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What is the best place to buy original 1957 Thunderbird parts?

Discussion in '1955 - 1966 Classic Ford Thunderbird' started by Jennings Couch, Jun 13, 2015.

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  1. Hi all,
    This is my first post on here. Me and my dad have just bought a 1957 Thunderbird and it needs some aesthetic pieces including the chrome tail light bezels.
    We wanted to use original parts rather than reproductions, just for authenticity.
    Does anyone know where we can get original parts?
    Thank you!
    Jc
     
  2. I am getting ready to sell many original parts from my husband's restoration of a '57 ebird...what else are you looking for?
     
  3. We are looking for some engine parts, but I doubt you want to start taking the engine apart?
    What colour is the ebird inside and out?
     
  4. Hi...we no longer have the car...just the parts! We've got alot....4 barrel all chrome! down to screws....let me know.
     
  5. How much on the 4 barrel and does it need rebuilding? Can you list parts, any overdrive parts?
     
  6. fordrodsteven

    fordrodsteven Well-Known Member Gold Donor

    There are suppliers but most of their parts are reproduction. Some are very good though. Those suppliers also have some original parts that they may have removed and replaced on customer cars. You need to contact them to get availability and prices. Another way to find original parts is to keep scouring for ads and on the internet. You can find ads in classic car magazines such as Hemmings. I personally feel some people ask too much for parts that are original because they are just that.... "original". Often times those parts are in need of some restoration process. So keep in mind you may find original parts, pay a lot of money and then have to pay more to refurbish the parts.

    If your looking for drivetrain parts you can also check out the "for sale" sections at the "Y" block sites, the Ford Barn site and at the H.A.M.B. Some parts are Thunderbird specific but some other parts are interchangeable for full size and Thunderbird.

    I think your best bet would be to hook up with the local Thunderbird club and talk with the people there. There is usually one guy in the club who has parts or knows where parts are stashed away. Sometimes in other parts of the country. A guy in Massachusetts might know of a person with parts in Florida or Texas. I also find those connections get you much better prices on parts of at least the same quality as finding them on line or through ads. Frequently someone who did a concours restoration will have parts they removed because they obtained better quality original parts elsewhere.

    Just my two cents.
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2018
  7. Highly recommend the Bird Nest in Portland, Oregon. Google them for their 800 #.
     
  8. "Totally original" sounds like a really noble idea, until you start getting into the car to actually fix it. The fact is, there is no such place that has everything. No big dealer that has a sign, "ONLY ORIGINAL PARTS HERE!" If you ever DO find such a place, you might need to be a billionaire to afford them.

    There's such a thing as NOS parts (new old stock). In other words, one day some Ford dealer decided to sell of the old parts they will never use, and someone bought them and has been sitting on them. Of course as time goes by, fewer such parts exist. Plus, certain parts such a rubber hoses are no good -- gotta buy new. And then we have parts you simply don't want. An example is valve seats; if you rebuild your engine you should replace them with hardened ones that handle unleaded gas. Air conditioning? Can't get R-12 anymore. I can go on and on.

    Next, do you want to keep using the points and condenser, or Pertronix ignition? Keep tinkering with timing and dwell, or fix it forever? Tires? Repro, or just put some radials on there? There's going to be a compromise somewhere, it's up to you to decide where to draw the line. Do you want a perfect trailer queen or a driver? If you plan to drive it, pamper yourself and do it right -- albeit not totally original.

    Radio -- I'm using this as an example, not because of the business but due to my experience. I get constantly asked about "restoring the radio to original." I no longer offer it. Why? Simply because certain parts are harder to find, some things have to be modified anyway, and the thing is obsolete when you're done. The only place to get IF transformers and coils, is another radio that's just as old. Vibrators, there are solid state versions but no longer original. Some dealers pull the rectifier tube and stick diodes in there, and bypass the electrolytic with modern ones under the chassis. There are plenty of other such tricks -- the set will work, but it's not original and it's not reliable -- and you only get AM stations. Conversion? Put a portable radio on the seat? It's up to you. I bring this up because the entire rest of the car is the same way.

    Best thing is to step back and decide what you really want to do. Concours perfect? Driver? Resto-Mod? Ultimately YOU are the one to decide where to draw the line, remembering that originality is not always the practical way to go. Best to decide all of this before you start on yor project.

    As for where to buy the parts, get several catalogs, subscribe to Hemmings, watch for "parted out" specials, and have fun with your new hobby!
     
    Dino-lite likes this.
  9. Gary,
    Well said!
    Your thoughts can be applied toany car any year.
     
  10. Thank you, and I guess that's pretty-much true. My own car, as you can see in the avatar, is a 1964. Two big differences between the 57 and 64 (other than the back seat). The 64 model is really a Lincoln, over-engineered with more stuff to work on, making it a much tougher project. Then, when finished it's not worth nearly as much as the 57. I'm well into my own project, and believe me -- I would never do this again. If I should happen to buy another big Bird, I want one in much better condition. As for the 57, it's a gold mine and well worth a little effort. Take your time; it's an investment.
     
  11. Try www.tbirdparts.com a lot of reproductions but they do have some oem parts. easy to work with, catalog is great!!!
     
  12. What does you need maybe able to help
     
  13. Hills TBirds
     
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