ad with questionable engine info

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TbirdIntender
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ad with questionable engine info

Post by TbirdIntender »

The seller says this '65 was special ordered with the 427 engine. Is that remotely possible?

https://phoenix.craigslist.org/nph/cto/ ... 48511.html
1966 Town Hardtop in sapphire blue
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Alan H. Tast
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Re: ad with questionable engine info

Post by Alan H. Tast »

TbirdIntender wrote: Wed Nov 24, 2021 1:12 am The seller says this '65 was special ordered with the 427 engine. Is that remotely possible?

https://phoenix.craigslist.org/nph/cto/ ... 48511.html
Show me the original gate release/invoice that says it has it. Otherwise, I call 'Bravo Sierra.'
Alan H. Tast, AIA
Technical Director/Past President,
Vintage Thunderbird Club Int'l.
Author, "Thunderbird 1955-1966" & "Thunderbird 50 Years"
1963 Hardtop & 1963 Sports Roadster
jtschug
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Re: ad with questionable engine info

Post by jtschug »

Remotely possible? Back in those days, yes it was remotely possible. High level executives at Ford, and owners of very large Ford dealerships (like Tasca) could literally call up the plant manager at Wixom and get a 427 installed in a particular car. The number of cars potentially built this way would be less than the fingers on one hand.

Is it possible that this car is one of those? I would say absolutely no. If this were true, then the engine would be the most valuable part of this car and the ad contains no pictures of it. None. So factory installed or not, I highly doubt this car has a 427 in it. In the extremely unlikely event that it does have a 427 under the hood, the odds it was installed in the factory are like 10,000 to 1. It would be like finding a Picasso in the Goodwill store. It would take a lot of research and documentation to prove the car left the factory with that engine, but if you did, it would be a very rare and valuable car.
1966 Thunderbird Convertible (Emberglo / White-Emberglo)
Modified 428 - stroked, rollercam, aluminum top end, headers
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Scott6T6
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Re: ad with questionable engine info

Post by Scott6T6 »

I have heard of a few '64/65 Thunderbird's that were equipped with a 427, but as jtschug stated "the number of cars potentially built this way would be less than the fingers on one hand". I agree and seriously doubt this '65 Special Landau could possibly be one of those cars.

The ONLY '64 - '66 Thunderbird I have ever heard of that supposedly came out of Wixom fitted with a 427 was the "Tascabird" - a 1964 Thunderbird Hardtop that was special ordered by Bob Tasca of Tasca Ford. It is my understanding that particular '64 Thunderbird was indeed driven out the doors at Wixom with a 427 under the hood, but the paperwork showed it to have a 390. I heard the engine install in this car did in fact hold up the assembly line. Ford's official position on this matter was "a 427 would never fit in a Thunderbird". Apparently it could be done and they did it at least once, although not without some modifications required to make it fit into the snug '64 engine compartment. Rumor has it Sammy Davis Jr. ended up with this Thunderbird. The story goes once Sammy had seen the car, he had to have it and simply would not take "no" for an answer! Where this Thunderbird is today is unknown as far as I know.

Here is an interesting article taken from a 1964 edition of CARS magazine on this special, 427 equipped '64 Thunderbird Hardtop special ordered by Bob Tasca. Note the customized front end treatment done by the Alaxander Bros out of Detroit. I read some place this front end treatment was the inspiration for the 1966 Thunderbird front end restyle, executed by the late David Ash.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

Scott
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tasca427-1 Tascabird.jpg
tasca427-2-Tascabird.jpg
tasca427-3-Tascabird.jpg
Scott6T6
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Re: ad with questionable engine info

Post by Scott6T6 »

While we're on the subject, here's a letter from Bob Tasca sent to Ford regarding his apparent request for a new '65 Thunderbird fitted with a 427. As you can see, the letter was addressed to Jacque Passino, the assistant manager of the Special Vehicles Department of Ford Motor Company. Notice the date stamping of Dec 31, 1964. It sounds like Ford wouldn't do it, but offered him an alternative and Bob was advised to order this new '65 Thunderbird as a conventional unit and order the engine and transmission separately.

We read here Bob was confirming he would go ahead and submit that order for the Thunderbird.
He was also requesting they send him a complete, low profile, 1965 427 4bbl with hydraulic lifters along with one PCE heavy duty automatic transmission.

Obviously, if Wixom refused to do it, Tasca Ford would do it themselves and it sounds like indeed they did.
I'm guessing after installing a 427 in a '64 Thunderbird that Bob Tasca had ordered the previous year and the problems they encountered on the assembly line in the process, that Wixom may have concluded they would not do that again.

Interesting...

Makes you wonder what ever happened to this car?

Scott
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Tasca Ford letter for 1965 Thunderbird and 427 engine.jpg
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TbirdIntender
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Re: ad with questionable engine info

Post by TbirdIntender »

Thanks for the info, guys! My gut pretty much said no on the ad claim when I first read it.

Very interesting article, Scott6T6. I'm not sure I see a lot of the '66 front end on the Tasca car, but out back they absolutely originated the center backup light. I don't have a clue what those rear "directional=parking" lights would have been, though.
1966 Town Hardtop in sapphire blue
jtschug
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Re: ad with questionable engine info

Post by jtschug »

In addition to Wixom built special cars, Ford was also known to build special cars in the “X-garage”. This is where Bill Ford (Sr.)’s personal 1959 Lincoln Continental was upgraded in 1968 with a 429 and C6 automatic.

This particular car is recognized as “factory build” because Ford (re)built it that way.

Obviously if your name is on the company, your grandfather founded you have a seat on the board, your family owns most of the voting shares, and your brother is the Chairman and CEO, you will get services very few other people will get.
1966 Thunderbird Convertible (Emberglo / White-Emberglo)
Modified 428 - stroked, rollercam, aluminum top end, headers
Dublin, CA
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Alan H. Tast
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Re: ad with questionable engine info

Post by Alan H. Tast »

jtschug wrote: Thu Nov 25, 2021 2:05 pm In addition to Wixom built special cars, Ford was also known to build special cars in the “X-garage”. This is where Bill Ford (Sr.)’s personal 1959 Lincoln Continental was upgraded in 1968 with a 429 and C6 automatic.
IIRC that was a 56 Continental Mk II, not a 59. That aside, the issue being questioned is factory-installed engines not offered in new production vs retrofitting. Tasca's history of yanking OEM powerplants and installation of "hot" packages like the 427 or similar is well known. Documentation though is where it gets dicey.
Alan H. Tast, AIA
Technical Director/Past President,
Vintage Thunderbird Club Int'l.
Author, "Thunderbird 1955-1966" & "Thunderbird 50 Years"
1963 Hardtop & 1963 Sports Roadster
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