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Old 11-14-2019, 07:20 PM   #4
Senior Member
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: outside Omaha, NE
Posts: 182
Default Re: 1956 T Bird Paint Question

Originally Posted by Daves55Sedan View Post
Everything is supposed to be black enamel, including inner fender aprons. The only thing that is not black is the splash pan which should be Ford Argent silver enamel.
Maybe for a '55 full-size car, but the T-bird is a somewhat different animal. Inner fender side and front aprons (at least on the engine bay side) are painted body color; the underside/wheel house area of the side aprons may be blacked out, but I need to study the body assembly diagrams to see what was spec'd out. For the grille cavity area, typically the front-facing surfaces like the front aprons/radiator supports would be black - if I remember correctly, the entire body shell was painted in color, then blackout treatment applied inside the grille cavity. In short, the factory was going for the effect of making the area behind the grille "disappear." As for the splash pan (some might call it a 'chin' - the part the sits behind the front bumper), if memory serves me correctly the visible/upper surfaces would be body color on a 'Bird (it was unitized body construction with the front clip welded to the cabin, not separate like on the full-size car). (EDIT) There is separate splash pan (called the radiator air deflector) that goes between the 'chin' and the radiator support/body crossmember - that would be black.

Again, we'd need to study the body assembly diagrams along with CTCI's Concours Rules/Restoration Manual and VTCI's 1955-1957 Original Factory Specifications Manuals for the final say. So before you start going hog-wild with a spray can of black enamel, let those who've dealt with '55-'57s chime in. Actually, I'd recommend acquiring CTCI's Restoration Manual and its addendums as it covers these and related items VERY thoroughly.
Alan H. Tast AIA, LEED AP BD+C
Technical Director/Past President, Vintage Thunderbird Club Int'l.
Author, "Thunderbird 1955-1966" & "Thunderbird 50 Years"
30 year member, Crown Victoria Ass'n.

Last edited by alt63bird; 11-15-2019 at 09:45 AM. Reason: Updated/Added Info on Splash Pans/Front Fender Aprons
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