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Motion Pictures The 60th anniversary of the Squarebird!

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Jive-Bomber, Aug 7, 2018.

  1. Jive-Bomber
    Joined: Aug 21, 2001
    Posts: 3,313


    Jive-Bomber submitted a new blog post:

    The 60th anniversary of the Squarebird!


    Continue reading the Original Blog Post
  2. hansboomer
    Joined: Nov 15, 2008
    Posts: 69

    from new york

    The squarebird was the best new design of 1958, but that's a low bar. Mopars were the best looking cars, but they were carryovers from 57. GMs were so ugly that they single handedly caused the 1958 recession. The Chevy is still the only 1958 GM I can look at. Harley Earl must have been suffering some age related dementia.

    The 1958 T-bird would have been remembered better if they had come up with a new name.
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2018
  3. Roger O'Dell
    Joined: Jan 21, 2008
    Posts: 1,120

    Roger O'Dell

    I just couldn’t disagree more ,on your comments
  4. Gahrajmahal
    Joined: Oct 14, 2008
    Posts: 404


    I am a 60th anniversary model also having been born in 58. Sure, plenty of folks consider me to be “one of the ugly models”, but I was fortunate to find one admirer. You are right, cars and folks of this year are an acquired taste. How about some examples of the best example of 58 model cars to round out this post.
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  5. Blade58
    Joined: Mar 5, 2012
    Posts: 328

    from apopka ,Fl

    1958 Corvette still looked good!
    Paul B and papadaddio like this.
  6. Blade58
    Joined: Mar 5, 2012
    Posts: 328

    from apopka ,Fl

  7. scrap metal 48
    Joined: Sep 6, 2009
    Posts: 5,988

    scrap metal 48

    1958/59/60 T-Birds look like factory customs.. Beautiful.. I believe first American production car with bucket seats and console( I could be wrong on that)… Convertibles were quite unique with they're retractable folding tops...
  8. Pinstriper40
    Joined: Sep 24, 2007
    Posts: 3,313


    Ive said it before and ill say it again, squarebirds are grossly under-rated and are one of the best cruising cars ive ever had the pleasure to drive. I dont ever plan on selling mine, its just too much damn fun! I do plan on finishing it someday with a turquoise and gold watson style paintjob with a twist... Hopefully sooner than later.
    scrap metal 48 likes this.
  9. I've always loved the squarebird's style. The first new car I ever bought was a 60 Bird. Immediately lowered it, put on a set of Appliance Plating chrome wheels and fogged on some gold paint with my airbrush. I can still remember my dad hollering "you've ruined you'r brand new car!"
    Later it got painted pearl green as seen in the really bad photo.


    my60bird1a.jpg 60tbirdgreen1.jpg
    Hyfire, Rolleiflex, jnaki and 2 others like this.
  10. jnaki
    Joined: Jan 1, 2015
    Posts: 4,669


    “The compact T-Bird provided all of the luxury and convenience items one would expect in a luxury car. But, in a new smaller size that was easier to park and manipulate in congested areas. It was just the thing for those who wanted to stand out from the rest of the crowd at the country club or resort. The 1958 Thunderbird was awarded Motor Trend Magazine’s coveted Car of The Year designation for its compact size.”

    Hey JB,

    We had friends with a Corvette and dual quads (headlights and carbs) and a friend’s mom with the big 58 T-Bird and quad headlights in 1959. One girl’s dad had a huge Lincoln, but that was the family car and not a teenage high school hot rod.

    No hot rodder had a square 58 T-Bird, as those belonged to our friends moms and dads. The room inside was big compared to the early T-Bird sports cars. These were big cruisers or family cars of the two door variety.

    On Back to School nights, PTA nights, and Open House nights at the junior and senior high schools, the big squarish T-Birds were found. Later on in 1960-61, a car load of teenage girls would cruise in their mom’s big T-Bird, but no one else, in our hot rod locales. The car shows were another story. The car’s “biggish” areas were just ripe for scallops and customizing.

    upload_2018-8-16_5-5-3.png 1960: “The country was aghast when the new-for '58 Thunderbird was stretched into a four-seater. Everyone, it seemed, loved the cute, cozy styling of the small T-Birds that preceded it. For the era, they were sensational-looking cars--they still are today--but not everyone who lusted after a 1955-'57 Thunderbird could justify buying one due to their limited seating capacity. And so, many didn't.

    Adding those two extra seats in the back changed everything. Sales skyrocketed, and the all-new, bigger, roomier and more practical Thunderbird became the must-see car in Ford showrooms that year. It was the talk of the town, and Americans everywhere wanted to be seen driving one.”


    Having been an owner of two quad headlight cars,(58 Impala and a 65 El Camino) makes it a little easier to critique the jump from single to quad.

    upload_2018-8-16_5-7-12.png upload_2018-8-16_5-7-23.png upload_2018-8-16_5-7-34.png
    One major thing the quad headlights had going for them was the ability to change a bulb or lens unit. One of the high beam headlights could be taken out and replaced with the desert projection style headlamps for those long dark roads without any street lighting. That was mandatory for night time driving in deserted roads. The beams went twice as far, lighting up everything close and far away.

    Sadly, the CHP did not think those were legal and wrote many “vehicle fix tickets” at the time.

    Despite the sales of the squarish T-Bird’s popularity with the older folks, over the next few years as car design changed, so did the T-Bird with the flashy streamlined “Big” T Bird and a redesigned headlamp front end. But, still using the quad headlight configuration.
    upload_2018-8-16_5-8-47.png upload_2018-8-16_5-8-58.png
    The Lincoln was what we thought was the ‘epitome’ of quad headlights. They were custom car must haves, but it certainly would/did alter the look of any custom car we saw at car shows.

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