Tonneau Covers

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Kingair02
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Tonneau Covers

Post by Kingair02 » Wed May 16, 2018 12:42 pm

I have a 1955 bird and I've just learned of an option for that year. Ford apparently made a Tonneau cover available for the 55-57 birds... that's great, but I have no idea about how it attaches to the car and can't find any instructions. Help?!
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55Greg&Amy
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Re: Tonneau Covers

Post by 55Greg&Amy » Wed May 16, 2018 1:34 pm

Greg Minnich
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Re: Tonneau Covers

Post by CSavaglio » Wed May 16, 2018 9:30 pm

It's great to have. In the summer time, I use the tonneau and either leave the soft top at home or in the car. It was a dealer option or parts counter option and, at some point, I believe in '56, it became a production option. They have a zipper, so if you don't have a passenger, you can just open up the driver side.

'55s would have all had a black one, although later more colors were available. It attaches with a flap that glues under the rear deck trim, replacing the glued in rear curtain vinyl. I don't know when it was added to my car, but they used snaps all the way around. I like it because I can take the cover completely off, although it's not correct. The original snaps were brass, so I'm assuming it was done a long time before. It was missing and I replaced it with a new cover. The hardest thing on the install is accepting that you need to drill holes in the tops of the doors and windshield trim to put the snaps on.

The trim/sealer guide has the install procedure and directions are included with the new kits. You may want an upholsterer or marine shop that does boat tonneaus (they're attached pretty much the same) since the snap rivet tool is expensive and has a learning curve. I used the Snaprite kit that uses attachments for a standard pop rivet gun and it worked very well.

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Re: Tonneau Covers

Post by CSavaglio » Wed May 16, 2018 9:31 pm

55Greg&Amy wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 1:34 pm
Try this link. http://restorationandredemption.blogspo ... d-top.html
In that post, "it felt a little funny to drill into the door" may be the biggest understatement I've ever read.....

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55Greg&Amy
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Re: Tonneau Covers

Post by 55Greg&Amy » Wed May 16, 2018 11:06 pm

Exactly why I don’t have one. I have an extra complete set of stainless trim with the holes and snaps already installed but I can’t bring myself to drill into the doors.
Greg Minnich
Fort Wayne, In

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Re: Tonneau Covers

Post by Joe Johnston » Thu May 17, 2018 3:46 am

I had one for my 56 and seldom used it. They are nice to have, but I too would not install one and drill the holes. About 7 years ago I repainted my 57, welded in the fender mount antenna hole. Still haven't drilled the trunk lid for the new antenna!! Its only metal, I can weld and repaint to change it back, but just can't bring myself to do it.
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Re: Tonneau Covers

Post by ICON 1961 » Thu May 17, 2018 11:37 am

NPD has several Tonneau Cover colors for $179.00 I just ordered one to match my Sage Green 56
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Re: Tonneau Covers

Post by 1957Birdman » Fri May 18, 2018 7:14 pm

I installed a tonneau on my car and it turned out very well. Yes, I did drill into the doors. It is no big deal if you carefully follow the instructions. One thing that hasn't been mentioned in this thread is that there are two versions of the tonneau. Version 1 is the way that it came from the factory. In this version the tonneau serves as a replacement for the drop curtain when not in use. It is permanently attached to the car. Version 2 is the one that was available over the counter at the Ford dealer parts department. That one has snaps front, back, and sides and can be completely removed when not being used and stowed in a case that came with it. The T-Bird parts suppliers offer Version 1 with all the attachments necessary to install it. They do not offer Version 2 in their catalogs, but may be available on special order (talk to your supplier about that).

I believe that a 1955 would only have had Version 2 installed since the tonneau was not available as a factory option. The 1956 and 1957 could have had either version installed. The color of the tonneau should match the seat bolster color (e.g., 1955 - red, turquoise, black, 1956- red, black, tan, green, peacock, 1957 - Flame Red, Colonial White, Raven Black, Thunderbird Bronze, Cumberland Green, Dresden Blue).

I have not been able to confirm that the only color available on the over the counter version was black. I have a fairly extensive library to T-Bird literature and was not able to find any mention of this. It may be the case and if so I would like to know where it is confirmed.
Sincerely,
Lew Bachman
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Re: Tonneau Covers

Post by CSavaglio » Fri May 18, 2018 8:49 pm

Well, that would explain why my '55 had snaps at the rear and the old curtain retained. The one I got from Larry's a while back was the type with the flap intending to glue in place of the curtain. I simply ignored the flap and put snaps all the way around to match the snap locations already in place.

I feel like I read somewhere that black was the only color available for a '55. I may be blurring it with the soft top in my head, though. The last time I looked into it was 4 or 5 years ago when I got my car but if I run across it, I will cite the source. Hopefully I'm not giving bad info. If a cover was purchased from the dealer parts counter later on, I can't see why you couldn't get any of the colors unless it was initially available only in black.

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Re: Tonneau Covers

Post by BuddyP » Mon May 21, 2018 1:13 pm

I recently acquired from the family of the original purchaser a 1957 T-Bird with all its original documentation including the August 1957 factory to dealer notification. This car was delivered with three tops: the hardtop is in very good condition, the soft top is in excellent condition, and the tonneau cover has holes (mice ?) in it.

My factory-installed tonneau cover has two zippers: one down the middle and a second half zipper along the back edge that mates with another half zipper on a 4 inch flap that is fastened under the trim behind the seat.

I have checked with Larry's, CASCO and Concours and they offer identical covers (probably from the same supplier) but their covers do not have the rear half zipper and instead offer a plain rear flap to be glued or otherwise fastened under the rear trim.

There is nothing wrong with the operation of the zipper on the rear of my tonneau cover and on the 4 inch flap that is fastened behind the seat and under the trim.

I seek an identical replacement for my current, dirty tonneau cover with it's holes.

Suggestions would be appreciated.

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Re: Tonneau Covers

Post by 1957Birdman » Mon May 21, 2018 6:40 pm

Your current tonneau cover is not one installed by the factory. If you have the original factory invoice that confirms that the car was ordered with the tonneau, than the tonneau has been replaced with an aftermarket one at some point in its existence. Both the factory installed and the one available from the parts counter only had a single zipper down the middle.
Regards,
Lew Bachman
1957 Colonial White

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Re: Tonneau Covers

Post by CSPIDY » Mon May 21, 2018 7:28 pm

A decent appolstry shop could duplicate yours with little trouble. It is very easy to remove. I took mine out last winter to have it repaired.
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BuddyP
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Re: Tonneau Covers

Post by BuddyP » Mon May 21, 2018 8:25 pm

Thanks for the information and advice!

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Kingair02
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Re: Tonneau Covers

Post by Kingair02 » Mon May 21, 2018 10:11 pm

Thanks everyone for your responses... they helped a lot! I'll let everyone know when I've finished installing one - maybe even post a picture if I can figure out how to do that!!

Bob
55, 60 & 64 Birds ::?

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