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1963 Ford Thunderbird Convertible *SOLD*


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*SOLD* I've known this car for many years and I've always admired it. It's a great runner that looks quite nice from any angle and I don't think I've ever seen one as loaded up with options as this one. It is my professional opinion that the 61-63 Thunderbirds are the only ones that are still strong in the market (well, present circumstances excepted). They are a great combination of good looks, great road manners, and lots of car for the money. This particular car has spent a majority of its life in Florida, although for the past 15 years it has been up north as part of a large collection. There's no evidence that it has ever been rusty or wrecked and while the undercarriage is dirty, it is not at all rusty (especially important as these are unit-body cars). If you check the door tag, you'll see that it's a color change from code A Raven Black to the current blue, which is pretty close to code G Silver Mink (yes, that's a real color). Living in Florida, I can understand the desire to move away from a triple black car, even though this one does have functional A/C. That respray was incredibly thorough, because I can find no trace of black anywhere on the car, including door pockets and throughout the trunk, and the engine was obviously out while they did it. The chrome and stainless trim is mostly original but a few parts have been refinished, and it has a nice all-of-a-piece look. I love the rail of chrome that runs from the tip of the front fender back to the tail fin and incorporates the door handle--that's just inspired design. The hash marks on the doors are an easy way to spot the '63s and the jet-like taillights are just too cool.

 

The black interior has surely been restored at some point since it's just too nice to be nearly 60 years old. The carpets are surely new and the seat covers, if they are replacements, are above average in their detailing. You will note that this car is loaded with options, including factory A/C, power windows, twin power front bucket seats, an unusual AM/FM radio, and ultra-rare power locks, which I have only seen on this car and no other. Standard features like the swing-away steering wheel and beautiful round gauges are pure 1960s and I'm pleased to say everything works, including the clock, radio, and A/C, which was just recharged. Admittedly, the A/C isn't awesome given that it works from only those center vents, but it's better than nothing, right? The huge swath of ribbed anodized aluminum across the dash is in very good condition, although the panel on the console housing the power window switches shows some very minor pitting, which is all but unavoidable. And yes, to answer your #1 question, the power convertible top does work properly. Like many of its siblings, the shifter lever must be in exactly the right spot to actuate the top (as well as the starter) but get it right and it powers up and down without issues--don't worry, you'll figure it out and there's a subtle click under the dash when you find the sweet spot. The trunk is neatly and correctly detailed, including a full-sized spare and full jack assembly.

 

All 1963 Thunderbirds received the Z-code 390 cubic inch V8 with a nice, round 300 horsepower. The 'Bird is a big, heavy car and the 390 does a good job of erasing most of its mass, but it's still happiest on the highway where you can aim the pointed beak towards the horizon at 75 MPH. The engine and transmission were rebuilt about 10 years ago and I'd be surprised if it has more than 10-12,000 miles on it since then. It's nicely detailed in gold paint with a black block, and most of the unique Ford features were replicated: decals, the expansion tank on top, and even a yellow-top ignition coil. It's not quite show quality, but you'll never be ashamed to open the hood at casual shows and fuel stops. Look closely and you'll see the A/C now uses R134a refrigerant, so it's easy to maintain, and there's a dual master cylinder and new power brake booster on the firewall, which are for the newly installed front disc brakes. The front suspension is also rebuilt with new ball joints, tie rods, drag link, sway bar bushings, and more so it feels fresh and tracks straight (although the steering wheel is off center by about 70 degrees, which I'm going to try to remedy). The underside is a little dirty and grungy, but there's no rust or rot anywhere and I don't believ eit has ever been restored under there, so you know it's a clean car. 3.00 gears mean it's a superlative highway cruiser and the chrome wire wheels are repros, so they fit under the skirts without issues. It rides on newer 14-inch whitewall radials that are the right size.

 

Not a show car, but a really, really nice cruiser that's loaded up with more options than most. A lot of money has been spent in the last few years to make it mechanically excellent and I would have great faith in this car to make a road trip of any distance. It's also a movie star on wheels--every time I drive it, the waves and honks are more significant than most other cars, so this bullet 'Bird really talks to people. Price is $34,900, which, until things went nuts, was the going rate for a nice T-Bird ragtop like this. If you're still shopping, you won't regret owning this one and I, for one, will be sad to see it go. Thanks for looking!

 

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Edited by Matt Harwood (see edit history)
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11 minutes ago, John_S_in_Penna said:

Matt, you write well and have a good command

of English.  I have wondered whether you were

an English major.

 

Thanks, John. I was indeed a journalism major, although after I earned that degree, I went back to school and did mechanical engineering as well. You can imagine how many credits transferred between the two. Writing is easy, engineering is hard. Fortunately, I get to do a little bit of both in my job and it's probably why I was so good at technical writing which was my desk job career for 15 years. Of course, it's been 20 years since I was in college, so it's all relative I suppose.

 

Anyway, thanks for the kind words, it means a lot. I try to make it interesting as well as informative. I don't want to just hit you guys with sales pitches.

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