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  1. #1
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    1959 thunderbird miami

    I recently purchased a thunderbird miami out of a guys backyard where its been sitting for the past 20 years. Im looking for info so I can restore it. Any idea where I can get any details about my bird?

  2. #2
    It's all my fault VIP Member axapowell's Avatar
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    I would start right at the factory! Either an email or a phone call to Scott Smith in TAG. I don't how much info they will have, but as I understand it, the Porter's have always kept very good records of past built boats!

    I would like to see pictures of you find!
    "Waves are not measured in feet or inches, they are measured in increments of Fear."
    Buzzy Trent

  3. #3
    It's all my fault VIP Member axapowell's Avatar
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    Maybe Magicfloat will chime in...That's about his era.

    (Sorry Robert...just had to do it!)

    Dave
    "Waves are not measured in feet or inches, they are measured in increments of Fear."
    Buzzy Trent

  4. #4
    S.O.B (single O/B) now Platinum Member t500hps's Avatar
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    1959...that would be awesome...but I don't think to Porter family was involved then. Didn't they buy Thunderbird in the 60's/early 70's?

  5. #5
    It's all my fault VIP Member axapowell's Avatar
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    History Lesson!! I think that they would still have the history!

    Thunderbird was founded by Woody Woodson in 1956 in the Miami, Florida, area, and Richard C. Cole was the original designer. Decisively proving its staying power and stability, an eighteen-foot Thunderbird made the first successful sterndrive crossing from Miami to Nassau in 1959.

    In 1958 Vic Porter began building and selling small fiberglass runabouts, enjoying success largely in the Midwest and Northeast. This boat line was developed early in marine fiberglass technology, and with Porter as president, was marketed under the Duo, Incorporated name. Because of its timely product and increasing popularity, Starcraft, a larger regional boat manufacturer, purchased Duo in 1966. For a time, Porter stayed on as president of Duo.

    Don Aronow founded Formula in 1962 in Miami, Florida. The original 233 deep-V hull design was built at his direction and later earned notable victories on the national offshore racing circuit. Formula was the first of Aronow’s boat companies. While many of today’s Formulas have matured well beyond the speed-only image, the prestige originating with past racing victories is still quite evident in the highly successful FAS3TECH series. In 1961 Thunderbird was acquired by Alliance Machine and Foundry and they followed up by purchasing Formula in 1964. Both Formula and Thunderbird models were then produced in North Miami. An Atlanta-based conglomerate, Fuqua Industries, acquired Thunderbird /Formula in 1969.

    Vic Porter once again exercised his entrepreneurial spirit in 1970 and, along with five business associates, founded the Signa Corporation. This venture resulted in a quality line of trihull boats manufactured in Decatur and marketed throughout the Midwest and East. With Porter as president, Signa’s growing success attracted the attention of Fuqua Industries. Fuqua’s offer to buy Signa was accepted in 1973 and, based on his expertise in the boating industry, Porter was named president of Fuqua’s entire small-boat division. At that time there was also a manufacturing facility in Paso Robles, California.

    In mid-1976 Vic Porter purchased Thunderbird/ Formula from Fuqua. The second generation of Porters joined in the management team as they finished their college work and gained experience in the business. The trihull design was discontinued in 1979, and company emphasis centered on the offshore deep-V hull configuration of the Formula models.

    Read more: http://www.formulaboats.com/history.aspx

    Dave
    "Waves are not measured in feet or inches, they are measured in increments of Fear."
    Buzzy Trent

  6. #6
    Platinum Member Platinum Member offthefront's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by axapowell View Post
    Maybe Magicfloat will chime in...That's about his era.

    (Sorry Robert...just had to do it!)

    Dave
    Brutal .......
    353 Formula 4 Sale 275K 904 422 4806
    offthefront@comcast.net

  7. #7
    Charter Member #415 Charter Member
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  8. #8
    It's all my fault VIP Member axapowell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magicfloat View Post
    You are SUCH a good sport!!



    Dave
    "Waves are not measured in feet or inches, they are measured in increments of Fear."
    Buzzy Trent

  9. #9
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    Thanks for the info. My bird is gonna need a lot of work and this being my first boat Im pretty excited. I have some background in autobody work so the fiberglass touch-up should be no problem as with the paint. Ive gutted the entire wiring harness and slowly replacing it along with all the dash switches. Most if not all of the original hardware seems to be in place except for the toilet that was suppose to be somewhere??? The steering wheel along with the throttle control are both trash and are gonna be replaced. I intend on using a pair of 80hp outboards to power the old girl, anyone have suggestions on this? Oh and the factory windscreen is all but gone except for a couple of shards left around screws.
    I have a couple of pics of it raw on my facebook site under JON P MARSHALL have a look, you dont have to be on my friend list to see my pics....Thanks everyone and I look forward to chatting more soon


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