DM 1957 Thunderbird

57 Thunderbird White Wall Tires

Here we have the beautiful DM 1957 Thunderbird. This long-awaited model was issued as a limited edition in dusk rose (a pale pink) with a black convertible top.
I also own the DM Limited Edition 55 Thunderbird in yellow and the 56 LE in black, and all are beautiful models. Since the roofs are interchangeable, I like to rotate them for different display options. My pink 57 wears the black hard roof from my 56, my yellow 55 wears the black soft top from my 57, and my 56 goes topless. My main complaint on the 57 is the small wheels and gangster white-walls. They just don't look right, and give the model a slightly "off" appearance.

Tony's Beautiful Photo Shows The Huge White Walls

A Real 57 T-bird shows the proper wheel/tire size

Model's White Walls after Custom Correction Work

Since making the wheels larger would be impossible, this conversion was done by simply removing the white wall inserts and replacing them with custom altered inserts prepared for me by an expert modeler. I got the idea from fellow collector John Luthi, a member of our Forums, who used a circular knife to score lines on the inserts defining a narrower white-wall, masked the inserts off along the score lines, and painted the outer edges with flat black enamel. You can see the detailed instructions with illustrations in case you're brave enough to attempt it yourself. The fix gives the illusion of bigger wheels, and a better overall proportion to the wheel/tire appearance. This was a relatively quick and inexpensive customization, but made a huge difference in the model's curb appeal.
I'm so thrilled with this model's appearance now, I had to shoot some more pictures of it with the black hardtop...