Cruisin' Season Is Just Around The Corner
My farther had a 64 TBird when I was a teenager and was really never more fond of an automobile than it and for years I vowed I would find one and make it mine. I have owned this one going on nine years now and I will try to tell you as much about it as possible.
It was manufactured in Dearborn Michigan in February of 64 and was built along with others for the northern states and Canadian market without air conditioning. It wasn't a popular item back then. The first owner was in Windsor and from what I recall, owned it for ten years . From there it moved to the Toronto area and was owned by six others. I spoke or wrote to many of these people after buying it and it had always been looked after well and always garaged. The young man who owned it before me put in a Blaupunkt radio and cd player but put it in the dash where the a/c vents would be. I'm not to fussy about this and have always wanted to remove it and replace that part of the dash but have yet to do it. He also had the transmission rebuilt and had a new exhaust system installed. There are suppose to be two resonators and two mufflers but he had them leave out the resonators, giving the car a throatier sound when running. I like it. The fellow who owned it before him had it for 11 years and never drove it in the rain, yet alone snow.
Since I've owned it I've put close to 7000 miles on it and now has a bit over 94,000. When I bought it my plan was to restore it to as close to factory specs as possible. The first thing I did was to replace the 39 year old windshield that looked as if had been sand blasted. That was a bit over $1,000. Then I decided to have the body redone. It was in the shop for seven months and was completely dismantled and repaired and painted. While this was being done I also had the front and rear bumpers re-chromed. The total for this project was $10,000. The final big ticket item were the wire wheels. They are Kelsey Hayes copies but really better as they have 54 spokes rather than 48 and are 15 inch rather that 14. With duty and shipping these came to $2,000. Without pricing everything out, here are some other things I've done since I've owned it. I've have had the front end steering components redone as well as new front springs. I installed an electronic ignition module to cancel the need for points and condenser. It works great! Also rebuilt the carburetor. Replaced the door handles and drivers side mirror and recently found one for the passenger side. The headliner was also replaced three years ago with a black one. I also found a reclining passenger seat in Erie PA a few years ago. It's a nice addition as well. I mentioned the new windshield earlier but please note that the wipers have never been used on it as I've wanted it to remain pristine. All the door, window and trunk weather seals have also been replaced. As for factory options, it has power window and brakes (drum) and what they called at that time the safety cluster. You might spot these three items on the dash photo. It consists of a low fuel warning light, emergency flashers, door ajar warning light and power door lock switch. It also has a swing away steering wheel but they all had this feature.
Mechanically the car is very fit. It runs strong and smooth down the road and brakes straight but power drums are touchy so it takes some getting use to. It always gets a lot of attention where ever I take it.
I have taken this project as far as I'd like to. If I am not able to sell it at this at this time, the only thing that I am aware of that needs attention but has no bearing on how the car runs or performs is I would pull out the engine and have it rebuilt if nothing more than to put new seals in it. Over the years they have dried out....especially being in storage for more than half the year, there are a few minor oil drips here and there. It's not that the engine is using oil or low on compression. At the same time I would replace a seal where the shifter linkage goes into the side of the transition. It has worn over time and there is a slight transmission fluid leak.
That's all I can think of at this time though I'm sure I've left something out so if you have a question, I should know the answer:-)
If I end up not selling it and end up finishing up these last items, when this car turns 50, it should be worth a fair amount more than what I'm asking today.