched parts, like different hubcaps on the left and right. It turns out the T was built during a changeover time, like yours, and the guy on the right on the assembly line was installing parts from one year, and the guy on the left -- another year. After judging, the owner told everyone what was up and it added to Model T knowledge.

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I am slowly redoing the interior and could not find any samples of that fourth color so its going back to the way its supposed to be but keeping all the old material. 

 

Jeff, your car, as it came from the factory,

sounds really interesting, even worth a mention

in some Ford magazine.

 

We in the AACA are here to document history,

and this thread is worth noting.

Your car would be FAR, FAR more interesting with

its original 4-colored interior, than with a modern

replacement to what it "should" be.  I urge you to

keep that interior original and IN THE CAR!

Why restore it to the ordinary and  humdrum when

you have a built-in conversation piece?

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I kept the original set covers and when I do find that other color I will take the backrests apart and put that color in,it would only take me a couple hours to switch the material but the hard part will be finding it. I needed that seat done for another trip to Daytona,15 hours driving with springs poking me in the back and no foam left on the cushion was just too much since I had done it 3 times and did not want to do it again.

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  • 5 weeks later...
  • 4 weeks later...

Sometimes, even reputable vendors might not cover all of the bases in their catalogs, but all things considered, find as much documentation as you can and preserve it to answer any judging questions.  Perhaps the OEM supplier phased-n the "next year's model" items a little early as they might have run out of their '55 items too early?  Who knows at this point in time.  It was much more important to keep the assembly line running, uninterrupted, than to stop it for any reason.  If it was a January-build car, it would be a different situation.  The model year of the VIN would be how the vehicle was titled.

 

NOW . . . to see if you can find any letters from Ford to their dealers about them building some cars as yours!  I suspect that some letter as that could exist, as that would be an important issue for the dealers receiving such cars.  And THAT would be the ultimate documentation for your car!

 

NTX5467

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