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1960 Ford Thunderbird

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  • Member since
    January 2013
1960 Ford Thunderbird
Posted by FenderMender on Saturday, May 16, 2020 1:12 PM

1960 Ford Thunderbird from the "Famous Sports Car" series
Kit Number 520-49
Scale: 1:32 
Released in 1962

Original price: 49 cents
Current price:  $65.00

This previously constructed vintage glue bomb* was found in an old dusty cardboard box of antiquated and broken up balsa airplane models and parts from the 1960s.  It had no wheels, no dash or steering wheel, no windshield glass or frame, no hardtop and no convertible boot. And it was liberally covered in glue, actually heavily welded together with such, and assembled incorrectly with misaligned parts causing them to warp over time as a result. This model would have been tossed into the trash long ago by most builders as being too far gone- a complete disaster.  I certainly doubted if it could be saved myself. But it was challenging  to see what could possibly be made of it somehow. (The grille and taillights were definitely cool parts at least.) The process of just getting it into reasonable pieces through disassembly was a big chore as the parts were so thickly glued together to an extreme. And restoring the plastic pieces to some semblance of smooth required very careful and prolonged scraping, sanding and filing so as to not destroy their integrity.

* In this case, the glue bomb was a kit that someone, a childhood friend of mine at the time perhaps, didn't (a) know how to assemble or didn't read the instructions and follow them, (b) didn't care how it looked as long as it took just a short while to "build" and (c) usually ended up in a fiery mess involving firecrackers and dad's lighter fluid. This one ended up in my parent's attic for about sixty years!

The project took about a month's time working here and there and debating in my mind whether it was worth it to continue or not. Gradually things began to get better and progress happened slowly. Much research viewing photos was done on the internet to get the proper look and proportions for parts that had to be scratch built. A major problem was the wheels and tires. There was nothing in my parts bin that would suffice; so castings were made from one tire/wheel that I had that looked the right size. The dash was a real headache to construct. Lots and lots of trial and errors.  Finally, joining the model back together taxed my patience to the limit, being that the warped parts would not align as they had done previously when dry fitting them together. With clear Gorilla glue on them, all four major pieces, two body sides, chassis (with the interior tub loose in place on it) and top, had to be fastened and positioned together all at once, there was no other sequence that would work. What a royal pain in the keister.

My original intention was to put a great paint job on it after filling in all the pits, cavities and gaps, but this was nixed by the complicated assembly process that would certainly foul up an otherwise clean paint job. I chose, before assembling, to handbrush a flat finish on it, be it mottled some, suggesting an older, non-garaged car exposed to much sunshine and inclement weather. LOL The model looks far better in hand than in the photos below. But it still looks pretty sad. It could easily win an ugly award. As has been stated before, a good tasting chicken salad cannot be made with chicken poop.

Thanks for looking...








  • Member since
    January 2005
  • From: Canberra, Australia
Posted by aussiemuscle308 on Monday, May 18, 2020 2:54 AM
well, it's a 1000 times better. nice save

My Flickr:

  • Member since
    December 2019
  • From: New Braunfels,Tx.
Posted by Metalbender on Tuesday, May 19, 2020 2:02 PM

Who can pick nit with that? Whatta Save, great use of your skills! Lookin at the befores I think it's done fairly well, considering what you had to work with.

  • Member since
    May 2013
Posted by Blgrnday on Tuesday, May 19, 2020 7:22 PM

Wow ! I can't imagine how much patience you had to rescue that one . I'm a fan of the '60 T-Bird and didn't know Aurora kitted this subject . Thanks for sharing .

  • Member since
    December 2019
  • From: New Braunfels,Tx.
Posted by Metalbender on Wednesday, June 17, 2020 5:56 PM

It's nice to Know!

 What? that I am a glutton for the same kind of punishment, But, with ships. Very decent save!


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