Posts Tagged ‘Tbirds’

Post-Christmas Presents?

Here’s a rarity: 2 x 1957 Thunderbirds for sale in Perth right now (well, one’s in Albany, the other in Rockingham).

Click on the images to read more.

A Model Affair

Model Thunderbird cars from the 50s & 60s


Guess I was too busy sniffing the “Airfix” glue and building B-29 SuperFortresses, Hawker Hurricanes and Typhoons, as well as the odd Spitifre, to notice all the cool Tbird model kits available back in my youth.

I really like some of the earlier box art illustrations, particularly the 1958 ‘Four-Way Customizing Kit’ above. Love the 62 kit with the blue night-time scene, although not quite sure what the guy beside his ’62 is up to!

Tracy likes the clean-cut employee in the photo above. So wholesome.


The “Battlebird”

1957 Ford Tbird Battlebird

Coming up at RM Auctions on Thursday 12th August is the last remaining ‘Battlebird’.

The Battlebirds were experimental, highly-modified, 1957 Thunderbirds, which made extensive use of weight-saving aluminium to replace many steel body panels. They were specially constructed to race the famed ‘flying mile’ speed runs at Daytona Beach in 1957.
2 Battlebirds were constructed for these show races, after which they were sold off by the Ford Motor Company.

This car, No. 98, originally ran a fuel-injected, McCullough supercharged 312 engine, and ran second to a Ferrari. It was restored painstakingly by Gil Baumgartner in the early 2000s. Check out Gil’s restoration here.

No. 99, powered by a 368 Lincoln engine, was later destroyed.

So if you want to lay some rubber down your street, here’s your chance to place a bid.

NEWS JUST IN: The Battlebird sold for US$280,000. (No, my wife didn’t buy it for my birthday.)

Picture from RM Auctions site.

4th of July Down Under

Here on the underside of the world, it’s usually raining for 4th of July celebrations. But this year the weather gods didn’t dampen the party, and a big crowd of our U.S. pals turned up at Kardinya (just south of Perth) for the annual A.W.C. Fair. If the hot dogs, popcorn, donuts, candy, Millers and salsa sauce didn’t stir up the homesickness, the bouncy castle sure would.

Rumours that Elvis arrived in the big ole ‘Tupelo’ Cadillac were eventually dispelled… but it would have explained the ‘sold out’ sign at the Krispy Kreme counter.

Paul and I waited in line for a hotdog, and dressed in patriotic colours for the occasion. We even affixed a U.S. flag to the back aerial, embassy-style. Happy Birthday Uncle Sam.

Snaps of Tbirds, Mustangs, Cadillacs, Jeeps and assorted sights here.

Squarebirds at Bill’s

Square Birds R Go
Square Thunderbird

Last Saturday Bill invited a couple of Tbird Tragics (and a Fairlane) over to his garage for an informal howdy and a chinwag. It’s great to see one of his lovingly maintained Square Birds out and about – one of a striking couple! Luckily they escaped the hail wreckage a couple of months ago.

Bill spends some time in Broome – and wouldn’t we all love to be there basking in some sunshine? – but when in Perth he’ll come to the unveiling of a Tbird seat cover, he’s so keen. See the Big Al’s gallery for a couple more pics of his cars on the road.

Check out more pics in the gallery here.

Paso Robles T-Birds 2002

Travel back a little in time to when the beautiful Californian town of Paso Robles hosted the famed West Coast Kustoms car event over the Memorial Day weekend in May. Just before the earthquake a year or two later, and then the show moved South.

We travelled there in 2002 (little did Tracy realise that the entire 6-week round-the-world trip was choreographed to this one weekend).

These video snippets (amateur warning alert!) capture some famed show T-Birds (including the electric green 1963, which now resides in the U.K.; the renowned ‘Time Machine’ which has won more than its own weight in shiny trophies; plus a couple of 50s Birds) and a taste of West Coast car culture.

Plus to recreate the atmosphere, some very high-pitched American accents, extremely loud car noises, and a couple of em-Barrised moments (“is that a 61 or 62?”).

And the $10,000 question: why-oh-why didn’t Paul ask Barris for his autograph? or Von Franco? or Shige?

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