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General Information

Year
1979
Make
Ford
Model
Thunderbird
Color
White with green molding
Packages
Custom one of a kind interior
History
This was my first Thunderbird and I went to look at it, and bought it, specifically because it had a healthy 351 Cleveland in it. It was in excellent condition. After my accident, an accidental gunshot which put me in a wheelchair, everyone said I'd need to sell it and get a van. I said, "Oh Heck No! I'll get hand controls and load in and out of my T-Bird. You don't pick up chicks in a van." True to my word I did just that.

While I was in re-hab I found out my younger brother was driving the heck out of her, (without my permission I might add) so I told my dad she had to be brought to me so I could begin practicing my transfers. As soon as I got out of re-hab I began the task of cleaning her up. I had to run her through the car wash twice to get all the mud off. In no time I was making my arms (which were weak in comparison to before my accident) sore by waxing her by hand. I scared my mother half to death when she came out and found me on the hood (I transferred on to my armrest and then onto the hood) so I could clean the windshield. She worriedly asked, "What are you going to do if you fall?!" I laughed and said, "Probably bounce!" She didn't find it funny. My three year old son thought it was hilarious.

After about a year my mother borrowed her to go to bingo because my younger brother had her Buick. She came home begging me to tell her I had full coverage, which I didn't. She had hit a deer. With a lot of help from my reluctant younger brother I replaced both front fenders, the complete header, and the hood. She then got a Maaco paint job which I picked apart and got repainted until they were sick of me and refused to do any more. I loved on her even more for a couple more years and then rear ended someone hard enough to buckle the hood above the top of the car.

My younger brother looked under it and said, "Frame's bent. Can't fix it. Sorry." I suspect he just didn't want me to ask him for help. At the time I still wasn't quite able to do that kind of stuff by myself so I took his word for it and shopped around until I found a '77 in a farmer's field that my hand controls would swap into. My '79 then became a parts car and I began pulling what I needed off of it to get the '77 drivable which included the entire interior, steering wheel, entire dash, seats and all. Sadly someone snuck onto Dad's property and stole several parts off of the Cleveland and worse yet they left the hood open and it filled with rain.

After a dream about turning it into a tow behind trailer which I told my older brother about and him looking inside it and saying, "Wow! There really IS a lot of room in there now that everything is out of it!" to which I had replied, "Yeah, probably what caused the dream but it wouldn't be feasible. It's too heavy. You couldn't haul much unless you had a truck to tow it." He gave it a second look and said, "True, but it sure would be a cool tow behind camper." *LIGHTBULB* "Challenge Accepted!" "Yeah right, you're not going to." "Bet on it!" Thus the T-Camper was born!

It took a Lot of long, Long hours of planning and even longer countless hours of wood working, and eventually I rebuilt the front end, Hanging the fenders and header By Myself I might add, and it's still not finished but she sure gets compliments from those who understand the Redneck Vision.

The pictures won't be in the sections 'where they belong' because my O.C.D. only wants me to post them in a certain order.
1979 Ford Thunderbird (White with green molding)

Modifications

Drivetrain
Under the hood is the battery and a ready wood supply. No scrounging for firewood at the lake for me!

Behind the 'eyelids' is propane bottle storage Just In Case one decides to leak during the night.

One day I hope to build a water tank behind the grill just because.
Interior
I had already gutted the interior as it went into the '77 piece of project car. Once I was inspired I created a 6'+ bed, cabinets where the bottom of the dash would be with a shelf in all but one, drawers where the actual dash would be (while retaining the metal dash piece with the vin# on it), small cabinets in the body behind the doors on either side, each with small shelves, custom wooden "arm rests" (all with specialty handles), specially made cushions with removable covers as well as matching pillow cases, a removable table which stabs right through the bed cushion (now a beautiful poker table but I need new pictures), stereo and speakers, 110 puck lighting which runs off of a 110 power inverter in the trunk, camo screen roll up curtains front and back, slip cover curtains for the front windows which still roll up and down, glued in 'curtains' for the smaller side windows, wooden headliner, and of course storage under the bed which is where I keep the camo window screens I almost forgot to mention. They are held in with 1x2's, carriage bolts, and wing nuts so the doors can still open and close.
Exterior
Not really modifications but I replaced the front fenders, header, and hood and added the missing Thunderbird emblem to the deck lid. Added a tow bar to get her where she needs to go and then had grade 8 nuts welded into the bumper and frame so that additional heavy duty brackets could be added to further secure the bumper. Oh, and the doors have now been switched back since the '77 died and it's now a parts car instead of being fixed up.
Audio
It's for camping. Just the stereo and I make my own entertainment.
Suspension
Standard suspension though I'd love to do something with it. At the very least I want to swap the springs to see if it levels out or possibly cut the front coils and add air shocks to the back. If I had the money I'd put it on an air ride suspension so I could level it any way I needed to. Ah to dream...
Wheel and Tire
As with Birdie, she now has basic P235 75R15s mounted on stock rims with spoke hubcaps which aren't shown in these old pictures.

Also not shown in the pictures are the 110 power inverter and electric fuel pump in the trunk. Nothing like being able to bring a 20-25 gallon gas can with you in case you need to refill the boat, or a motorcycle, or even Birdie for that matter!

As with everything, I still have more ideas that would just make this even more unique and user friendly. But, alas, I'm Project Poor!

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