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TOPIC: 1959 Thunderbird Apache Hardtop, 1 of 1?

1959 Thunderbird Apache Hardtop, 1 of 1? 1 year 1 week ago #134464

  • finfanatic
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Hello all, haven't posted in a long while, lots of changes here I see! I'm still beating the bushes to find the rare old boats but the pickings have become slim and my time to hunt even slimmer, but as luck would have it, I just stumbled onto a unique and(I'm pretty sure) a super rare find. I got a phone call from a good friend that got wind of an "old hardtop fiberglass boat" that needed to be hauled off from a property that was being developed. I contacted the owner and went to look at the boat. The moment I laid eyes on her I knew she had to be rare; she was a sight to behold, sitting there covered in vines and overgrowth, her huge sweeping hardtop and 50's lines just begging to be saved. I'd never seen a windshield like she had either - one big, single unit of plexiglass. The owner told me it had been her late Father's boat and he had acquired it in Florida many decades ago and it had been kept inside most of its life until around 15 years ago when he got sick and the boat was left outside in the elements. She had always been told the boat was rare and hadn't had many owners, and that it'd been a "boat show boat" back in the day and that her late Father was very proud of it, but she had sold the property it was sitting on and she needed it gone immediately so I happily obliged. She's a big girl measuring in at a little over 20 feet and has an 'open cruiser' layout with a large open deck aft with a fold-down spray shield on the transom, a galley with two burner propane stove and sink, a dinette that drops down to make a bed, helm station and a cuddy berth forward with pump out head. What's amazing is that all of these areas are part of the deck, made together in the same mold (what a huge mold that must've been!). At some point she had twin outboards hanging off her rear but years ago someone had replaced them with a single 70's Evinrude 115. The entire boat is still amazingly solid and the rare one piece windshield is still very decent with one crack at the bottom and a missing sliding window (which could easily be replaced). I've searched high and low and cannot find another example of a '59 Apache like this except for the one in the 1959 brochure pics here in the Fiberglassics library. Could this be the actual boat featured in the brochure? Could they have only made this one example and no other's because of the exceptionally difficult and labor-intensive deck molding? I'd love to know but info seems to be hard to come by on these boats, especially on the early versions like this. I pulled her out to clean her up the other day and snapped a few pics to share but I'll add more later of the interior layout when I have time to go snap a few. Any thoughts or further info would be greatly appreciated!
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1959 Thunderbird Apache Hardtop, 1 of 1? 1 year 1 week ago #134465

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Now that's what I call a find! ...and it sounds like you didn't overpay for it either. As a gesture of friendship, I'm willing to buy it and pay you 3X what you paid for it. I'm only trying to help. Let me know when I can come get it!

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1959 Thunderbird Apache Hardtop, 1 of 1? 1 year 5 days ago #134471

That is one cool boat! I suppose it is possible it is the one from the brochure, but I would have a hard time believing there weren't at least a couple apaches out there somewhere.
We need more pictures of the interior!!! That sounds like the coolest part of the boat. My favorite style of boats almost always have molded in seats.

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1959 Thunderbird Apache Hardtop, 1 of 1? 1 year 5 days ago #134472

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Hey Nautilus I can do that but I'll have to charge you $100 each on the lug nuts lol

I'll get some more pics soon! I'm dying to pull that hardtop off and try to fit it on another rare beast that I have hidden away, but as rare as this boat is, I hate to do that!

Hey where is everybody? Not much activity here anymore for some reason.

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1959 Thunderbird Apache Hardtop, 1 of 1? 1 year 4 days ago #134474

Over the years I've seen three Apaches in use - in Fl, Va, DE and one for sale online. I don't have pics of the Florida boat (seen in the 60s) or the Delaware boat (might still be near me). The green one (VA) and red/white one (AL) were for sale online a few years ago.

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1959 Thunderbird Apache Hardtop, 1 of 1? 1 year 3 days ago #134478

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Great pics, love their lines, they're just all later models. Would love to find a pic of another '59 like mine.

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1959 Thunderbird Apache Hardtop, 1 of 1? 1 year 3 days ago #134481

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finfanatic wrote: Hey Nautilus I can do that but I'll have to charge you $100 each on the lug nuts lol

I'll get some more pics soon! I'm dying to pull that hardtop off and try to fit it on another rare beast that I have hidden away, but as rare as this boat is, I hate to do that!

Hey where is everybody? Not much activity here anymore for some reason.


Still here. Life takes up most of our time.
I'm still in the process of rebuilding my second finned rocket.
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1959 Thunderbird Apache Hardtop, 1 of 1? 1 year 3 days ago #134482

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iust wondering,,,could your hardtop been added,,i have several of those tops,Bill

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1959 Thunderbird Apache Hardtop, 1 of 1? 11 months 3 weeks ago #134577

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63 Sabre wrote:

finfanatic wrote: Hey Nautilus I can do that but I'll have to charge you $100 each on the lug nuts lol

I'll get some more pics soon! I'm dying to pull that hardtop off and try to fit it on another rare beast that I have hidden away, but as rare as this boat is, I hate to do that!

Hey where is everybody? Not much activity here anymore for some reason.


Still here. Life takes up most of our time.
I'm still in the process of rebuilding my second finned rocket.


Congrats! Would love to see more pics!

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1959 Thunderbird Apache Hardtop, 1 of 1? 11 months 3 weeks ago #134578

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bilnan1 wrote: iust wondering,,,could your hardtop been added,,i have several of those tops,Bill


Hey Bill! Glad I came back and checked the thread! Hardtop appears to be original, it is integrated to the windshield and body lines, but is obviously removable. It is much more rounded and streamlined than the later versions.

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1959 Thunderbird Apache Hardtop, 1 of 1? 11 months 4 days ago #134847

bilnan1 wrote: iust wondering,,,could your hardtop been added,,i have several of those tops,Bill

I think that top is from a 60 glasstron
heading to Michigan to pick up a boat with one nearly identical on it
they called it the Sport Convertible option... hinged at the rear to tilt back for ease of entry
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