1956 Thunderbird | Ford Escort Owners Association (FEOA)
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1956 Thunderbird

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by bent_rod, Mar 30, 2017.

  1. bent_rod

    bent_rod FEOA Donator

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    Yesterday I got to help a friend with a 1956 Thunderbird. My good friend passed some years back and his wife is selling off his classic car collection. They were able to start all the other cars but the 56 bird was dead, nothing at all when the key was turned. I traced the problem to the safety interlock switch for the automatic transmission.
    It was good working on a simple car again. Not a computer in sight.
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  2. FordMan59

    FordMan59 FEOA Member

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    I could have bought a nice '55 T-Bird back in the early 80's for $5000. I've kicked myself in the ass several times over the years for not buying it. At the time I was young and had my mind set on a '48 or '49 Ford pickup, I knew if I bought the T-Bird and a pickup became available I wouldn't have the money for the truck. The only '48 or '49 I ever found that I could buy wasn't original. It was a nice truck but I didn't want a Ford with a Chevy engine/transmission/rear end.
  3. Joey_Twowagons

    Joey_Twowagons FEOA Member

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    Unless you have a nice dry garage to store it, it's no fun to own a vintage car.

    It's discouraging to see them rust away, get moldy etc.
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  4. bent_rod

    bent_rod FEOA Donator

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    How very true. My friend was very fortunate, all of his classic cars are in a heated garage building. There is a gas well on the property, free gas. It still is a lot of work keeping all of them in running condition, they have to be started up on a regular schedule, fresh gasoline put in the tanks and the batteries go bad. Things stop working just setting in the garage. At one time he had four or five fully restored Ford Skyliners model years 1957, 1958 and 1959, hardtop convertibles. I refurbished the electrical and mechanical parts of the folding hardtops on all of the cars. They have over 500 feet of electrical wires to operate all the switches, solenoids and motors.
  5. dchawk81

    dchawk81 FEOA Member

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    5 grand was kind of a lot in the 80s so it's understandable that you didn't.
  6. FordMan59

    FordMan59 FEOA Member

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    It wasn't the money that kept me from buying it. It was just that I was afraid after I bought it I'd find the truck that I wanted and was actively seeking before I had time to recover enough money to buy it. This truck wasn't just a dream of mine I was looking everywhere I went for one, sometimes if I'd take a vacation day or two I'd go out of town simply for the purpose of looking for one. I could find everything except what I wanted, T-Bird, late 30's early 40's Chevy pickups, Plymouth Business Coupe, etc. I even found a 1930's era Cadillac convertible (don't remember the exact year, but if I recall somewhere between '35-'39) sitting under a shed just waiting for someone to restore. My dad and I talked about trying to buy the Cadillac together and restore it, but the owner wouldn't sell it. The Ford pickup that I did find with the Chevy drive train conversion they were wanting $3000. for. At that time I was in my early 20's, single, making good money, working 7 days a week often 12-16 hours a day as a set up man in a factory that molded plastic and fiberglass car bumpers so money wasn't the object. What I wasn't spending on things like cars/motorcycles I was spending on booze/cigarettes/gambling/women. Mostly booze. There were about 1/2 a dozen of us that worked together, myself the other shift set up man and a few of our machine operators that would load up in someones car every morning after work and go out drinking and/or bar hopping. I'd get off work at 7AM if I didn't work overtime. I'd often get home at 2-3PM, just enough time to get a shower, a few hours sleep and drive the 45 minutes back to work before my next shift started at 11PM and do it all over again the next day. Given the rate we were drinking if I hadn't quit that job when I did I'd probably have died of cirrhosis or in a drunk driving accident in the next few years. I turned over an MG Midget one night while out partying, I'd started drinking around noon that day. Myself and two others drank about 2 cases of beer between noon and about 6 PM then went to a company party. While at the party I always had at least one beer in my hand and sometimes two if I happen to be close to the bar and the one I was drinking was near empty. The best I remember I left the party about 1AM and the next thing I remember is waking up that morning about 7:00 AM and all I was able to see was a bucket seat staring me in the face. I was trying to figure out how I was laying on top of the car looking down at a bucket seat when I finally realized the car was upside down. I was looking up at a the bucket seat instead of looking down at it. That accident was in July, 1981 and to this day I don't remember the car rolling over, it seems like I remember side swiping a mailbox but that I'm not even sure about. Once I kicked a door open and got out of the car I started hitch hiking to the hospital because my left arm was black from the shoulder to the wrist and at the elbow was about 3 times it's normal size. It took over a year for my arm to heal enough that I could completely straighten it out again. I remember the guy who stopped to give me a ride to the hospital offered me a beer, probably one of the few times in my life to that point I'd refused a beer. Given the choices I was making I'd have been better off with the car.
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2017
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  7. 4cylinder

    4cylinder FEOA Member

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    at least the 56 is negative ground 12v so you can easily get a battery for it. can't say the same for a 55 :(
  8. dchawk81

    dchawk81 FEOA Member

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    Too many words. Derp.
  9. Joey_Twowagons

    Joey_Twowagons FEOA Member

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    I liked the story.
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  10. dchawk81

    dchawk81 FEOA Member

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    I need Cliff's Notes. Haha
  11. denisond3

    denisond3 Moderator Staff Member

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    Two days out of highs school I flipped my 53 Hudson sedan. I remember sliding off the road, and remember getting out of the car. Dont recall the nose-to-tail end over end part through the cornfield though.
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