Lately I’ve been watching ALOT of shows on muscle cars, from the purists at Graveyard Carz to the Super muscle car builders at Wrecks To Riches. In Graveyard Carz I respect their dedication in literally bringing a Mopar car back to the day it rolled off the production line – in fact, I think Mark Worman has a severe case of OCD on Mopar coding.
Wrecks To Riches is a little different in the fact they restore a classic, but instead of retaining an original nut and bolt build, they install modern technology, such as shocks, brakes and engines.
Purists may gasp at the use of modern tech, but I think it’s better to create a modern alternative out of a classic than crush it or use it for parts. This got me thinking about what classic I would choose to restore, and what main piece of modern tech I would incorporate into it.
I love the third generation Ford Thunderbird. It’s a real classic shape, and those rear lights look like jet afterburners. I also like the lines and the small fin running into the rear. Only 200 big block V8 Thunderbirds were produced between 61 and 63, so these are very rare indeed. What I’d like to do for my ultimate Frankenstein car would be to take a black or red third generation Thunderbird and keep it’s looks as stock as possible.
I can fully appreciate keeping a car as original as possible, but I can also appreciate the use of modern tech for extra power, better handling and superior reliability. After pulling the engine, I’d like a brand new 392 HEMI Crate Engine and suitable tranny and drivetrain installed. The wheels would have to encompass Brembo disc brakes and callipers, but ultimately, I’d like the rims to look as old school as possible – no shiny chrome blades or the like here. I wouldn’t be tracking the car so the suspension wouldn’t have to ultra expensive, so coil overs to possibly drop it an inch or two would suffice.
After everything is finished I’d have a really cool Thunderbird capable of pounding out 540-bhp and running gear to handle the extra power.
So with all this in mind, what would you put together for your ultimate car?