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  Shifter-Birds

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Author Topic:   Shifter-Birds
Moneymaker
Administrator

Posts: 29200
From: Lyons, IL, USA
Registered: May 99

posted 02-28-2001 10:37 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Moneymaker        Reply w/Quote
Who know what T-Birds came with sticks? What years and what engine combos? What was the largest engine available with a stick? What years offered floor shifts?

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Alex Denysenko Co-Administrator and Moderator NHRA/IHRA/SRA member
Fleet of FoMoCo products
Moneymaker Bio
US Class Nationals link

Joe Clutch
Gearhead

Posts: 1133
From: Austin, Texas . . . . . . . Member #352
Registered: Jan 2000

posted 03-01-2001 09:09 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Joe Clutch        Reply w/Quote
I think just the 'baby' birds, Alex. And then, maybe only thru 1956, and just 3-speed. Auto trans only after that, I believe, as they were marketed as a sporty luxury car. I don't remember the small v-8's displacement, but they could also be had with a 292, as well as a 312. The 312 may have only been available in the 56 & 57, not the 55.

The 'Square' Birds (58-60) were available with (312?) the 352 for 1958, and the 352, 390, and 430 for 1959 & 1950. IIRC

Memory begins to fail me when you get into the 'bullets' (1961-1963) and the 'flairs' (1964-1966), though some of the Flairs had the CJ engine. I think the 62 or 63 could be had with the 352 tri-power (M engine?).

I have studied up on T-Birds some, as I was (still am?? ) planning on buying a classic one. I have books at home; let me do some checking to get my facts straight.

I can also look up VINs and data plates.

Planning on buying (& racing? ) one, Alex? Keep me posted. I am interested in all things T-Bird. Especially ones that have some whup-a$$ added.

-jc

[This message has been edited by Joe Clutch (edited 03-01-2001).]

Thud
Gearhead

Posts: 1407
From: Cumming,Ga.,USofA
Registered: Jun 99

posted 03-01-2001 10:37 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Thud        Reply w/Quote
The Turbo-Coupes and Super-Coupes had manual tranny options, so that would be '83 to '95?

I'm pretty certain the Big-'Birds (late '60s to '76) or the Medium-'Birds ('77-'82) didn't. I have no idea about the '58-late '60s.

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"It only takes money"

Dwayne

M&M Member #18
'94 Lightning #942 of 4007
'70 Mach1
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Joe Clutch
Gearhead

Posts: 1133
From: Austin, Texas . . . . . . . Member #352
Registered: Jan 2000

posted 03-01-2001 11:41 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Joe Clutch        Reply w/Quote
Oh, yeah. Forgot to mention that what little I know about them is limited to pre-1967.

Moneymaker
Administrator

Posts: 29200
From: Lyons, IL, USA
Registered: May 99

posted 03-03-2001 12:46 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Moneymaker        Reply w/Quote
55-57 two seaters all were available with sticks. 59-60 430 Lincoln and 352 PI were available with sticks for NASCAR use and actually sold very well to the general public. The 430 Lincoln equiped Birds were the Birds with the largest stick engine combo. A stick was not offered in a T-Bird again until the 1983 Turbo Coupe. The 1995 Supercoupe was the last T-Bird offered with a stick. The proposed 40th anniversary T-Bird was to be a stick with a 5.8 Lightning motor and a 5-speed. They built 6 prototypes and everyone loved them. Wanna hear why FoMoCo didn't build them? How FoMoCo pissed off about 5000 customers and dealers?

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Alex Denysenko Co-Administrator and Moderator NHRA/IHRA/SRA member
Fleet of FoMoCo products
Moneymaker Bio
US Class Nationals link

Ryan Wilke
Gearhead

Posts: 3237
From: Stanton, Michigan, zip 48888
Registered: Oct 2000

posted 03-03-2001 09:53 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ryan Wilke        Reply w/Quote
OK, Alex, I'll bite.....
Why didn't Ford build 'em?
Why do they continue to 'dump on' the folks that defend & support their product?

cpmaverick
Gearhead

Posts: 1669
From: Manhattan Beach, CA
Registered: Jan 2000

posted 03-03-2001 04:00 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for cpmaverick        Reply w/Quote
Sounds like a good story Alex....

I've seen the 4.6L DOHC T-bird concept but never heard of the 5.8L one.

Moneymaker
Administrator

Posts: 29200
From: Lyons, IL, USA
Registered: May 99

posted 03-04-2001 02:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Moneymaker        Reply w/Quote
After todays NASCAR race in Vegas gang.

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Alex Denysenko Co-Administrator and Moderator NHRA/IHRA/SRA member
Fleet of FoMoCo products
Moneymaker Bio
US Class Nationals link

TomP
Gearhead

Posts: 6376
From: Delta BC Canada
Registered: Dec 99

posted 03-05-2001 01:11 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for TomP        Reply w/Quote
err ...todays Nascar race is over with a very disappointing finish... "snotnose" Gordon again

A 430/stick Bird would be a very cool car to have

Moneymaker
Administrator

Posts: 29200
From: Lyons, IL, USA
Registered: May 99

posted 03-07-2001 11:00 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Moneymaker        Reply w/Quote
OK, I'm sorry I forgot. By 1994 FoMoCo new that the Lightning 5.8 was a dead issue and development on the new 5.4 supercharged version was wel under way. Some of the good guys in SVT who were T-Bird lovers wanted to see the car go out in a big way. Well they had all of these 5.8's left over from the Cobra R's and Lightnings and a lot of Tremec transmissions. The swap was made with all existing parts into a green Super Coupe mule. (I know that they never offered SC's in green, but this was a "test vehicle" that they disguised). It was shown to many execs and test driven. The car was a huge hit. The OK was given to make 5 more for dealer development work. They built them all in green with tan leather with special spoilers and ground effects. All were fitted with 3.73 gears and 17 inch wheels and tires. Special exhaust was fabricated and badging was installed to signify 40th anniversary. Many of us dealers were given the opportunity to drive these cars for an entire day. They were in a word AWESOME! The projected price was $30k and the go ahead was given to build 5000 of them. Very cool and cost effective. They could move a lot of left over 5.8 Lightning motors and Tremec transmissions. Also have a super T-Bird to go out in history with. All of us dealers went home and sold them and took deposits. We could ask $5k over stick and it didn't matter. All were sold out within a day. FoMoCo even published literature on the cars and sent us advance information. All that was needed was the CARB and CAFE certifications. BUZZZZZ, TILT! Nope said the bean counters. Cost was to high for certification and the profit was too small for the effort on a discontinued car line. Another one bites the dust because of accountants. And people wonder why Henry Ford hated bankers and accountants so much.

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Alex Denysenko Co-Administrator and Moderator NHRA/IHRA/SRA member
Fleet of FoMoCo products
Moneymaker Bio
US Class Nationals link

Moneymaker
Administrator

Posts: 29200
From: Lyons, IL, USA
Registered: May 99

posted 03-11-2001 05:57 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Moneymaker        Reply w/Quote
I'd like to see somebody build a 430 motored 59-60 stick T-Bird for nostalgia drag racing. That would be very cool !

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Alex Denysenko Co-Administrator and Moderator NHRA/IHRA/SRA member
Fleet of FoMoCo products
Moneymaker Bio
US Class Nationals link

interceptor429
Journeyman

Posts: 2
From: Florida
Registered: Apr 2001

posted 04-05-2001 12:36 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for interceptor429        Reply w/Quote
Special order 77-79 Tbirds w/ Ttops had the center console automatic shift. Very rare option indeed!

cobrajeff
Journeyman

Posts: 38
From: White Lake, MI, USA
Registered: Sep 2004

posted 09-09-2004 06:17 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for cobrajeff        Reply w/Quote
My Uncle bought a new Thunderbird in 1959. He ordered it with the 352PI engine and stick shift - I recall he said it took about 6 months to get it with the stick. In later years, my Cousin swapped a 427 and a 4-speed into it - it was one slick T'Bird.

My Uncle's '59 'Bird was black - it replaced his black '55 T'Bird he had bought new. In 1964, he gave the '59 to his son, and replaced it with a black 64 1/2 Mustang 289 HiPo coupe (I got the "K" coupe in 1969, after another Cousin totaled it).

regards,

cobrajeff

KULTULZ
Gearhead

Posts: 959
From: Rockville, MD
Registered: Oct 2002

posted 09-09-2004 11:31 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for KULTULZ        Reply w/Quote
quote:
59-60 430 Lincoln and 352 PI were available with sticks for NASCAR use and actually sold very well to the general public. The 430 Lincoln equiped Birds were the Birds with the largest stick engine combo.

OK...

Where did you get the information on the J-CODE 59/60 BIRDS (actually LINC assemblies)? They only came through with the LX transmission. And what was a 58/60 352PI?

You rattling my cage again?

[email protected]
Gearhead

Posts: 998
From: Lakewood, CO, USA
Registered: Jun 2001

posted 09-10-2004 10:04 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for JCQuinn@work        Reply w/Quote
A friend of mine bought one of the 58 Birds with the 430 and a stick. I never saw him race it but thought it was very cool.

Your story about the 94 T-Bird reminds me of why I am not a fan of FOMOCO. I love their cars but they almost always need tinkering to get right. Of course being an engineer I am the natural enemy of bean counters. If bean counters get their way the company sells inexpensive cars that are crap. If the engineers get their way the company sells great cars but no one can afford them.


John

KULTULZ
Gearhead

Posts: 959
From: Rockville, MD
Registered: Oct 2002

posted 09-10-2004 02:29 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for KULTULZ        Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by [email protected]:

A friend of mine bought one of the 58 Birds with the 430 and a stick. I never saw him race it but thought it was very cool.


OK...I get the hint. You two are trying to get my goat again aren't you?


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I am looking for information concerning factory performance/aftermarket speed parts (1958/1960) used on the MEL (Mercury-Edsel-Lincoln) (Also Thunderbird 59/60) Engine Series (383-410-430-462) produced from 1958 thru 1968.

Also older FORD Special Service Tools

-MEL Engine Forum-

[email protected]
Gearhead

Posts: 998
From: Lakewood, CO, USA
Registered: Jun 2001

posted 09-10-2004 08:58 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for JCQuinn@work        Reply w/Quote
No goat getting, I ate goat once and didn't care for it. The story is true. The official records and what actually happened are sometimes in disagreement. I tried to point this out once in the classic forum and got run off, I just lurk there now.

John

Dad Vishus
Gearhead

Posts: 1153
From: Moscow, Iowa, USA
Registered: Dec 2001

posted 11-09-2004 05:01 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Dad Vishus        Reply w/Quote
One of our Vice Presidents at work who is a big time Ford collector recently bought a very pristine 55. He also has several Mustangs and won't admit to what all he really has.

The 55 is a yellow color that was only made for 3 months of the 55 model year and not continued.

Its a 292 4 barrel with the factory engine dress up option, 3 speed overdrive, power steering, brakes, windows and seats, and air conditioning. This has to be one really rare bird.

Its totally unmolested and very nice. Still has the 6 volt electrical system.

He had been looking for one for 6 years in that color. Most of his collection is yellow.

It also has both tops and NO portholes. 55s didn't have them and he says ones that do had them added and that lowers the value. 55s also did not have vent wings in the side windows.

He didn't offer to tell what he paid for it and I didn't ask. He did say it was the most valuable in his collection.

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63 Falcon 377 Cleveland stroker Flying Toilet alchohol injection. 6.19 @ 110 MPH 1/8 mile
2002 Ranger FX4 daily driver
2000 F350 PSD Crew cab dually - Like commuting in a B52!!
98 US Cargo Phantom II 28'

Moneymaker
Administrator

Posts: 29200
From: Lyons, IL, USA
Registered: May 99

posted 11-21-2004 03:42 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Moneymaker        Reply w/Quote
If you read the Holman and Moody book, the refer to the 430 stick T-Bird often.
Factory shipped them running complete cars.
You see one in Hemmings once or twice a year.
I actually saw one at Harrahs Museum in Reno.
Not a race car, but a restoration. I was not able to climb over the ropes and get close enough to verify the VIN, but it did have 3 pedals. Also had a sun roof.
I also took the museums word for it.

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Alex Denysenko
Co-Administrator and Moderator

NHRA/IHRA/SRA member and licensed Superstock driver
MCA member# 53321
NHRA and IHRA SS/LA & SS/MA National Record Holder '00,'01,'02,'03,& '04
First SS/MA in the TENS!
IHRA division 5 Superstock Champion
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