Posts Tagged ‘Tbirds’


Barris Tbird Kustoms pt. 1

George Barris 58 Ultra-Bird

Perusing Paul’s extensive collection of car books (I mostly look at the pictures), I was struck by the number of cool Tbird customs by legendary George Barris.

For all our square-Bird friends, here’s a beauty: the 58 “Ultra-Bird”. Barris customised this t-bird for his wife Shirley’s birthday, painting it in 30 coats of Candy Red with white pearl outlining, adding 18 side louvres and illuminated hubcabs. It won the Motor Life ‘Car of the Year’ in 1959. Shirley is marvelling at how George managed to convert a miniature car into a full-sized version just by the application of Kolor Crome products!

So blog readers, what do you think of custom cars? Sacrilege… or you can’t get enough of the chopped, channelled, sectioned and lowered?

Check out some background on George here.

Image from Barris Kustoms of the 1950s by George Barris and David Fetherston.


Need a Lifeguard?

Someone call the lifeguard

That day the heavens opened and hailstones pounded everything in sight, we held grave fears for the Tbird’s bodywork. Although it’s kept under cover in the garage, we watched in horror as hailstones the size of lemons rebounded onto the car.

The next day we gingerly peeled back the cover and were amazed to see no real signs of damage. We could have used a Lifeguard out front – our front lawn was converted into a lake.

How did your car fare?


Cranksters Pipeline Picnic 2010

When it’s hot in Perth, it’s gonna be Flamin’ Hot in Mundaring… and Sunday was no exception. And to intensify the discomfort, there was 90% humidity too, and some-one had the great idea of ordering black Tshirts!

The annual Cranksters Pipeline Picnic/Cruise from metro Perth to the Mundaring Hills was a huge success (declaring an interest here – I’m a Crankster member). We had over 175 entrants, and possibly a few stragglers joined the line snaking up the hill. Several nice Thunderbirds too.

The Mundaring Hotel publican had welcome amber brews awaiting the thirsty hordes. A few ventured outside to browse the marketstalls after the steak sandwiches and roast dinners were polished off. There was a free raffle for the major prizes donated by Cranksters’ generous supporters – and you’ve never seen an elderly gent move faster when he was announced the winner of the Adultshop prize (suddenly the walking stick was redundant – maybe Mundaring is the Lourdes of the 21st century).

Check out a few pics here in the Gallery.


Hassles of the Hardtop Roof

Replacing the hardtop roof
Hardtop removal the easy way

Compare the above 2 images. What’s wrong with the second picture?

Anyone out there with a TBird with a removable hardtop will be able to relate to the misleading advertising (or creative licence) of the illustration above.

See the ease with which these 2 be-suited gents can remove the roof, smilingly? As Tracy will attest, the fibreglass shell roof is no featherweight. And after tears were shed (OK, that was me), we decided to agree to leave it to the wonders of engineering to remove and replace the roof.

So I ordered the original Spare Part roof pulley to do the work. In due course, the pulley arrived from Larry’s Tbirds in U.S. After further due course, and due indolence, it was attached to the garage roof.

Problem is, my garage doesn’t exactly feature Cathedral ceilings. So the process of removal involves: removing car cover, reversing the car with pinpoint accuracy, detaching the aerial, attaching the pulley straps, winching the roof, driving the car forward, replacing the aerial, and eventually driving to destination.

To replace the roof, perform the above in reverse order. Or consider the guidance of the ad: “the hardtop can be leaned against the garage door for months!”. Unless you need to use the garage door on a daily basis… in which case whingeing and winching go hand-in-hand.


Mark & Vanessa’s 55

Mark and Vanessa's Tbird

This lovely turquoise 55 TBird was owned by Vanessa’s Dad from the day he drove it out of the showroom in ’55 to their hometown in Canada (we assume without a bootful of bootleg). It was brought out to Australia by Mark and Vanessa just over a year ago, and with a few ‘tweaks’ was licensed and running. Last year Vanessa’s Dad (a lovely gent) and her sister visited Australia, and joined us on the Crankster’s Pipeline Cruise to Mundaring.

Mark and Vanessa came on the recent Drive-In Cruise – they went topless. Steve took this shot at the Causeway rendezvous point. See more of his fab pics here, if retro metal’s your thing… I’m guessing it is.


Drive-In Cruise

Betty Boop sticker at the drive-in

Drive-In car

Why sit outdoors on damp grass when you can watch movies from the comfort of your vinyl front seat?

With only one remaining drive-in operating in Perth, it’s good to make an excuse to re-live those childhood memories and venture to the big outdoor screen under the stars. The Galaxy Drive-in at Kingsley had an almost sellout crowd on the last Saturday night in January – and we were treated to a blue moon.

Tbirders from as far away as Armadale and Beckenham made the trip, but disappointingly no-one aged over 8 wore pyjamas. But someone may have felt sick after consuming a bag of lollies in one sitting (appropriate, given the first movie was ‘Tooth Fairy’!).

Stay tuned for info about the next Drive-In date.
See more Pics here.


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