My wife had an eye appointment and I decided to tag along just to get out of the house. When we arrived…I saw a vehicle that I had never see before, in that configuration anyway. I took some pictures and as I headed back to my truck…I saw a lady put some things on the trunk of the car. I introduced myself and ask her if she owned the beautiful vehicle. She said that it was her husband’s and she told me where to find him in the doctor’s office. I had to know some more about the vehicle so I sought him out. He was a nice guy and obviously a car guy because he told me he built the car himself using a kit. I pretty much guessed what the original car was (I peeked at the interior) so I wonder if anyone else would care to guess. Most of you will probably identify it immediately but I’ll throw in a kicker question. Who made the kit and what make and model does it represent? BTW…the owner’s name is Clifton and he was thrilled that his vehicle would be on CarTalk.
Donor car: 1996-7 Thunderbird
body kit: Easy Rods '49-'51 Ford replica
Clifton: good work, but now your baby needs a cool paint job. Go wild!
A tip of the hat to jesmed. I would not have figured this out in a million years. The front looks vintage '30s-'40s, the rear looks vintage '50s-'60s, and the profile looks vintage '70s.
Once again, The Google knows all…because I sure don’t.
That roof line is the give away for me. They’re very distinctive car to car. You can tell when a maker’s just doing a refresh - the front and rear can change, but the roof line is the same.
That car reminds me of a line from the movie The Last Samurai: “I belong to the warrior in whom the old ways have joined the new.”
The 49 - 51 Ford part was easy. I learned to drive on one, but the kit company would mean nothing to me.
I also had a '50 Ford coupe that my dad gave me. I guess that’s why I liked this car so much. @jesmed you correctly guessed the kit maker…it’s EasyRods out of New Jersey.
Hmmm, 49 Ford front and back? You gots to do one or the other for the rest of it in my view.
Does the kit use the glass from the T-bird? The backlight is twice as big as a 1950 Ford…And they had split windshields…But the result looks pretty cool! I took a peek at a '97 'Bird and sure enough, looks like the kit used that glass, saving a lot of time, money and effort…
I knew the roof line but didn’t know an early Ford body kit was made for that era of T-Bird.
That’s a pretty nice looking rig the guy has got there.
If I have one complaint about it (not a big one) it’s the color. I like a bit of flash so some type of fire engine red would have been my preference.
Still, nice car and no doubt a lot of work involved; kit car or not.
The first one of these conversions that I’ve encountered was at a car show, i believe that one was painted a candy apple red. That was years ago. The changes are confined to the front and rear ends to you keep the factory glass all around. These kits have been advertised in the T-Bird section of Hemmings Magazine for years.
@Caddyman - Those kits pretty much always leave the glass and roof alone, too hard to change those.
I have actually seen a couple of these cars in person. My first thought was " the answer to a question no one asked "