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Motion Pictures The 1959 Thunderbird of Goodwood

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Jive-Bomber, Sep 12, 2023.

  1. Jive-Bomber
    Joined: Aug 21, 2001
    Posts: 3,694


    Jive-Bomber submitted a new blog post:

    The 1959 Thunderbird of Goodwood


    Continue reading the Original Blog Post
  2. 62rebel
    Joined: Sep 1, 2008
    Posts: 3,220


    Iron boat? Sloppy steering? I don't think the sanctioning body would have allowed it to run if that were the case.
  3. 57Fury440
    Joined: Nov 2, 2020
    Posts: 186


    I would be surprised if that T-Bird was not set up to steer and handle nicely.
    62rebel likes this.
  4. Petejoe
    Joined: Nov 27, 2002
    Posts: 12,028

    from Zoar, Ohio

    Watching that boat trying to make the corners compared to the others reminds me a “drift”race. The suspension doesn’t even compare.

  5. Spooky
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 2,098


    I love the hell outta this video!!
    41 GMC K-18 likes this.
  6. Johnny Beauchamp would have liked it.
  7. Jim Wood
    Joined: Jul 13, 2022
    Posts: 44

    Jim Wood

    he had his hands full trying to navigate that boat around corners. The exhaust system was in dire need of repairs. as he got black flagged. fun to watch.
    41 GMC K-18 likes this.
  8. Clydesdale
    Joined: Jun 22, 2021
    Posts: 145


    I was there at the weekend, between that car and all the vehicles racing in the RAC Tourist Trophy (Cobras, E-types, Corvettes and the infamous Cheetah) I was in heaven!!!

    Walked right by the T bird as it rumbled through the paddock and the body roll change just from the idle was hilarious.

    Was an incredible weekend and i'm hugely grateful that there are some very cool, very wealthy people out there that keep these cars running on track at over and above their original performance but still relatively period correct.
    Outback and 41 GMC K-18 like this.
  9. stuart in mn
    Joined: Nov 22, 2007
    Posts: 2,345

    stuart in mn

    That video is from several years ago, here's the St. Mary's Trophy race from last weekend. Tom Kristensen is in a different car this time, someone else is driving the Thunderbird. The real race was between Jensen Button and Jimmie Johnson battling hammer and tongs with each other.

  10. GeeRam
    Joined: Jun 9, 2007
    Posts: 533


    I've had a chance at several Revival's over the past few years to have a good look at the underpinnings of that big Bird, and the Holman Moody team that built the dozen or so T-Birds for the 1959 NASCAR season probably wouldn't even recognise much of what they'd see under this beast ;)
    bobss396 and 41 GMC K-18 like this.
  11. 41 GMC K-18
    Joined: Jun 27, 2019
    Posts: 3,213

    41 GMC K-18

    It was very cool to watch the Thunderbird this year and win on the last lap.
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2023
  12. Oneball
    Joined: Jul 30, 2023
    Posts: 50


    It’s not that different. Still pressed steel a-arms and live rear axle. The way ARBs, shocks, bump stops and springs are used are the real changes now compared with then, along with materials, especially in the engine. I bet if you looked under my Vette you’d struggle to tell what was factory and what wasn’t.
  13. Big cars were also harder to pass, they took up a lot of track...
    Just Gary likes this.
  14. corncobcoupe
    Joined: May 26, 2001
    Posts: 6,826

    Staff Member

    "The Meatball" Bird

    Kristensen was a master driver "slider" in that car.
  15. T. Turtle
    Joined: May 20, 2018
    Posts: 359

    T. Turtle

    There was another American car in that race, a Studebaker Hawk but it did not do too well. I wonder if it's the same car which won a few years back with a SBC under the hood due to a regulation loophole - which I suspect was closed since then... TBH I'm surprized why- other than the Bird and the Studebaker - no other NASCAR spec or Carrera Panamericana cars (as raced there by the US manufacturers) made their appearnce there so far...

    Oh in the GT race someone made an appearence with a Cheetah and it seems even 60 years later no one can tame that beast:eek:
    41 GMC K-18 likes this.
  16. Clydesdale
    Joined: Jun 22, 2021
    Posts: 145


    Funnily enough the Cheetah didn't reappear after the rain, I wonder why :D

    I enjoyed seeing every second of it out on track though, also hilariously 'homemade' looking compared to the other cars in the paddock

    Speaking of Homemade, seeing The Shelby/Gurney Old Yeller II out on track was a treat
  17. T. Turtle
    Joined: May 20, 2018
    Posts: 359

    T. Turtle

    Well TBH the owner said he's at the first stages of sorting it out (he discovered hanging the licence plate on the bottom of the air intake acted as a spoiler and reduced lift over 90 MPH to manageable levels as opposed to taking off - really). But it shows what Max Balchowsky could get away with in the 50s was becoming harder and harder in the 60s, what with Ford spending millions on getting its cars right etc...
    Clydesdale likes this.
  18. Oneball
    Joined: Jul 30, 2023
    Posts: 50


    It’s probably because you can’t really race them at any other ‘posh’ events except Goodwood, they have somewhat lax rules that’ll let things like the Thunderbird in. FIA Appendix K homologation is quite a big thing in Europe.

    Julian Balme has raced his Lincoln “Wooly Bully” at Goodwood a couple of times. Hydramatic too!!

    41 GMC K-18 and lurker mick like this.
  19. Oneball
    Joined: Jul 30, 2023
    Posts: 50


    The Cheetah is owned by Duncan Pittaway. He has form for nutty cars. Google Beast of Turin.
  20. jimmy six
    Joined: Mar 21, 2006
    Posts: 13,755

    jimmy six

    Square birds were use in NASCAR. and quite well. They had better weight distribution than the full sized car. I don’t know why the quit using them as they could come stock with a 430 Lincoln. It’s a possibility that the sanctioning would not allow a transmission change since no sticks were used.
    bobss396 likes this.
  21. drtrcrV-8
    Joined: Jan 6, 2013
    Posts: 1,671


  22. T. Turtle
    Joined: May 20, 2018
    Posts: 359

    T. Turtle

    well I may be out of date on the UK racing scene as I left in 2002, but I have a vague recollection of the Top Hat saloons with a pre-59 class and when I did race crewing on some Lotuses and a Corvette in the HSCC I'm pretty certain there were classes for the older saloons - is there nothing like that nowadays?

    Julian and his cars I know from the HSCC days, he always has (or had) interesting vehicles...
  23. Oneball
    Joined: Jul 30, 2023
    Posts: 50


    Yep, 1950s stuff no problem, Jags Alfas Peugeot take you pick. And I’m sure there’s lots of club meets that’d take a 50 Olds for example, there’s a guy races with us with a 55 Chevy


    I was talking about American 50s stuff specifically in the big classic events like Goodwood Revival and the need for FIA Appendix K compliance which requires the car to have been raced internationally in period, in an FIA sanctioned event.
  24. Tow Truck Tom
    Joined: Jul 3, 2018
    Posts: 1,496

    Tow Truck Tom
    from Clayton DE

    Fun Square Bird story, ( Truck driver's Policy: Pick a word win a convo, any word will do. )
    So one day my car is broke, my co-worker says take my cousins car. A '59 T bird.
    Rolling down the xpway, left lane of three, when there is a slow up. I nail the brakes, and watta ya know the LF brake don't do nuttin'. The RF brake puts me off course, through traffic, by 45 degrees+ 2 lanes. Wild counter steer and I'm now traveling in the right lane. Got that sweat from gut to heart to head.
    Next day I resist telling my associate.
    A month later, He tells me that rhe cops took the Bird cause the numbers proved it to be stolen.
    Now that sweat seemed sweeeet, whew
    Thanks for your time.
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2023
  25. The last used was probably the '59 or '60. They were easy enough to change to a manual. I saw some later ones on the Winston West tour, through '66 or so.

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