TCCoA Forums banner

1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,111 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
What is the adavantage? waht is the reason people cut up thunderbirds & mark 8's and make them shorter? Always wondered, and does the back seat become un-usable?

Earl
 

·
Moderator, Iowa Chapter Director, Uber Luber, TCCo
Joined
·
8,978 Posts
better handling is believed to result from it. It's also a custom look that only 5 other birds have. The front seat touches the back seat so yeah, it's pretty much useless.
-Thomas
 

·
Sheepish
Joined
·
4,085 Posts
Well, if ya do some searchin you'll find the answers to the back seat questions.

I think the main reasons to make the SWB birds was to make something unique, while also reducing the lateral moment of inertia (theory of turn response). I'm sure it removes a notable amount of weight as well.

I still think its mainly to simply create something special
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,220 Posts
ford wanted to run in the SCCA with a tbird but the long wheel base wouldnt allow it in one of the classes so they shortened it to get it legal for the class. it never got off the ground but what we have is what we have.
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
8,239 Posts
Kenne Brown did a couple shortened birds and the guys at Auto Kraft in Nebraska did a couple also. I think the look is very neat, and if I run into any amount of money, I am sending a tbird shell there to get shortened. For those of you who haven't seen George Davenports car, you are really missing out in something very nice. In every usage of the word "new", it is the closest thing to a "new" car as you can get. I have seen three of the SWB cars so far, Georges blue one, XR7Daves "grabber blue" one, and a red one.

JH
 

·
13's or Mildly Broken
Joined
·
2,670 Posts
One of our members (Thomas A) has talked to Doug from AutoKraft and we are going to try and make it there next time they are working on another SWB, whether a T-Bird or Mark VIII.

-Andy "Melon"
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,111 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
How about a SWB cougar? Has anyone built one of those? How about a chop top cougar? Not the red one ford built in the early 90s, but something custom? MN12 only...I know about Eric's over at coolcats (which is very cool)

Earl
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22 Posts
Actually, Kenny Brown did not do them. Doug at AutoKraft did all the work for Kenny Brown when Kenny Brown was still located in Omaha back in the early 90's. On my car, the back seat is actually usable as it is different than any produced since then. My car was shortened where the gas tank resides underneath the rear seat. So my car actually still has the foot well behind the front seats and a shortened bottom to the back seat. So the back seat is like a extened cab truck seat, but you still have the foot room. Now that is where mine is different as it was the first prototype to the project. They then learned that the fuel tank can no longer be used. So all the cars after mine were cut where the foot well is leaving no foot space, but able to have the factory fuel tank. I have a 16 gallon race cell in the back of mine. All five of the SWB t-birds were created in Doug's shop in Lincoln, NE.
 

·
Sheepish
Joined
·
4,085 Posts
SWB001 said:
Actually, Kenny Brown did not do them. Doug at AutoKraft did all the work for Kenny Brown when Kenny Brown was still located in Omaha back in the early 90's. On my car, the back seat is actually usable as it is different than any produced since then. My car was shortened where the gas tank resides underneath the rear seat. So my car actually still has the foot well behind the front seats and a shortened bottom to the back seat. So the back seat is like a extened cab truck seat, but you still have the foot room. Now that is where mine is different as it was the first prototype to the project. They then learned that the fuel tank can no longer be used. So all the cars after mine were cut where the foot well is leaving no foot space, but able to have the factory fuel tank. I have a 16 gallon race cell in the back of mine. All five of the SWB t-birds were created in Doug's shop in Lincoln, NE.
So how'd you manage to come to own the SWB001?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22 Posts
My car actually started as a body in white (test car for Ford and then given to Kenny Brown to start this project). Doug used this car to build the jigs from and to figure out how to do this project. After they were done doing the body conversion, it sat behind Doug's shop for six years. He advertised it in Sports Car and Car and Driver to be used as a race car. As soon as I saw that in October of 1996, I drove out to Lincoln and picked it up. So all I received from Doug was the bare body, no drive train, interior or anything. I built the car from there in my garage. As a test car for Ford in 1988, it was just a base 3.8 LX used to test the durability of the engines. Ford yanked the engine after it was put through it's paces and then gave it to Kenny Brown. Kenny Brown planned on racing the T-bird in the SCCA World Challenge. In order to do that, it had to be a production car. So they planned on building at least 250 of these to make that happen. They were to be sold at select Ford dealers like Saleen does. That is back when Kenny's life took some changes and the project never took off. This is why so few ever came to be in existence.
 

·
Moderator, Iowa Chapter Director, Uber Luber, TCCo
Joined
·
8,978 Posts
Wow that's a pretty cool story. So I guess you can pretty much add the SWB bird to the "never made it" list. Although there are 5 or so, they were never really produced.
-Thomas
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,290 Posts
cool... thanks for sharing that :)

anyone have pics of a SWB markVIII? I've seen mn-12's but never seen a mark... I wonder how much a conversion costs?
 

·
Moderator, Iowa Chapter Director, Uber Luber, TCCo
Joined
·
8,978 Posts
conversion is like 8-10K I think. There's a pic somewhere, I'll look for it.
-Thomas
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22 Posts
To answer some questions from above, the car was shortened to loose some weight and to have better handling characteristics so that it would be able to compete against the Lotus', Corvettes, and Saleen's which were at the top of their game in the World Challenge back in '90. Since that never came to be, the cars created since then have been just to have something special. That's not why the project began, but that is what it is now. Doug put a ton of time into creating the jigs and such to do this as he was going to be making a bunch of these. He does still have the jigs and the know how to do this. Hence George Davenports car.
 

·
Sheepish
Joined
·
4,085 Posts
I've seen pics of the SWB Mark, I think the donor car from that project is where 4 Cam Bird got his first Mark motor. The SWB Mark was made from splicing two wrecked ones together.

I too would like to see an SWB Cougar, but I don't have the money or the donor for one.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
103 Posts
Next year Doug will be building SWB #007-I'm counting the MkVIII that they were working on.

I'm using a 93 Thunderbird that came from Arizona for the project-and we have a twist in this one-it will be turned into a Convertible as well. I'll be meeting with Doug to discuss the project and what will be done.

After the car is finished, I'm installing a DSS 331 shortblock topped with FRPP Z304 heads and a Cobra intake.

The conversion to the SWB is $6500 and removes about 800lbs from the cars weight. My back seat will NOT be functional, as the softtop will be stored there.
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top