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History The Don Ellis Thunderbird

Discussion in 'Traditional Customs' started by Ryan, May 15, 2024 at 7:58 AM.

  1. Ryan
    Joined: Jan 2, 1995
    Posts: 21,733

    Ryan
    ADMINISTRATOR
    Staff Member

    Ryan submitted a new blog post:

    The Don Ellis Thunderbird

    [​IMG]

    Continue reading the Original Blog Post
     
  2. badshifter
    Joined: Apr 28, 2006
    Posts: 3,545

    badshifter
    Member

    I’d like to see an under hood shot. Pretty neat car.
     
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  3. Rolleiflex
    Joined: Oct 25, 2007
    Posts: 1,266

    Rolleiflex
    Member

    Sweet little 'bird. The quad headlights look well thought out. A lot of the cars that had quad headlights installed look like an afterthought.

    Does anyone know if it's still around? @Marty Strode?
     
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  4. Ryan
    Joined: Jan 2, 1995
    Posts: 21,733

    Ryan
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  5. Moriarity
    Joined: Apr 11, 2001
    Posts: 31,550

    Moriarity
    SUPER MODERATOR
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    Great car, the article says he had 2 engines for it, a 57 ford and the caddy that he would change depending on how the car was to be used? Wonder how many times that happened.... Even though the early birds were mediocre sports cars, they made wonderful customs. I have a soft spot for the 55 built by Clarkaiser custom... 55bird.jpg 55bird2.jpg
     
  6. Rolleiflex
    Joined: Oct 25, 2007
    Posts: 1,266

    Rolleiflex
    Member

    So glad it's survived. It's a shame it doesn't have the Borranis on it still.
     
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  7. vtx1800
    Joined: Oct 4, 2009
    Posts: 1,726

    vtx1800
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I'm not a custom fan for the most part....the front must have been used as a model for the later Packard Hawk, which I sorta like, just because it is different. Not a fan of the extended quarters either:(
    The quality of the work appears to be excellent but this is a case I should have listened to mom when she said "say something nice or nothing at all".
     
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  8. saltracer219
    Joined: Sep 23, 2006
    Posts: 1,091

    saltracer219
    Member

  9. Marty Strode
    Joined: Apr 28, 2011
    Posts: 8,985

    Marty Strode
    Member

    I thought that might be the one Dennis has.
     
  10. Tow Truck Tom
    Joined: Jul 3, 2018
    Posts: 2,031

    Tow Truck Tom
    Member
    from Clayton DE

    Gorgeous. The wheels make any car.
    To a young mind ( My first encounter ) the T Bird evokes dreams and desire.
    Thank You
     
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  11. miker98038
    Joined: Jan 24, 2011
    Posts: 1,191

    miker98038
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I like the little birds, owned my first one in the late 60’s, my current one almost 25 years. I’ve liked them as customs better, the only one that really became a sports car (ignoring some like the battle birds) was the one Doane Spencer built originally. Not just the engine, the suspension and detail modifications. A canyon carver and a bonneville racer, and still a street legal car.
     
  12. Jive-Bomber
    Joined: Aug 21, 2001
    Posts: 3,772

    Jive-Bomber
    MODERATOR

    This is a textbook example of blending period parts from other cars to enhance the exterior design - Taillights, side trim, headlights, etc. from GM & FoMoCo models, all period correct and don't look 'jammed' on the car with lead.
     
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  13. saltracer219
    Joined: Sep 23, 2006
    Posts: 1,091

    saltracer219
    Member

    He sold it to a mutual friend, it is still in the area a few miles from me.
     
  14. saltracer219
    Joined: Sep 23, 2006
    Posts: 1,091

    saltracer219
    Member

    The Bird has what looks to be the original Ford 292 in it now, I helped Dennis reseal it just after he bought it. The Cad engine is long gone but the frame still has the Caddy mounts in place.
     
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  15. saltracer219
    Joined: Sep 23, 2006
    Posts: 1,091

    saltracer219
    Member

    This Bird has floated around the PNW for many years. Years ago another one of our Slo Poks members who is an ace metal man owned the car for several years, he hated the headlight treatment and actually bought a pair of nice front fender halfs with the intention of switching it back to the factory single head lights, before got around to it someone came along and offered to buy it as-is otherwise it would have been converted back long ago.
     
  16. Moriarity
    Joined: Apr 11, 2001
    Posts: 31,550

    Moriarity
    SUPER MODERATOR
    Staff Member

    man, what a shame it would have been.... glad it stayed as is...
     
  17. seb fontana
    Joined: Sep 1, 2005
    Posts: 8,526

    seb fontana
    Member
    from ct

    I'm glad it stayed in the PNW.
     
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