Three Old, and Three New
I just completed 3 Thunderbird models so while presenting them, I thought I would include the other 3 I built over the past few years. I’ll begin with the previous builds and finish with the 3 new ones.
1961 Thunderbird Coupe, “Firestar” designed and built by John D'Agostino. Converted ’62 roadster into the ’61 chopped top couple. Opened and hinged the doors. Serious modifications to the Lincoln roof I added to it. Clear Tamiya red over base gold leaving gold border to the panels. Due to its age, the clear red has formed surface cracks. To see a video of the construction, click the link below.
1958 Thunderbird Coupe. Opened and hinged doors. Added molded on side “lake pipes” to the rocker panels. A top from a Dodge Stealth was grafted on with “home designed” photo etched wiper blades. Paint is pearl white/gold pigment powder added to clear lacquer and then topped with purple pigment powder in lacquer applied in to the edges of the body panels1962 Thunderbird Coupe This is a convertible kit with the top and interior from a 198? Firebird. Taillights were extended with “bullet lenses” and the nose was extended. The real unique feature of this car is the fact that both doors open and slide under the seats into a compartment between the chassis and the interior floor boards. Wheels are from a Tamiya Mercedes kit I picked up in a garage sale which was brutalized, but yielded a few good parts. Paint is a custom mix pigment of blue and mostly green pearl in clear lacquer with white top applied down the center and the sides. A number of years ago it was featured in an article in Model Car Magazine. To this day, it is one of my favorite builds where, I think, everything worked out just right.
Now the new stuff.
1966 Thunderbird Coupe. This kit gives the builder the choice of a convertible or coupe model. I went a slightly different direction. I “laid back” the A pillar to add a more modern rake to the windshield than grafted on a vacuum formed top from a foam master I created. Opened and hinged the doors. I lightly customized the nose and tail of the car. It is lowered down into the weeds with period style big wide whitewall tires. Top color is Krylon Pure White over Krylon Gum Drop (light purple) then clear coated.1957 Thunderbird Coupe. I have had this kit on the shelf seemingly forever. I finally got the inspiration to build it. Then a few weeks ago, I got the bolt of lightning hit. I opened and hinged the doors (difficult because the plastic from this molding was very, very thick). I added a shorted and modified 2006 Camaro Concept kit roof with custom A pillars. Because this roof is so flat, I needed to build up the center with bondo and shape a gentle curve with the center being higher. I added inside panels to the rear of the roof side wings and recessed the rear window. The front wheel well openings were flared to give it a little more aggressive look. I removed the interior bench seat, built a new interior back section (too bad it is completely hidden) and installed the seats from the 2003 vintage T-Bird. I hinged the hood forward and added the kit supplied “Continental Kit” to the rear end because I think it looks so cool on the car and added the same style bullet taillights I used on the 1962 coupe. I added period style spotlights to the cowl and photo-etched wipers. The nose was extended on this car with fog lights added in the center, I leaned the headlights back and a small “chin spoiler” was added also. Car is lowered down and paint is a simple monochrome of Rust–oleum Gloss Coral topped with Tamiya clear. Fairly simple build for me, but I really like how it came out.
And finally, the 2003 Thunderbird Convertible. This is another kit that has been hiding at the back of the shelf for many years. I finally dug it out and decided to build it. This is a snap-kit so it was very basic. Sorry, I don’t “do” basic, so I set about opening and hinging the doors. (also very thick plastic, so it was a difficult job) I have always loved how the tonneou looked on the roadster but haven’t built one with it (I have a few more ’62 Birds, so it will happen) but I thought it would look great on the 2003 Thunderbird. So, it was a no-brainer for me to graft it to this car. I added the seats from a ’62 Bird which mate to the cover. Then I was looking at the hood thinking…… “Yeah, this needs an engine” so it also got opened and hinged. I grafted on the front chassis of a ‘90’s Mustang and commandeered the engine from it too. Wheels and tires were stolen from a 2004 Corvette Z06 and the car was lowered. I wasn’t sure about what to do for body modifications since I find the styling bland and boring for the most part. I looked at pictures of, and stole a few styling ques, from the Foose “Speedster”, as you can see. I added his hood louvers on either side of the scoop, modified the grill opening like he did and changed up the fog lights similarly. I also cut down the windshield as he did, but I would have done that without seeing Foose’s car and then modified the exhaust pipe tips at the rear. But the simple, and I think more important modification to the body is the addition of subdued tail fins. I think these always should have been on the car direct from the factory, but hey, my car has them, so no problem. I added wheel well flares both front and back to give the side of the car a bit more definition and some oomph. The lower rocker panel on the car is Tamiya Gun Metal with a custom mix of Tamiya Gold and Silver Leaf with silver pigment added in which adds dark highlights around the edges for the main body color. Orange vinyl striping rounds out the exterior
That’s it. 3 old, 3 new, 3 more to build one of these days.