Marv Witt and his new project

I stopped by Witt Brothers on Saturday morning. (They’re the auto service at 7th and Division, formerly Marv’s Standard, now owned by Mike Witt and Mark Witt) .

In one of the bays: Marv Witt with one of his retirement ‘projects.’ Among the admirers, (right photo), Olaf Millert, St. Olaf Professor Emeritus of Psychology.

Marv Witt Marv Witt car engine Marv Witt car interiorOlaf Millert

  1. Can you identify the car — make, model, year?
  2. Bonus question: can you identify the engine?


  1. Jerry Bilek said:

    I can tell it’s red. Is it a late 50s Ford Thunderbird. 5.0 litre V8 engine. I’ll guess it is a 1958 model. Definitely Red. I think Olaf drove one of those in Estonia. He’s got the hat.

    April 7, 2008
  2. Griff Wigley said:

    You’re partially right, Jerry. Red? Excellent guess! Ford Thunderbird? Right again. You’re wrong on the year. And what car is the V8 from? (Obviously, it’s not from the original T-Bird.) And tougher yet, what year?

    April 7, 2008
  3. Jerry Bilek said:

    I’m pretty good with colors. The car is 1956. the engine is a Ford 5.0 HO from a Mustang, 1993. am I getting closer?

    April 7, 2008
  4. 1957 thunderbird with high output 5 liter in lieu of 292 cid Y-block

    April 7, 2008
  5. Extrapolating from visible tailfin, I say 1957.

    April 7, 2008
  6. Jerry Bilek said:

    my last guess Griff,

    Col. Mustard with the wrench in the library.

    April 7, 2008
  7. Jonathan Larson said:

    The car is a 55-57 T-bird because those were the 2 seaters. I am guessing 56 from the speedometer binnacle.

    The engine is probably from a Mustang. My guess is that it is one of those 5 liter versions built to conform to the Trans-Am rules. Guess–1969 but there were bunches of small-block V-8s so it is ONLY a guess.

    April 7, 2008
  8. Griff Wigley said:

    I guessed ’57 like you, Nathan. but Jerry and Jonathan got it right… ’56.

    The engine is a Ford 5.0 L V8, I don’t remember the HP, but he got it, surprising to me, from an ’87 Lincoln… I think he said a Mark VII.

    April 7, 2008
  9. Jerry Bilek said:

    I bet it’ll purr like a kitten when he gets some seats in it.

    my parents had a 65 Mustang. Unfortunately, my cousin threw up in it one too many times. I’d like to have that car.

    April 7, 2008
  10. John George said:

    That’s a beautiful car, alright. One tip off on the engine is that it appears to be a throttle body fuel injected model. These were only produced a few years in the mid ’80’s, as multi-port injection came along as a better performing setup. I might be wrong on that, as I am more familiar with GM engines. The intake plenum hides all the fuel rails, if it is a MPFI setup. I would guess that that engine was used also in the Crown Victorias. Many years ago, Lincoln engines were completely different from the run-of-the-mill Ford engines, but production costs forced the use of common engines.

    April 7, 2008
  11. Patrick Enders said:

    That’s a scary amount of information that you guys can glean from a picture of an engine. And, given your respective non-automotive careers, that’s purely recreational knowledge, right?

    I see a car. An old red car. With the seats missing.

    April 8, 2008
  12. Jonathan Larson said:

    Is there such a thing as “recreational knowledge” of cars? I guess so. But of all the trivial knowledge I have accumulated in life, the car stuff has been, by FAR, the most useful. Cars are expensive to buy and maintain and the more you know about them, the lower those costs. Even better, when you respect what your automotive mechanic must know to do a good job, the interaction is SO much more pleasant. Recently, I had something very complex go wrong with my car–something that would have cost a fortune to get fixed at a dealer. In three sentences, Mike Witt assured me he could handle the problem. He did. It cost less than $300.

    April 8, 2008
  13. John George said:

    Patrick- I may have a non-automotive career, but my father was a farmer/mechanic (it’s questionable which he did on the side), so I grew up around cars and farm equipment. I have completely rebuilt engines, 4, 6 & 8 cylinder, both foreign & domestic; replaced clutches; rebuilt automatic transmissions, carburetors & distributors; brakes; wheel bearings, etc. That was back before a person neede a $10,000 analyzer computer to figure out what is wrong with the thing. I admire anyone who can repair any of the new auotmobiles. And to take a ’87 computer controled engine and install it in a ’56 non-computerized car, that person has my greatest admiration.

    April 8, 2008
  14. Logan Macrae said:

    The car is a 1955 Ford Thunderbird, With a 5.0l 302 HO EFI out of a 1987 Lincoln Mark 7.

    April 11, 2008

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