The story begins with the all too familiar purchase of an old car and innocent plans made for that car to see daily-driver duty. Dave and Brenda Kreg already have a few finished rods at their home in Puyallup, Washington, along with a few more projects waiting in the wings, so the last thing Brenda saw in the future for her '62 Thunderbird was a full custom makeover.
At first the Kregs planned a few simple changes for everyday convenience sake, but when Brenda saw the top coming off her car, she knew her daily driver was not to be. What Dave had planned to place on top of the clipped 'Bird would prove to be very interesting! What would top the cool custom wouldn't be just another lowered lid or Carson-style padded roof, because Dave had something very special in mind. But before the custom work could begin, he would have to take care of making the old 'Bird fly.
The mechanical work was kept very simple and straight forward with a complete rebuild of the original 390ci FE mill by Bud's Machine Shop in Lakewood, Washington, while simultaneously Lakewood Transmission freshened up the factory automatic transmission. The suspension was kept equally low key with an owner-installed full air ride system from AirRide Technologies.
With the mechanicals rebuilt and out of the way, it was now time to the let the real fun begin! Dave handled some of the light work such as shaving the nose and deck, frenching the antenna and license plate, moving the gas filler from the rear bumper into the trunk and creating the custom billet grille out of 112 valve stem caps. The heavy customizing was then handed off to Dino's Kustom Shop located in Lakewood, Washington. The crew at Dino's gave the cropped 'Bird a completely new personality by fitting it with a '61 Ford Starliner roof. To make the conversion look like something that came from the factory the windshield was first laid back 3 1/2 inches and then 4 inches were trimmed off the leading edge of the Starliner lid before a section was removed out of the middle of it before the two pieces were mated together. To accommodate the extra length of the swoopy new top the deck lid was shortened 6 inches. Custom-made wind wings, slide-in quarter windows and new handmade trim pieces made the conversion complete.
With things moving along so well at Dino's Kustom Shop, the work continued with a rainbow of kandy colors being laid on the proud 'Bird. The build up of colors started a House of Kolors Orion Silver base followed by a clear coat with one jar of ice pearl tossed in. A painstaking effort to achieve the ultimate fade job in a seamless blending of various shades of cool colors began when the Kandy Kobalt Blue was laid on, followed closely by Kandy Oriental Blue, Kandy Burple, Kandy Purple and finally Kandy Violet. Judge for yourself, but it's hard to deny that all the effort was well worth it and a classic custom coating was definitely achieved.
After wrapping up the project with a fresh white rolled and pleated vinyl interior by Jamie's Upholstery in Yakima, Washington, Dave handed the keys to the terrifically transformed Thunderbird back over to Brenda who now spends as much time as possible behind the wheel of her classy custom!
Dave & Brenda Kreg
'62 Ford Thunderbird
Drivetrain: The Kregs' Thunderbird was intended to be a daily driver so the driveline was kept pretty simple with a rebuild of the original 390 by Bud's Machine Shop in Lakewood, WA. Lakewood Transmission gave the factory automatic tranny a fresh bill of health before it was mated to the mill and both were returned to their original locations.
Chassis: Underneath it's the way it left the factory except for an owner-installed AirRide Technologies system.
Wheels & Tires: Rolling stock lends itself well to the period perfect custom '62 'Bird. The set of classy factory style Thunderbird wires came from Wheel Vintiques which are wrapped in a set of Coker Classic 215/70R14 radials with a 3-inch whitewall.
Body & Paint: Owner Dave got the custom work started by shaving the nose and deck, frenching the antenna and license plate, moving the gas filler from the rear bumper into the trunk and creating the custom billet grille out of 112 valve stem caps. Dino's Kustom Shop located in Lakewood, WA fitted the 'Bird with a '61 Ford Starliner roof. To make the conversion look like a factory job, custom-made wind wings, slide-in quarter windows and new handmade trim pieces made the conversion complete. Dino's Kustom Shop continued the work with a rainbow of kandy colors being laid on the proud 'Bird. A House of Kolors Orion Silver base was followed by a clear coat with one jar of ice pearl tossed in. The fade job is a seamless blending of kool kolors such as Kandy Kobalt Blue, Kandy Oriental Blue, Kandy Burple, Kandy Purple and Kandy Violet.
Interior: Jamie's Upholstery in Yakima, WA, wrapped up the project with a fresh white rolled and pleated vinyl interior.