Tim Shea

Does Anyone Have a Suggestion On How to Trace my 57 T-Bird to the Original Owner?

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Hello;

I know it is a long shot but has anyone had any luck tracing their car to the original owner.  My 1957 Thunderbird was shipped to Beverly Hills Ford on Wiltshire Blvd in January 1957.  Does anyone have any suggestions on how I might find who the vehicle was sold to?  I know about the late 1990s law passed by congress restricting the government from giving out info, so I figure that CA DMV is out.  I thought maybe there might be another way.   

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Benefits of AACA Membership.

Posted (edited)

Good luck with that. I assume you know the original factory invoices were saved from destruction by a lady who worked at Ford as a high level administrative assistant. She was a member of the fledgling Classic T-Bird Club International(CTCI). The story is that she got word they were about to be destroyed and she managed to save all the 1955-57 Ford invoices. When I had a ‘56 T-Bird in the early 1980’s, you sent a pencil tracing of your VIN plate to the Club with (I think) $12, and they sent you one of the copies of the original invoice. If you don’t have yours, contact the Club. It may show the original dealer.

BTW, the same gal convinced Ford to save the front fender dies from the scrapper; and several years later Ford made a new run of fenders. She must have been quite a lady.

 

Alas, the Club now charges $50. They have a form on their website. I guess that’s inflation!

Edited by greenie (see edit history)
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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

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1 hour ago, Tim Shea said:

 Beverly Hills Ford on Wiltshire Blvd 

 

It's actually Wilshire Blvd. If you have the full address then you should check the Google Maps site (or whatever it's called) to see if the original building is still there. Good luck finding who the original owner was. It would be cool if it was sold new to somebody famous. Let us know what happens....

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I have 57 t bird my dad ordered new brought me home after birth in 1958. I inherited it in 2015 when he passed with less than 25000 miles. Replaced the tires last year but everything else is original. Have the invoice from the dealer that was hand written 

 

Tom Muth

 

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To the OP...

 

Try a google search of the serial number.  You might find an online reference that you can look into.

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Thanks for the ideas and suggestions.  I do have the invoice, that is what spurred my interest.  I belong to CTCI and have asked to have my inquiry posted.  I tried the address hoping that maybe the Ford dealership was still there.  Iti s now an Audi dealership, as noted above.     I was rather curious since it went to Beverly Hills Ford and just about every option available, even the tonneau.  I'll just keep poking around,   

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Hello Tim, Did you start with the person you bought it from? Who did that person buy it from? You could go backwards that way. I did that with my 1940 Lasalle. I did not find the original owner but I did find out a lot of interesting information about it along the way. I traced it back to about 1950. Be persistent and leave no stone unturned. 

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I will be.  Hafta track him back down.  Also, there is a fellow who manages the Thunderbird Registry who has some information.   

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