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Trim Code on my '57 Tag doesn't match my car

Discussion in '1955 - 1966 Classic Ford Thunderbird' started by dickday0, Dec 15, 2017.

  1. dickday0

    dickday0 Active Member Lifetime Donor

    When I bought my Tbird, it never dawned on me to make sure the codes on the tag matched the car I was buying.

    According to the tag, since it shows XA as the trim code, the interior trim should be Black and White...
    Here is the tag...

    Yet, every piece of cloth, upholstery IMG_2403.JPG and carpet is Red.

    Have you ever heard of a Tag being incorrect? I have not contacted the dealer I bought the Tbird from yet


  2. My thought is that some one replaced the Black & White with red. I did not know what the data plate was before I purchased my 57. I look at cars for sale now and always want to see the data plate. You can purchase the original factory invoice for $50 from the American Road Thunderbird Club. CTCI has the details. Hope this helps.
    dickday0 and Birdman57 like this.
  3. If the vin number matches the stamping on the right front frame member your tag is most likely correct. Remember that these cars are 60 years old and may have gone through numerous restorations. Changing interior/exterior is not a crime and is done routinely on these cars. Enjoy it as it is, or change to what your like. Just enjoy the car. Join CTCI and you will find a world of information and people that can help you along the process. Good value for $37.50 a year!
    dickday0, Birdman57 and Rust like this.
  4. dickday0

    dickday0 Active Member Lifetime Donor

    Thank you! Yes, I belong to CTCI and the local South Midwest chapter.

    I just spoke to the Ford/Lincoln dealer who restored it and they said they are 99.9% positive that it was traded in with the red interior. They said that the previous owner was an "older gentleman" (probably my age or younger) who bought it from the original owners (they bought it new). He bought it, drove it about 1800 miles and then put it into storage. It had been in storage for about 35 years.

    The dealer is checking to see if they still have the "before" pictures.

    I have no intentions of ever entering it in any shows, I just love having and driving it.

    My wife bought it for me on our 49th Anniversary. It was the only thing on my bucket list. I am in the early stages of Alzheimer's. I'd like to know that when I am no longer able to enjoy it that she will be able to sell it and get at least what she paid for it. I don't know how much of an impact the wrong interior will have to a knowledgeable buyer.

    We'll have just under $38k invested in it.

  5. dickday0

    dickday0 Active Member Lifetime Donor

    If the vin number matches the stamping on the right front frame member... where exactly would I find this? I looked at the few parts of the frame I can see and didn't see anything.

  6. fordrodsteven

    fordrodsteven Well-Known Member Gold Donor

    open the hood. stand on the passenger side and look down in at the top of the frame. I think it's just behind where the suspension is bolted to the frame. I'd have to go look at my car to be certain but I know it's in that area.
    dickday0 likes this.
  7. dickday0

    dickday0 Active Member Lifetime Donor

    Thank you, I'll go check again.
  8. fordrodsteven

    fordrodsteven Well-Known Member Gold Donor

    There's two other spots where the number is on the frame but the body has to be up off the frame to see them. One is on the top of the frame under the passenger door. The other is located on the rear top of the frame in the center where the bar goes across from side to side.
  9. dickday0

    dickday0 Active Member Lifetime Donor

    By Sunday, it will dip to 26 below here in Nebraska, so I'll go look for that serial number when it warms up a tad.
    In the meantime, the dealer we bought the bird from was nice enough to dig out the photos of the car sitting in the storage locker when they picked it up. It was definitely red then. They contacted the family of the gentleman that traded it in and they swear it was red when they bought it from the original owner. No one remembers the name of the original owner, so I ordered a copy of the Ford invoice. When that arrives, I'll post it here. I will be very surprised if it doesn't match the tag. Have you ever heard of an instance where Ford simply goofed up and shipped a new car that was incorrectly tagged?
  10. fordrodsteven

    fordrodsteven Well-Known Member Gold Donor

    Yes, Cold here too but not -26. Brrrrr. Anyway. I never heard of a car coming off the line with an incorrect exterior color. I have heard of Ford cars coming off the line with different wheels / hubcaps on either side. I've heard of GM cars with different trim levels of interior door panels on drivers side and passenger side.
    I should think that you could find someplace on the car that probably still shows a small area of peacock blue unless the car has had a full body off strip /blast / restoration.

    My car was original snowshoe white. It had been repainted red twice and reprimed again before I bought it. I found that the interior still showed all white under the dash and carpet when I stripped it out.
    dickday0 likes this.
  11. dickday0

    dickday0 Active Member Lifetime Donor

    Interesting, glad I'm not the only one. The issue with the tag codes is with the interior. Tag says black and white, my eyes definitely see bright red. The exterior color is correct. I checked the entire car looking for bondo, or other signs of an accident or rebuild, it's clean. I have a hard time believing someone would go to the expense, and trouble, of replacing the dash, door panels, carpet and everything else that may have been black/white. I did notice that the pictures of the car in the storage container showed that someone did change the steering wheel (the correct one is back on it now).
  12. dickday0

    dickday0 Active Member Lifetime Donor

    After some replies from the good folks at CTCI, it would appear that my Tbird was switched over from the black and white interior, just as you all have suggested :) They pointed out things like the wrinkles in the fabric over the hump and there are things with the sewing stitches that would suggest that this was not the original seat/fabric. Oh well, it is what it is.

  13. Dlluinstra

    Dlluinstra Active Member Gold Donor

    Enjoy it, drive it.
    dickday0 likes this.
  14. dickday0

    dickday0 Active Member Lifetime Donor

    That's what we plan to do. Thanks!

    I contacted Gil Baumgartner at CTCI and expressed my concerns. He said, after 60 years, there are many still on the road that have gone through multiple face-lifts :) Had it had the black/white interior, I know we would not have bought it. Mechanically, the car runs like a top, the paint job is spectacular and it's one of the few cars I've owned that I can actually see over the dash. At 5'5", I feel pretty tall sitting behind the wheel :)
  15. a PO of my car had a hard on for BLUE and did a full blown change over to blue over blue. Changed color of car, painted it corrected, no "old" colors evident, nothing. Changed seat material, door panels, all of it. Looks like it was done in the 80's and still looks good but not new anymore.
    dickday0 likes this.
  16. dickday0

    dickday0 Active Member Lifetime Donor

    Sounds like it's pretty common. Got any pics of your '62?
  17. dickday0

    dickday0 Active Member Lifetime Donor

    Oh my. That is gorgeous. It looks like it just rolled off the showroom floor. I have always wanted a roadster like yours. I love the piece that covers the back seat. Does that store in the trunk when not in use?

    You should post those in an album here.

    Very nice :)
  18. the tonnoe cover coves off, you have to store it in your garage or the like. Does not go in the trunk.
    dickday0 likes this.

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