Sunday, February 20, 2011

Air Conditioning for your T-Bird


THUNDERBIRD AIR ~ {From the January, 2010 issue of Trail Bird News.)

Air Conditioning is an accessory that was never originally factory installed in the early Thunderbirds. "Factory air" made its initial appearance in the Thunderbird in 1958, al­though it had been offered in the passenger cars previously. Most install­ations in the '55-'57 Thunderbirds utilizes the space above the generator for the compressor. An installation such as this, tastefully done, while not "correct" for the year, does add to the passenger's comfort. Most units used on the early Thun­derbirds have the under-dash mounted evaporator. Some of the newest Vintage Air units have a hidden evaporator with air ducts mounted tastefully in various loca­tions.

One item that you should consider if having an air conditioning unit installed in
your Thunderbird is the installation of an electric fan. This is a must to keep the unit
functioning at its maximum output. While sitting at a stoplight, an electric fan will
push air through the radiator as if you were moving 30 mph.

- Dave Tulowitzky

Editor's Note: While T-Bird owners living in the Midwest can survive the relatively few days of sweltering summer heat, owners such as Dave, living in Florida, face a much different situation. Arizona, New Mexico and California T-Birders also find welcome relief in the A/C equipped early 'Birds.
In 1972, I drove a friend's A/C equipped '57 from Palm Springs to Long Beach, CA. Having spent a number of indescribably hot days at the CTCI Convention, I became an instant believer! [The temper­atures averaged about 112 degrees per day during the Convention!]

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