1959 Thunderbird just fell into my lap.

Hello,
I just joined the forum. My name is Alex and my friend just gave me his grandfathers 1959 Thunderbird. It's mostly complete minus the driver side window, the windshield, and the dash. The motor and transmission turns over. I can't restore it to full glory BUT I can get it on the road again! I will be posting progress and asking questions as I work on it between my other two projects: a 1951 Desoto and a 1965 Rambler. Cheers
 
Hello,
I just joined the forum. My name is Alex and my friend just gave me his grandfathers 1959 Thunderbird. It's mostly complete minus the driver side window, the windshield, and the dash. The motor and transmission turns over. I can't restore it to full glory BUT I can get it on the road again! I will be posting progress and asking questions as I work on it between my other two projects: a 1951 Desoto and a 1965 Rambler. Cheers
Welcome and good luck. You came to the right place as there are a lot of good resources here.
 
Welcome and good luck. You came to the right place as there are a lot of good resources here.
Hello,
I just joined the forum. My name is Alex and my friend just gave me his grandfathers 1959 Thunderbird. It's mostly complete minus the driver side window, the windshield, and the dash. The motor and transmission turns over. I can't restore it to full glory BUT I can get it on the road again! I will be posting progress and asking questions as I work on it between my other two projects: a 1951 Desoto and a 1965 Rambler. Cheers
This will be a challenging project and you will need lots of advice I’m sure. Parts will be your biggest challenge, but leaning into this and other forums will steer you to the right resources. In addition to this forum, I strongly suggest getting on www.fordthunderbirdforum.com and their very large and active Technical forum.
 
Well said. I'd like to find out what year cars parts will interchange with my '59. The biggest hurdle right now is the dash and front windshield. The seats are gone which is fine. I could pick up a set of black leather bucket seats out of an 80s bmw and thatd look fine with me.
 
Thank you. My buddy said 57-59 Thunderbird parts interchange. Are there any other year Ford's that will interchange parts as well?
57-59 is NOT interchangeable. 57 was the last year of the first generation tbird. 58-60 was second generation, 61-63 third. 64-66 fourth and 67-69 fifth etc... Also remember they made minor alterations through out the 58-60 years. Be sure you get the right stuff you need for your car.
 
Thank you. Are any other cars in the ford line up for 58-60 share glass or anything with the tbird?
No. If you need body or interior parts for a 58-60 thunderbird then you need to get them from that car. Also remember throughout the squarebirds era they made changes to the car as well. I would recommend doing research so you can pinpoint exactly what you need. Drivetrain components is a different matter. The 352 or FE engine I believe is pretty common so finding parts for that isn't as much of an issue. Getting suspension, brakes, bushing components also should not be to much of a problem. Rear axle Is a ford 9"? Anyone else able to chime in and confirm? I am a little foggy on the rear and transmission. However I will say its an automatic. That much I do know. There is plenty of places around to help with restoring your car.
 
No. If you need body or interior parts for a 58-60 thunderbird then you need to get them from that car. Also remember throughout the squarebirds era they made changes to the car as well. I would recommend doing research so you can pinpoint exactly what you need. Drivetrain components is a different matter. The 352 or FE engine I believe is pretty common so finding parts for that isn't as much of an issue. Getting suspension, brakes, bushing components also should not be to much of a problem. Rear axle Is a ford 9"? Anyone else able to chime in and confirm? I am a little foggy on the rear and transmission. However I will say its an automatic. That much I do know. There is plenty of places around to help with restoring your car.
I'm going to be getting a shop manual. Can't really get better than that right?

Ive located a private seller south a ways parting out a '59 and a '60. I'm arranging buying parts I need from him.
 
I use type F transmission fluid in my Ford-O-Matic transmission. Attached is an article on automatic transmission fluid. I hope this will help you decide what kind of transmission fluid you should use in your 1959 Thunderbird.

doug7740
1955 Thunderbird Blue
I ended up buying Type F for my Bird.

So far I am moving forward on putting this car back on the road. After priming the oiling system (car hasn't ran in 10+ years) I got the motor to fire up pretty quickly. Other than a bit of lifter noise it sounds pretty good.
 
With a car that old, who knows what has been swapped out. Pic might help identify it.

I am by far not an expert only having a bird for a short time, but I've read about an interceptor special engine 352 for 1960. Details vary on the source, but seems it came with solid lifters, holley carb, dual point distributor, aluminum intake and different exhaust manifolds. I can only find one supposed pic of this engine online but it appears to have a distributor without a vacuum advance. Not the right year for yours but again things get swapped out.
 
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