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1956 Carburetor Teapot Wanted

Michael Morton

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I would check with the T-Bird parts suppliers such as Hill's, CASCO, Concours Auto Parts and Prestige Thunderbird. to see what is available. You can also check on Ebay to see when one comes available. Your challenge is to find the correct one for your dad's car. The vendors seem to charge $300 for the core. A rebuilt carburetor seems to go for $400. Pretty expensive, but those people should know what they are doing rebuilding the carburetor.

Also check out this link, it contains helpful information: Holley Carburetors and the Holley Custom Shop – Classic Thunderbird Club International (ctci.org)


Lew Bachman

1957 Thunderbird

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I would be surprised if you find the T-Bird carb rebuilt for the price mentioned above. Maybe the passenger car version, but the Bird carbs are significantly more scarce and more expensive.


There is a vendor on Ebay with a rebuilding SERVICE on your CORE for $400.


While there have been a few of the passenger cores on Ebay in the last three months, there have been no 1956 Bird carbs in the last 3 months.



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Michael - there were 4 different haystack Holleys for 1956, each of which eventually had 3 variations.


R-1161-A (Ford passenger A/T)

R-1162-A (Ford passenger S/T)

R-1163-A (Ford T-Bird S/T)

R-1164-A (Ford T-Bird A/T)


Sometime in mid-1957, there was a design change so each of the 4 got a different suffix "1A" (example R-1164-1A)


Sometime in maybe late 1957 or early 1958 (my memory is not perfect, and the exact date really doesn't matter) the fuel valve was changed from screw-in to press-in; with each carb then getting the suffix "2A" (example R-1163-2A).


The above are Holley part numbers, the Ford numbers also changed. For the "numbers" folks, only the first 4 listed (with a A suffix) could appear in 1956, thus these are the most desired, AND the most expensive. The service carbs with the 1A and 2A suffix are less desirable, thus less expensive.


And just for the record, regardless of the "internet parrots" that refer to these as "towering infernos"; (opinion) one of the most reliable of all Holleys. While they disappeared from passenger use about 1958 because of the "square" base design, thus maximum CFM limited; large trucks and the military continued to use them through the 1970's.


The very first carburetor I ever rebuilt, as a lad of 14, was an R-1161-A. After the rebuilt, got an additional 100,000 plus trouble-free (at least from the carburetor) miles. If a 14-year-old doing his first carb can get 100,000 miles from one, it cannot truly be a bad design. The major problem with these, like all Holleys, are they are hopeless romantics; they fall in love with each succeeding gas station ;)


Ed - if you pitched either a 1163 or 1164 first generation, you pitched about the same value as a UUR-2 2 15/16 Stromberg.


Since I posted some numbers, the other numbers of interest to car folks on these carbs would be R-1094, R-1434, R-1437, R-1536, and R-1599.



Edited by carbking (see edit history)
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