Jump to content

1963 Thunderbird Convertible special options


Richard Douglass
 Share

Recommended Posts

Not a special option, but a separate model called the Sport Roadster. However, the various parts were available over-the-counter at the dealer and there are many reproduction parts out there as well. '62 and '63 Sport Roadsters are easy to identify because they have a separate model number and a different VIN, but the '61s are problematic if the replica is done well.

 

This is a '63 that is not a real Sport Roadster but has most of the components with the exception of the grab handle on the passenger side and it's wearing skirts, which means the wheels are repros (the originals didn't fit under the factory skirts). The tonneau is removable and there's a full back seat underneath. It doesn't affect top operation, either.

 

005.thumb.JPG.e2ba1f00f7dbb3005295289df54c4180.JPG  020.thumb.JPG.9bf12a29d3e33bb775618a717cd051b0.JPG  035.thumb.JPG.ce625f63384b62a6b015948e669ee16b.JPG  067.thumb.JPG.d2dcfdf8f20da2be324cbb251a1903a8.JPG

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, joe_padavano said:

As with most rare cars and options from the 1960s, there are far more T-Bird Sport Roadsters today than Ford ever built...

 

 

That occurs to me every time I see the hundreds of '60's era GTO's for sale nowadays...and relatively few LeMans 2 door hardtops. When I was in elementary school in the 1960's it was strangely the inverse of that. 😁

  • Like 3
  • Haha 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 minutes ago, Billy Kingsley said:

I first learned of this set up when I got the AMT kit that includes it. What purpose does it serve? 

I don't see the appeal but perhaps I don't have enough information. 

 

It looks cool.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 minute ago, Billy Kingsley said:

I suspected that might have been the case. It's not my style, but I can understand that reason! 

I like them without this option, a neighbor had a 63 t-bird convertible that I thought was the coolest thing on four wheels.  Then he dropped a few places when another neighbor got a 63 Impala SS.  As a Chevy guy, the Impala became the new top cool car in the neighbor hood.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

15 minutes ago, 8E45E said:

I think there are also a LOT more 1970-'71 B and E-body Mopars running around in one of the five 'Hi-Impact' paint colors than were originally painted that way!!

 

Craig

Funny how when something gets popular, more of them than were ever made show up for sale! 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

and tripower GTOs.

BTW note on my billing card that the am radio and 8-track cost more than the four speed transmission. The high prices for the very good Delco radios spawned a whole aftermarket industry. GM responded with oddball shaft and dial configurations. Wasn't SEMA formed to sue GM to provide standardized radios ? My '78 Sunbird had a "radio accommodation package" ($25) that contained everything but the radio.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, padgett said:

and tripower GTOs.

BTW note on my billing card that the am radio and 8-track cost more than the four speed transmission. The high prices for the very good Delco radios spawned a whole aftermarket industry. GM responded with oddball shaft and dial configurations. Wasn't SEMA formed to sue GM to provide standardized radios ? My '78 Sunbird had a "radio accommodation package" ($25) that contained everything but the radio.

 

Good one! 

 

The only country that had a standard for radio fitment, as far as I know, is Germany, with its DIN specification.  I've never heard of such a thing as SEMA, or any other aftermarket organization trying to sue an automaker to standardize a car radio size.  I remember the first Chev Citations had a vertical-format radio ala AMC, and some 1980's Firebirds had an optional AM/FM/cassette freestanding radio that swivelled on a post on the console.  I do have a Delco radio that came out of an Opel Kadett that is a DIN size.

 

Craig

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 1/5/2020 at 2:37 PM, Billy Kingsley said:

I suspected that might have been the case. It's not my style, but I can understand that reason! 

Are you about to start a family, and need all four seats?

 

In 1963, the two-seat 'bird was still on many people's minds and a small segment did want to see a revival of a two-seater, which was why this package was offered.  (Budd actually built a concept in 1963, which was basically an update of the 1957 T-bird with trimmed down fins and a flat windshield.) 

 

Craig

63_2_st_Tbird.jpg

Edited by 8E45E
Added photo (see edit history)
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well SEMA was formed in 1963 and I remember the radio issue in the early 70s so not why it was formed. Think the 66 T'bird had the first 8-track and FM radios appeared in the 60s. Late 60s was when the FM-stereo became popular and I have an under dash FM-ST/8-track that was in my '70 Buick GS also a '69 Akai reel-reel and 8-track recorder. (what happens when you live in the same place for many years).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I do know one thing that was standardized across the board in 1963 were transistorized car radios, and that was the SAE, not SEMA. 

 

There were a couple of exceptions, including 1963 Ford compacts and intermediates in certain markets still having tube radios available, but that was to use up leftover stock from the year previous.

 

Craig

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, 8E45E said:

 

Good one! 

 

The only country that had a standard for radio fitment, as far as I know, is Germany, with its DIN specification.  I've never heard of such a thing as SEMA, or any other aftermarket organization trying to sue an automaker to standardize a car radio size.  I remember the first Chev Citations had a vertical-format radio ala AMC, and some 1980's Firebirds had an optional AM/FM/cassette freestanding radio that swivelled on a post on the console.  I do have a Delco radio that came out of an Opel Kadett that is a DIN size.

 

Craig

An 81 Citation hatch was our family daily driver from 1990-97, and if we turned the radio on, the car would shut off. Doubt it was that way when new but it was like that the entire time we had it. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 1/5/2020 at 8:56 AM, Matt Harwood said:

Not a special option, but a separate model called the Sport Roadster. However, the various parts were available over-the-counter at the dealer and there are many reproduction parts out there as well. '62 and '63 Sport Roadsters are easy to identify because they have a separate model number and a different VIN, but the '61s are problematic if the replica is done well.

 

This is a '63 that is not a real Sport Roadster but has most of the components with the exception of the grab handle on the passenger side and it's wearing skirts, which means the wheels are repros (the originals didn't fit under the factory skirts). The tonneau is removable and there's a full back seat underneath. It doesn't affect top operation, either.

 

005.thumb.JPG.e2ba1f00f7dbb3005295289df54c4180.JPG  020.thumb.JPG.9bf12a29d3e33bb775618a717cd051b0.JPG  035.thumb.JPG.ce625f63384b62a6b015948e669ee16b.JPG  067.thumb.JPG.d2dcfdf8f20da2be324cbb251a1903a8.JPG

They mentioned the difficulty of identifying a genuine Sports Roadster from a clone as far back as 1973.

 

cc7312pg51.jpg

cc7312pg53x.jpg

Edited by 8E45E (see edit history)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

13 hours ago, Billy Kingsley said:

An 81 Citation hatch was our family daily driver from 1990-97, and if we turned the radio on, the car would shut off. Doubt it was that way when new but it was like that the entire time we had it. 

The car had to reserve its power for motion rather than music😀.  Actually at one time I was looking at the Citation X-11 as my next possible new car.  I didn’t like the torque steer from the FWD so I eventually bought a Camaro Z28 in 1983. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, cheezestaak2000 said:

a possible explaination could be that ford was still hanging onto the idea that the thunderbird was a corvette competitor ?

Henry went all the way and chased (and passed at LeMans) Ferrari, not a lowly Corvette, and responded with the GT-40. 

 

Today, you can buy your own Ford GT: https://www.ford.ca/performance/gt/

 

Craig

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Think 66 was first T'bird to have an 8-track. In south Florida the cheap rollers melted. Repaired some with Lear-Siegler rollers AFAIR.  Used to use fingernail to tell if roller was OK before insertion.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...