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55 Conv Top Frame?

This is a discussion on 55 Conv Top Frame? within the Early Birds [1955-1957] forums, part of the Thunderbird Model Years category; A neighbor of mine recently got an old top frame from a friend and was told it was for a ...

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  #1 (permalink)   IP: 148.64.98.235
Old 11-19-2009, 06:44 PM
 
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55 Conv Top Frame?

A neighbor of mine recently got an old top frame from a friend and was told it was for a Karmann Ghia...he showed it to me and it is definitely not. After sleuthing around and hunting down part numbers, it appears that it is a top frame for a 55 T-Bird. Can you guys help me identify it?

DSC00390.jpg
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Old 11-19-2009, 08:47 PM
 
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bugnbox,
From what I can see from the photo, you are correct. It certainly looks like a complete top frame and swing arm from a small bird. Closeups of different sections of the frame itself and the three sets of latches would identify the actual year. The Two chrome lever clamps that are located on the top tail frame (rear of the car, at the edge of where the plastic rear window would be in the convertible top) would tell the tale. If they are doglegged, then its from a 55 or early 56. If they are straight, then the top is from a late 56 or 57. If everything is there and none of the castings are broken, its worth $2500 or more and highly saleable. Check the Amos Minter website. They always have many tops for sale and will give you an insight as to its value.
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Old 11-19-2009, 11:02 PM
 
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Its got the dog legged rear clamps...no side clamps and there is a broken casting and half of the stainless trim along the front edge is missing
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Old 11-21-2009, 12:45 PM
 
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Minter

My buddy sent some photos to Amos Minter and his offer for it seemed really low. The broken casting can be welded pretty easy...I can do it (should I?)

Is ebay the best place to market it?

Its not going to fit the Karmann Ghia obviously! LOL!
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Old 11-22-2009, 12:13 AM
 
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By all means sell it on eBay, if you're so inclined. Personally I would get the broken casting fixed properly, and then advertise the top stating that the one casting has been repaired properly and not cobbled. Put a reserve on the item to prevent its being sold for peanuts rather than at market value ($2000 +). These things do not sell cheap, particularly when the swing arm and mounting brackets are included. And, all new pins and hardware kits for the frames are available as a kit from several TBird suppliers. Another way to sell it is to possibly consign the top with a swap meet retailer who specializes in TBird parts. With a little bit of work someone will want to buy it for what it is worth.

I'm not at all surprised that AM tried to purchase the item and at a low price. Profits are made in the buying, not the selling. Their offer tells you that there is a strong market for your top, as many 55-57 small birds were sold with hard tops, that many new owners of these cars have found to be less desireable than the soft top. Good Luck!
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