Hey, you lucky if you have a '53 or later rigid Thunderbird because you actually have two colors that are correct. Thunderbirds starting in 1951 were painted a medium/light metallic blue (polychromatic blue), but starting in 1953 there was an option for black (the so called 'Blackbirds'). If you go with blue then just about everything should be blue (sheetmetal, nacelle, frame, etc.), with the exception of a few black items, such as the front and rear numberplate. If you choose black, then that is easy, because everything is black!
Here is a picture of a 1951 that was painted black. Not exactly the same as a '53 (different nacelle and taillight), but gives you the general idea.
thanks for the info, good to hear its black. heres the bike im geting, in spite of the badge does the tank look original? is that rear fender too short? <a href="http://img387.imageshack.us/my.php?image=trump3vf.jpg" target="_blank"><
zgears, I am also trying to find out what is the exact color combination of the 53 T Bird. Several books say several things. Most everyone I have seen in a photo is painted black. It dosen't appear many were made is Polychromaic Blue, or most everyone restored them in black. I am getting a copy of an original piece of colored litature from a friend and hope that sheds some more light on the subject. So far I believe that everything is painted blue except for the from brake plate, which is aluminum. Some one out there has to have an original photo of this bike in blue, or has done the research already.
You probably dont want the 52 color - just finished [img]http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p222/terry9_photo/DSC00009.j[IMG]http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p222/terry9_photo/DSC00009.jpg[/img]pg[/IMG]
Thanks for the super photos of some super bikes, however I need the 1953. According to the books and other items (photos)I have found the 1950-1952 had some black painted on the stays, etc. The 1953 seems to have all blue (polychromatic)including stays, etc. I try to made these bikes as close to original as possible, then I ride them.
That blue looks alittle light to me. I had a 51 T-bird with some original paint under the tank and it was a bit darker. Could be the color in my computer though. If you do the all blue any dirt or oil will stand out like a whore in church. I cheated on mine and did the cycle parts and nacelle in black and did the rest of the sheet metal in blue like the late swing arm models. Later I did a speed twin in all red and hated it. Original is nice but you still have to like it......
Aloniw - thanks for the complement. My camera and computer don't do the color justice. I'll probably bring it to Corvallis next year along with a 48 T100 I'm just finishing and you can see it in person.
I am also restoring a 1953 Thunderbird, and have researched the colors. The color Polychromatic blue seems to be on all surfaces except the license plate bracket (black) and the front brake anchor (aluminum). The rims are chrome with no painted ring. I have an original piece of colored literature and this looks to be the case. However the literature does look like an artist conception. I also have a DVD from the 60's showing a 1951 riding around and the color seem to be the same. You can e mail me if you have any questions, I have been researching this for awhile and I am satisfied with the answer.
Originally posted by dave jones: The rigid framed Thunderbird is one of my favourite bikes- a real beauty! dave
You know, if Marlon Brando's motorsickle hadn't been so beautiful then I wouldn't be riding anything let alone Triumphs today. The 6T looked just the perfect vehicle for the nascent teenage misfit ..., a lean, sinewy, raw bike much like we all were way back when .... Lee Marvin's Harley looked like an armchair in comparison