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FOR SALE: 1963 Thunderbird convertible

Matt Harwood

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To be honest, I never really paid any attention to cars built after 1949 or so, but it turns out that I really dig this 1963 Thunderbird convertible. Really, isn't it gorgeous? I didn't expect to like it this much, and it's optioned out exactly the way I would have done it if I were ordering it new in 1963, including factory A/C (ice cold!), power windows, power locks, dual power seats, and an AM/FM radio. It was originally black on black, but during the frame-on restoration a few years ago, it was changed to Medium Blue Metallic (yeah, nice creative name there, Ford). It's a southern car, so rust was not an issue, and I can find no evidence of patches or repairs underneath or in those long, rocket-like quarter panels. The chrome is exceptionally good and looks fresh, including the outer bumpers up front, which apparently have a tendency to collect leaves and water and rust out from within.

The black interior is coded as leather on the door tag, and that's what is in it today. The seat covers, door panels, and carpets all appear to be new, and the gauges were restored with crisp markings and bright needles. Everything works, including the power windows, A/C, radio, seats, and I accidentally discovered power locks when fumbling for the top switch, as the power lock switch is low on the dash. And yes, the top works like it should, going up and down effortlessly and stowing itself under the hard shell tonneau that flips up from the top of the deck lid. You could probably sell tickets to watch it in operation, it's quite impressive. The only possible demerit is the center console, which shows original chrome with light pitting, but it's kind of on the fence as to whether it needs to be restored or if you could live with it. It does stand out simply because the rest is so over-the-top nice.

The engine is a 4-barrel 390 that makes great V8 sounds. The T-Bird was more Lincoln than Ford at this point, so it's heavy and rides beautifully, but is happier cruising the highways than carving through canyons. The engine bay is nicely detailed, but would need some elbow grease if you're going for trophies. The color change was thorough enough to include the inner fenders and firewall, so the engine was out and repainted at the same time. New hoses, belts, and R134a refrigerant in the A/C system mean it's reliable. The 3-speed automatic shifts so smoothly you almost can't feel it, and 3.00 gears mean it just loafs along on the highway. It wears Ford wire wheels that are in good shape but could use a bit of polishing, and for that reason, I suspect that they are original to the car. The chassis and floors are also extremely clean with a layer of undercoating, but examining things like the seams and braces, I can't see any evidence that this car was ever rusty, so it's not hiding anything.

A gorgeous, fully functional Bullet Bird with a ton of options in a gorgeous color combination. Does top-down cruising get better than this? Asking $34,900 and we're always open to offers. Thank you for reading and looking!













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