Monday, April 25, 2016

L.A. Rob returns with a Venetian delicacy

Usually if I get a series of pics from L.A. Rob they consist of the worlds greatest classic cars in museum condition. Not this time! Behold this surfers hooptie from the streets of Venice Beach:
 This is a 1958 Ford Thunderbird wearing remnants of its original Regatta Blue paint. We're in serious hooptie/rat rod territory here people; patina for days, rear window off the track, and backyard repairs left half finished contrasting a new set of wheels and what looks to be a new exhaust. Being California this car remains straight and not rotted out even in this shape at age 58.
Just look at this mouth breathing, leering freak! Terrible acne scars tell of a neglected childhood, and yet this car started out as Fords top of the line flagship. The T-birds from '55-'57 were sexy little 2 seaters, but the management thought sales were restricted due to their limited passenger ferrying capabilities. 1958 introduced this catfish-faced colossus, larger in every way and fitted with 4 seats.
*The grill had this hexagonal pattern only in '58. The following year brought horizontal bars in the same opening.
 I once had a '59 Edsel that had very similar chrome details on the leading top of the fenders. This is smack dab in the middle of nonessential decoration in auto design.
 This was built on the meridian between the end of the Jet Age and the beginning of the Space Age. The Russian satellite Sputnik was launched in 1957, heralding a new fascination with space. Being that this car was already being manufactured, Jet Age elements such as this mirror can still be found.
The steering wheel looks really beat and the dashboard rusted. I bet this thing sat without a windshield for a while.
Love it or hate it the looks of the '58 T-Bird are bold. We've got some of the most literal Jet Age styling cues ever on this rear end. The fins are restrained for the year, but the dual rear bumpers are totally bonkers.
Those dual exhaust pipes are connected to the 352 V8 in its first year of production.
 I appreciate how they kept the wheels in the family, as these come from a recent Mustang. The Thunderbird emblem in chrome script looks so sweet.
What are the chances that this would be parked at (5)58?
Take a good look at this mug before the police drag him away. This car has no plates which is a scenario that can't last for long. I like the lines of this era 'bird a lot better than when I was younger, though every year of the following decade is superior in my own opinion. This is actually not an enormous car for the vintage, and sports lots of swooping awesomeness and relatively restrained chrome. Whoever's driving this beast these days is going full rat as illustrated by the leftover evidence of a sloppy repair. My guess is that this got smashed in the front pretty good and the owner got a replacement bumper and just pulled out the top panel.
 I was informed by Rob that the sticker on the front here is Dogtown as in the Z-Boys as in The Birthplace of Freestyle Skating.
Thunderbirds are GO!

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