Ron & Diana Davis
Our “one-family -owner” 1968 Brittney Blue, Landau 2-door T-Bird came to me by way of my Mom and Dad. They bought the car new in Rosslyn, Virginia back when it was car dealers, pawn shops and lumber yards – a million years ago! The car is a little unusual because they ordered it with a“bench” front seat, so it is a 6 passenger 2-door. The car was mostly driven mostlly locally so when Mom offered me the car back in 1985 it had only about 70,000 miles on it. I eagerly took the “blue Bird” and It became our second car for the next 20 years, but by 2005 EVERYTHING started leaking and I took it out of daily use. It sat on the street under a double cover for several years. Well, that was NOT a good idea because LOTS of moisture come up from the street and a thin layer of rust covered everything underneith and the brake calipers and rear shoes froze. Then I started noticing bubbles developing under the vinyl roof!! Diana said “take it to the junk yard!” I was stunned and told her that I would restore the Bird next year aftrer I retired.
So from 2008 to 2012 I began the restoration and decided that the first step should be getting all the engine/mechanical problems sorted out. The 429” was basically sound with only about 100,000 miles on it, but needed a water pump. Also, the car ran poorly on 93 octaine. This was cured by a new “Holly 600” carb and a high-output petronics ignition sysem. After many hours tracking down vaccum leaks I finally got the AC/heat working.
The next step was stripping off all the chrome and as many of you may know, these “big Birds” were put together for keeps. Not only were the drip rails rivited on, but removing the landau irons from the roof required taking out the rear quarter side window housings which means taking apart lots of the rear headliner and side upholstery trim! Some rust in the rear fenders was beautifully repaired by Greg Schebish at “Shebish Bros” restorations in Manassas, Va. I then hauled the car up to Central Pennsylvania for painting by a guy who had done an earlier car for me at a reasonable price.
Well, as you can see from these photos, it all paid off and we have been enjoying the MATC events and going to many other shows.