Ford Thunderbird Owners Celebrate

anniversary of the classic car with a car show at Ford Headquarters.

"The Ford Thunderbird is one of the most iconic products in the history of the automobile," said Jim Farley, Ford's group vice president of Global Marketing. "Each generation of the Thunderbird had a unique

The Ford Thunderbird is celebrating its 55th anniversary this year, and owners from across the world came together to celebrate the classic car at Ford World headquarters in the USA. The Ford Thunderbird, an American classic, became available to customers on October 22, 1954, and went on to sell more than 4.2 million.

personality that ushered in a new generation of breakthroughs in design or technology."

As a service to Ford Thunderbird owners Ford has a special website dedicated to finding restoration parts for classic Thunderbirds at www.fordrestorationparts.com

The Ford Thunderbird is known for its classic design cues and the character of a true American sports car. Nearly 300 Ford Thunderbirds and their owners arrived at Dearborn, Michigan, to honor the 55th

Shannons master auctioneer Bill Wellwood has passed away after more than 25 years of bringing down the gavel on some of Australia's most desirable and sought after cars.

"Bill Wellwood was a larger than life character who touched so many lives," said Shannons National Auction Manager, Christophe Boribon. "The fun, banter and excitement he brought to every auction were legendary."

During his quarter century with Shannons,

Shannons master auctioneer Bill Wellwood has passed away after more than 25 years of bringing down the gavel on some of Australia's most desirable and sought after cars.

Bill recently estimated he knocked down more than 6000 vehicles at around 3700 vehicle and charity auctions.

There were many fascinating moments throughout his career, during which he sold everything from horse-drawn carts and homemade ultra-light aircraft to famous racing cars raced by Sir Jack Brabham. However, the figure he was most proud of was the millions of dollars his energetic auctioneering helped raise for charities over the years.

Bill will be sorely missed by all.

From humble beginnings in 1915, Dodge had grown to become one of America's most prodigious, if not most popular, marques in less than a decade. The firm's future was guaranteed when it was acquired by Chrysler in 1928, and by 1935 Dodge had produced its three millionth vehicle. Its position within the Chrysler hierarchy at this time was as a mid-range, volume product, sitting above the Plymouth range in price.

After a series of minor style changes throughout the 1930s, Dodge undertook its first major body update in 1939. The upright grille, distinctive guards and separately mounted headlights were replaced by a more unified front end with headlights faired into the front guards. Similarly, the rear guards were brought closer to the body. This basic design would remain in place for the next decade.

In 1941, two models in the D-19 series were offered: DeLuxe and the slightly more expensive Custom. The former was available in three different body styles, the latter in seven, as well as a bare chassis for use by specialist coachbullders. Fluid Drive, a semiautomatic transmission introduced by Chrysler a few years earlier, was offered as an option across the entire Dodge range for the first time this year. Fluid Drive combined a conventional clutch with a torque converter and electrical shifting circuits. This enabled clutchless gear changes in most circumstances, although the clutch was still required for shifting between 'high' (third and fourth) and 'low' (first and second) ranges, as well as for reversing.

With America's entry into World War II, all civilian car production was halted, and Dodge, along with all other American automakers, turned their factories over to war production. Dodge had been gearing up for wartime production since 1940. building large transport trucks and smaller 'VA' half ton pickups that would evolve into the famous 'Weapons Carrier'. More than 500,000 trucks of all types and descriptions were built by war's end. Dodge factories also turned out everything from tank components to aircraft engines and fuselage sections, air raid sirens and gyro-compasses amongst many other items.

After the war, Dodge's 1946 to 1948 models were virtually the same as those released before the war, with the main visual change being a revision of the broad, eggcrate-style grille that debuted in 1942. This, along with some minor exterior trim and other 'bolt-on' changes would define the immediate post war Dodges until an all-new bodystyle debuted in 1949. After the initial 1946 revamp, the only exterior styling change across the range was the addition of extra detailing to the car SPOTLIGHT

1948 Dodge D-24 (C) Custom 4 door sedan

Engine: 230.2 ci inline six cylinder Bore/Stroke: 3.25 x 4.63 inches Compression: 7.0:1 Power/Torque: [email protected] /

190ft/[email protected] 1200rpm Fuel system: Carter single carburettor Cooling system: Liquid Electrics: 6 Volt

Transmission: Fluid Drive 4 speed semi-automatic Front Brakes: Hydraulic Twin Cylinder

10" Drum Rear Brakes: Hydraulic 10" Drum Wheels/Tyres: 15/7.10 x 15 Wheelbase: 119.5 inches Weight: 3281 lbs 0-100kph: 25 sec (approx) Top Speed: 86 mph (135kph approx) 0-60km/h - 6.5 seconds

FOR SALE: DODGE D24 CLUB COUPE, 1948.

This is a USA model, larger than Aus version, original condition, I have spent over $6,000 on paint to date and over $3,000 on mechanical, used only 3 times in last year. JCW1458722. LE-839. Phone (03) 9772 9180, 0438 547 716 or Email: [email protected] $17,500 ono

'ram' bonnet ornament. While they may have looked the same on the outside, the dash and interior on the 1946-48 models were altered each year, and may have gone some way to justifying an annual price rise across almost all Deluxe and Custom models.

For 1948, the same three body styles were offered in the DeLuxe line as in 1941, while the Custom was available in five different styles: club coupe, convertible coupe, four door sedan, town sedan (same as the four door except for blanked off rear quarter windows), and a four door, seven passenger sedan on a longer 137.5 wheelbase. Four door sedans were the most prodigious body style offered, with over 330,000 built across the 39 month production run of the D-24 series. A 230.2 ci six cylinder engine, rated at 102hp and offering a top speed over 80mph (130kph) was standard across all Custom and DeLuxe models.

1946 Dodge Custom club coupes debuted a feature commonly seen on much more modern cars - the centre-mount rear stoplight. Similarly, 1946 models featured a push-button starter on the dash, which has recently come back into vogue with many manufacturers.

Wartime car production was so tightly controlled that only 139 civilian cars in total were built over three years from 1942 to 1945 - across all US manufacturers. Exceptions were made for special needs vehicles and vital occupations.

With the cessation of hostilities in September 1945, car production resumed almost immediately. Dodge was slower off the line than most, only producing 420 cars by the end of 1945. Dodge was also late to the party with the release of their 1949 models. Missing the traditional late spring launch, Dodge sold 1948 models as "first series" 1949 models until April 1949, when the "second series" (that is, the first real 1949 models) appeared.

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