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55 T-Bird Fiberglass Replica begs the question why?

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Somebody who has followed the T-Bird market for the last 40 years explain this to me?


It actually doesn't look that bad,  but did the market in the 80s really support a reproduction?




Hi, I bought this car hoping to make a Gasser or Street Rod but currently have too many projects and not enough time. This is a Shay reproduction 55 T-Bird. Only 200 were built in the mid 80's. Fiberglass body with 2 tops. Custom chassis was made for this body. The engine is a Ford 351 Windsor with Roush cylinder heads, roller rocker arms, Edelbrock intake, Holley carb and open headers, no exhaust. C6 auto trans. Engine will run with a battery hooked up but the cooling system needs to be addressed. I have 2 wiring harnesses, P/S pump, and a rear back glass. I also have a new brake booster, master cylinder and brake pedal assembly. Car does have disc brakes in the front with a Mustang II front suspension. Current seats are not mounted. Factory Ford dash with tilt wheel. . Excellent straight body with very nice paint, has some minor paint chips. Car is ready for you to take to the next level. Does not run or drive at this time, but would not take much to get it on the road again. Clear title with matching vin tag. States 1955 Ford convertible. Call or text with any questions, leave message if no answer. Thanks. 630 664 1161


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I am not sure if Shay was in fact the only producer of these. 

Acquantences in CT when I was a kid, were eking out a living making Fiberfab MG TDs for people.  They sold a lot of those, mostly to people who built them at home with "basic hand tools and a couple of weekends"....  😉

Since a nice TD is $15 - 22K, a driver less, the replicas have very little value today.  It is strange though the replica tbirds seem to be priced only maybe 25% off a #3 standard Tbird.

On the other hand, think of the market for Porsche speedsters, I would guess at least a half dozen firms make or made those.  But they have quite a following.  I think replica buyers are a bit different animal than our typical forum member?

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This thread prompted me to do a little research on Shay. I am familiar with their Model A replicas but never knew much about the company. The plan was to produce up to 10,000 Thunderbird replicas but the company shut down after 200. It sounds like the debt load killed them even though there was reasonable demand for the products.  I remember very high interest rates in the ‘80s, so that may have been a factor. 

- John

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Hi, I bought this car hoping to make a Gasser or Street Rod but currently have too many projects and not enough time.


I was going to express my thankfulness for his other projects, as they kept this clean looking car from being chopped up...then I got to wondering if one of them is a '55 Kaiser Manhattan gasser. 🤨


Anyway, wouldn't it be nice if the Shay company added an extra 2 inches of leg room in these reproductions? Or maybe they did?

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