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My T-Bird


XNR 888S a 1974 460ci was mine,
VLD 78M is a '73 429, we met completely by accident at a Custom Show in Essex, England in Summer 1985. I think we both thought we had the only Big Bird T-Birds in the UK !!!

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Draw your own conclusion about the symbolism of the "ELECTRIC BLUE" signage in his car ?

 Mine had been imported by the Greater London Council,  which was abolished shortly afterwards by Maggy Thatcher for not fitting in with her view of the future, it was presumably for VIP transport as it had "Bullet Proof" windows fitted.

 That REALLY annoyed the guy who tried to break in a side widow with a kerb stone to rip off the Stereo !
 I came down next morning to find a stone scrape on the window "glass", a dent in the Bodywork below the Window and a fair amount of "knuckle blood" on the paint work and the abandoned kerb stone.

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 Wheels were Non-Stock 15x12 - they came off a late '60's Galaxy 500, branded 'American Racing' and were far too good to throw away.

 I did de-seam my car and trash the "side strips" when it was re-sprayed from Original "Silver Blue Fire" to the Rolls-Royce White you see above.

 Also - Note the difference in the front Fender "Turn Lights", I'm not sure if that is an Option or a Model Year difference ?

  • Edelbrock Headers

  • 850 CFM twin choke Holley

  • Ether Injection System got it started on cold and damp mornings

  • Solid State Ignition

  • NO2 (Nitrous Oxide) Injection helped it accelerate

  • Exhaust (de-couplable) by "Mike The Pipe" tuned the noise

  • Prop Shaft came from a Lincoln Mark4, after someone told me about the Double CV joints on the Limo's after the episode below.

Now imagine:-

It is a summer's evening in the early 1980's

 There am I late at night, waiting at traffic lights, with "Boy racer" in BMW 2002Tii grinning at the monster "Yank Tank" next to him.

 So I -

  1. Hit the Traction Lock button

    • FYI - it locks the differential to maximise Wheel Spin....  sorry I should say ....  equalise Traction between the rear wheels.

      • This is of course a different effect to Dragsters "Line Lock" which locks the Front brakes, both produce large amounts of heat and smoke but with Traction Lock, you do still move

  2. I yank on the lever that bypasses the exhaust system 
    (not that the Cherry Bombs did much except pretend to be legal)

  3. I hit the button that sprayed bleach on the rear Tyres

  4. I open the windows ( gotta get that tyre smoke out somehow)

  5. Wait for the yellow light ... ....

  6. Hit the Nitrous button and the Loud pedal

  7. and ... just as I go for Second gear ..... there is a loud CLUNK as the front CV joint decides to disintegrate

  8. Front end of Prop Shaft smashes restraining strap and heads for the Road surface

  9. So now we have 5000lb of vehicle travelling at 25mph trying to pole vault over an 8 foot pole stuck in the tarmac !

 If you ever get to Lewisham in SE London take a look at the Southbound Traffic lights approaching the Fire Station, are you sure that one on the left is really perpendicular ?

Mind you "Boy racer" never got off the line because

  1. he couldn't see (because of my Tyre smoke)

  2. he was having trouble breathing (Nitrous does have a nasty habit of igniting the Engine oil)

  3. his ears hurt (460ci breathing nitrous on open headers in a Narrow street = around 160db ! )

  4. he was giggling way too much to drive

Good Job I had the joined the AA Recovery Scheme !

Not sure they were really set up for Full Size US vehicles though !

Problem was that we had pushed the car off the main Road but it is now at the bottom of a 1:4 Hill.
1st Tow truck they sent was a Flat bed with a Winch (not very new) and ramps
me> "Hey guy, this baby weighs 3 tons, are you sure about this"
him> "Yep"
me>"OK it's all yours"
him>"Oh !"
me> "I'll just go around the corner, there's a Fire station there, they should have an extinguisher"
him>"It's only a bit of Clutch smoke from the winch, I'll call in for another pickup"

2nd Tow truck was newer, this truck had a sliding flatbed instead of using ramps and a winch.
me> "Hey guy, this baby weighs 3 tons, are you sure about this"
me> "OK it's all yours"
him> "Hmm !"
me> "Oh yeah, it's 19 foot long as well as heavy"
(rear wheels were about 8 inches off the back of the flatbed when the Front Bumper was against the Cab)

Next Guy turned up with a V8 LWB LandRover and towed me home, VERY slowly because

  1. The Propshaft had taken out both the Rear Brake pipes and cables

  2. We found the Gearbox output shaft on the road, along with most of the fluid.

  3. The 1:4 hill start with 5000lb on the end of a rope didn't do his clutch much good

which meant

  1. No Engine

  2. No Power Steering.

  3. No Power Brakes

  4. No Emergency (parking) Brakes

 Oh well, one day I'll tell you about when I borrowed Mike's Firebird 455HO and got overtaken by a Ferrari Dino twice in a mile !

there again he might read this so ...

Maybe I'll tell you about my Barrel Roll in a Mini Van ...

Next.....The Group