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FOR SALE: 1963 Thunderbird Hardtop *SOLD*

Matt Harwood

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Wait, wait, wait! Don't just look at the pictures--keep reading because you need to know that this is NOT a modified car. Look past the flashy wheels and you'll find a very correctly restored, very high-point RocketBird that's simply drop-dead gorgeous. In fact, this modestly priced Thunderbird might just be the nicest car in my entire inventory, up to and including cars that cost ten times as much. It is EXTREMELY impressive. Reinstall the original wheels and hubcaps (included with the car), put the skirts back on (also included), and I'll wager that this is a 92-94 point car at any AACA meet in the country. It is seriously nice.

This car came to me because the guy who restored it noticed that I had another Medium Blue '63 Thunderbird convertible and figured that a matched set would look good. Now the convertible is a nice car, but I don't dare park this one next to it because this one is just so off-the-charts amazing. It's a California car that was purchased in pieces and restored by a guy who spent a lifetime in a bodyshop and clearly he knew what he was doing. According to him, there is not one patch panel, not one replacement piece of sheetmetal, and nothing more than a skim coat of filler to make it laser-straight. Every piece of chrome was refinished, the lenses are polished, and even the Thunderbird logos are sharply rendered--the front bird even has a red eye. I'm telling you, he didn't miss a thing.

The interior is correct two-tone vinyl and the car is equipped with power windows and factory A/C. How do I know it's factory A/C and not dealer-installed? Look at the compressor, which is the original compressor for this car, and you'll note that none of the mounting boss holes are drilled or tapped--those are open only on the dealer-installed units because they're made to be universal. With R12 refrigerant inside, it's pretty darned effective. The seats have new foam, the carpets are new, the door panels are new, the dash pad is new, and, well, you get the point. The instruments are beautifully refinished and all the bulbs inside the dash are fully functional--turn on the headlights and the gear selector needle seems to glow like Darth Vader's light sabre. Too cool! The only other notable modification is the AM/FM radio and speakers in the door panels and on the rear package shelf, but the original radio is included with the car. The trunk is finished with a full reproduction mat set and includes a restored jack assembly in the side storage area. And no, there's no rust.

The 390 cubic inch engine was rebuilt and runs superbly. In fact, it feels about 100 horsepower stronger than the one in the convertible for some reason. It starts almost instantly and I was demonstrating it for a client yesterday and simply reached in and turned the key and it started and idled perfectly without any pumping of the accelerator or help to keep it from stalling while it was on the choke. Very impressive. It's correctly detailed with Ford Gold on the tinwork and the shade of the paint was matched to original samples found on the underside of the air cleaner, so it's more of a tan than a gold, but it's authentic. All the little stuff is correct, from hose clamps to the staples holding the rubber air dam in place ahead of the radiator. The FMX 3-speed automatic offers crisp shifts and 3.00 gears make it a superlative highway car. Power steering and power drum brakes are effective and while the wheels aren't everyone's cup of tea, I can't argue with the way this sucker goes down the road without a single squeak or rattle.

There's more than $60,000 wrapped up in just the restoration, not counting the guy's time. I know RocketBirds aren't commanding huge prices and our asking price of $26,900 might be ambitious for one of these. But if you look at it from the point of view that this is quite possibly the nicest one you'll ever see and it's an absolute joy to drive, well, perhaps then it'll start to seem like a bargain. What else can you get for $26,900? A year-old Honda? Yeah, right.

This car is very, very impressive. Thanks for looking!
















Edited by Matt Harwood
SOLD! (see edit history)
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  • 4 weeks later...

SOLD, thank you!

I knew this one wouldn't last long, the quality of this car practically beats you over the head with a 2x4. At the end, I had three guys fighting over it and sold it for full asking price. Quality matters.

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