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Second Chance Garage

For the Classic Car Restoration Enthusiast

Second Chance Garage


Second Chance Garage

For the Classic Car Restoration Enthusiast

Second Chance Garage

Second Chance Garage

For the Classic Car Restoration Enthusiast

Second Chance Garage

1955 Ford Thunderbird

Read our beginning-to-end series on our 1955 Thunderbird Restoration Project.

1955 T-Bird Project Wrap Up

55 Tbird
We thought you would like to know how much effort was required to perform our T-Bird frame-off restoration. Here are the stats! …keep reading

T-Bird Car Restoration Project Part 21 - It is Done! Well...

T-Bird Car Restoration Project Part 21 - It is Done! Well...

55 Tbird
We have finished the Thunderbird project. That is, the basic project is completed. Now for some careful test driving …keep reading

T-Bird Car Restoration Project Part 20 - The Electrical Work is Done

55 Tbird
In our last T-Bird project update we left off at the completion of the wiring of the dashboard. Now to continue on …keep reading

T-Bird Project Part 19 - The Electrical Work Begins

T-Bird Project Part 19 - The Electrical Work Begins

55 Tbird
The old wiring harness in our '55 T-Bird Project car was in no condition to be reused. 50 years of use and abuse had taken its toll …keep reading

T-Bird Project Part 18 - We Finally Got The Painting Done!

55 Tbird
The bodywork took quite a while. Now to make this 'Bird shine …keep reading

T-Bird Project Part 17 - We Rebuild and Upholster the 55 T-Bird

T-Bird Project Part 17 - We Rebuild and Upholster the 55 T-Bird

55 Tbird
Aside from the fact that our original seat was turquoise and the new upholstery would be red, we knew that 50 years of use had taken its toll on the structure itself …keep reading

T-Bird Project - Part 16: Back to the Body!

T-Bird Project - Part 16: Back to the Body!

55 Tbird
We didn't attack the doors until the rest of the body was reasonably straight, since they were handier in place...they helped keep the body straight. But now we do the doors …keep reading

1955 T-Bird Restoration Project Part 15 - And Now for Something Completely Different!

1955 T-Bird Restoration Project Part 15 - And Now for Something Completely Different!

55 Tbird
During the planning stages of our '55 T-Bird car restoration project, we included air conditioning as a "must-have" option. This, of course, requires a few modifications to the dash …keep reading

T-Bird Project Part 14 - We Engineer a Shifter

T-Bird Project Part 14 - We Engineer a Shifter

55 Tbird
The T-Bird originally had a 2-speed automatic. We've installed a 4-speed that has completely different linkage considerations...not to mention clearance problems …keep reading

1955 T-Bird Car Restoration Project - Part 13 - Where, Oh Where Does the Radiator Go?

55 Tbird
When you change out the entire front frame to accommodate a rack-and-pinion steering system, clearances for other items are going to be affected. Adding a modern aluminum radiator tends to complicate things even more …keep reading

T-Bird Restoration Part 12 - We Do the Brakes!

T-Bird Restoration Part 12 - We Do the Brakes!

55 Tbird
As we contemplate painting the car, we decided to work on the brake system. This should always be done before painting to insure against spilling brake fluid on the finish …keep reading

T-Bird Project Part 11 - We Build a New Steering System

T-Bird Project Part 11 - We Build a New Steering System

55 Tbird
We removed and discarded the old worm-gear steering box, Pitman arm and linkages. Our new front suspension included rack-and-pinion steering, so all we had to do was connect the rack to the steering wheel. Over 20 photos show how we accomplished this task …keep reading

T-Bird Project - Part 10 - The Body Work Continues

55 Tbird
After a reassessment of our progress, we decided on a course of action that we hoped will get us to the paintng stage by spring '05. (Article was written Sept. '04). So here's what we decided …keep reading

T-Bird Car Restoration Project - Part 9 - We Start the Bodywork

55 Tbird
With the near-completion of the chassis now out of the way, we decided to turn out attention to the body …keep reading

T-Bird Car Restoration Project Part 8 - We Install the New Drivetrain

55 Tbird
After the successful outcome of '55 T-Bird car restoraton project's new front suspension, it was time to install the rebuilt engine and new AOD transmission …keep reading

T-Bird Restoration Project Part 7 - Front End Conversion

T-Bird Restoration Project Part 7 - Front End Conversion

55 Tbird
As we mentioned early in this series of articles, we wanted to "modernize" the '55 T-Bird as we restore it. To make our project car "road worthy" we needed to upgrade the front suspension....here's how we did it …keep reading

T-Bird Car Restoration Project Part 6 - Two in One

55 Tbird
Since the hardtop was a separate component of the car, we decided to restore it and install the headliner, if for no other reason than for the psychological lift we'd get out of a finished project …keep reading

T-Bird Car Restoration Project Part 5 - The Rear End

55 Tbird
We've been waiting for front suspension (modern Mustang) parts, and until these are welded in place there is no way to install the engine/transmission assembly into our '55 T-Bird car restoration project. So we decided to tackle the rear end while we waited …keep reading

T-Bird Car Restoration Project Part 4 - Rebuilding the Engine

55 Tbird
In spite of fuel leakage in the "teapot" carburetor the old motor started up and ran quite smoothly, but there was lots of blue smoke. We weren't worried about the smoke because we'd be replacing all of the components that might be the cause. We then took it apart for a rebuild …keep reading

T-Bird Car Restoration Project - Part 2

55 Tbird
The Thunderbird is coming apart. Once it was positioned in the garage we removed the hard top, hood and trunk lid and stored them away from harm. We then went through all the boxes of parts in the trunk and sorted out what was in good condition, what wasn't, and started a list of missing pieces. In the process we discovered a number of missing interior trim pieces, so the budget will have to bulge a little to compensate …keep reading

1955 Thunderbird Car Restoration Project - Part 1

55 Tbird
A solid project candidate revealed itself within one week of searching. What we believed would be a 6-month to one-year search turned out to be virtually instantaneous …keep reading