View Full Version : Another Thunderbird Formula Jr coming back to life

06-01-2016, 02:18 PM
Hello folks,

I have been looking for information on this particular boat for a while and it appears there are a few other people here that also have a Thunderbird Formula Jr.

My uncle is getting on in years, and after 2 decades of coaxing, he finally decided to pass his Formula Jr. on to me for some restoration work. I drove to Texas last fall and picked it up and I have been working on it ever since. I cleaned out the 30 gallon SS gas tank, ran new gas lines, re carpeted, all new wiring, fuse panel, battery, and instruments. I also had to repair a hole in the windshield where someone ran it into a dock. I got the 1982 Chevy V6 3.8 liter running and tuned and replaced the bilge blower, bilge pump and lighting. All I have left is to finish rebuilding the OMC Stern Drive and it should be ready to test ride.

As acquired on the trip back from the wild west....


Old dash panel from the '80s ....


New dash panel, instrumentation ignition and auxiliary switches ...


Cleaned up a little and new parking spot arranged ....


If anyone needs pictures or measurements for their projects, let me know and I will try to help. It is a complete boat with all original trim and chrome. It will still need refinishing on the hull and upholstery, but that will come in time.

I will post some more pictures when I get it in the water which I hope to be soon!

06-01-2016, 07:19 PM
I can't wait to get mine home and start tearing through it :).

Hey, what do the formula registration tags look like? (I'm not sure mine has any left.)

06-02-2016, 09:38 AM
BTW: what year is your F Jr ?

06-02-2016, 09:56 AM
It looks a lot like this;


It is made of black plastic which probably explains why most of them are missing. It warped, cracked and the rivets broke off. I found it in the bilge and the smaller piece probably was flushed out the drain hole about 18 years ago. I don't think I will find it!

The serial # is F17 66104. It is a Formula 1700 according to the original sales documents, made in 1966 and probably hull number 104. I don't have all the original documents from when it was new, but my uncle bought it from the 1st owner in 1974 for $1450. It came from the factory with an OMC GM straight 4 cylinder motor and OMC outdrive. Since it had the round hole cut for the OMC, when it was rebuilt in 1982 they installed another larger OMC unit. The hole had to be recut then as well, but a mercury would have required a new transom. I also think they didn't really know any better. The straight 4 cylinder was already obsolete when I first worked on it and found a cracked exhaust manifold and rusted freeze plugs in the summer of '82.

The ID tag was riveted to the transom inside the engine compartment on the port side.


I would like to have a new one made out of aluminum or something a little more durable, if you have any contacts for that I would be interested.

06-02-2016, 04:56 PM
I have been talking to tmac on this site about plates.

06-02-2016, 06:48 PM
That looks nice. If he is going to make you one based on the one out of my boat, I would like to get one too. There might be a few others that could use one as well, just change the numbers.

also I am going to get the emblems rechromed at some point. When I do, I could make a pattern for when you other Formula Jr owners need to get those fabricated. My only worry is the corrosion and snapping off mounting screws when I remove them.