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Old 11-14-2019, 03:50 PM   #1
Bonniewwyn
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Default 1956 T Bird Paint Question

The area behind the grille but in front of radiator on our'56 bird is painted body colour including radiator core support. Only the horns are black. Is this correct ?? Thanks guys!
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Old 11-14-2019, 05:11 PM   #2
Daves55Sedan
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Default Re: 1956 T Bird Paint Question

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.
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Old 11-14-2019, 06:33 PM   #3
Bonniewwyn
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Default Re: 1956 T Bird Paint Question

Great ! I had the grill out to adjust the hood and asI have both black and the yellow I wanted to freshen up the area behind the grill. Went to the car meet here in Zephyr Hills but no early birds to compare to !!! Thank You.
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Old 11-14-2019, 07:20 PM   #4
alt63bird
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Default Re: 1956 T Bird Paint Question

Quote:
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.
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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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Old 11-14-2019, 07:21 PM   #5
dmsfrr
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Default Re: 1956 T Bird Paint Question

Bonniewwyn,
Are you concerned about picky car show judges, other 'opinionated' owners or do you just want the car to look better?

Here's a link to a pdf CTCI document with a list of the "correct" finishes of just about everything.
https://www.ctci.org/wp-content/uplo...enticity-1.pdf

If your concern is car show judges you should find a copy of the 500 page CTCI Restoration Manual. It's a 2 binder set.

A few photos of a repainted '55.
I've been told by several folks who know way more than me that the vertical radiator support was painted body color since it was welded in as part of the body assembly before painting. (photo 1)
And, the lower gravel/air deflector was a black color (photo 2) along with the air tubes, their scoops and the horns (photo 3 & 4) since they were added after the bare body was painted.
This car is a 'driver' and I preferred the all black look anyway.

Ps: in the first photo the lower air/gravel deflector shield is incorrectly(?) painted body color because the car was repainted after a wreck.
.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg grille opening, copy.jpg (67.0 KB, 18 views)
File Type: jpg deflector - gravel shield, c.jpg (50.8 KB, 16 views)
File Type: jpg grille opening, black c.jpg (67.9 KB, 17 views)
File Type: jpg air scoops, c.jpg (57.2 KB, 18 views)

Last edited by dmsfrr; 11-14-2019 at 11:38 PM.
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Old 11-14-2019, 08:38 PM   #6
paul2748
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Default Re: 1956 T Bird Paint Question

alt63bird has got it right. On early Birds, area behind the grill was painted black, splash pan behind the bumper body color. Inside and outside of inner fender panels were body color as was the radiator bracket. All engine compartment sheet metal was body color.
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