Long and low, 1962 Thunderbird Sports Roadster revived two-seater styling

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Thunderbird
The tonneau cover gives the Thunderbird convertible a sporty look

Some people were still pining for the late, lamented two-seater Thunderbird in the early 1960s when Ford had the better idea of marketing a convertible version of the four-seat convertible with a fiberglass panel covering the rear seats to give the appearance of a sporty roadster.

The Pick of the Day is one of the originals, a 1962 Ford Thunderbird Sports Roadster in bright red that would be an immediate head turner on any cruise night.  The Schertz, Texas, dealer advertising the Roadster on ClassicCars.com says this is an authentic factory example, confirmed by its original trim tag that is still attached and other documentation.

Thunderbird

“This is an original genuine factory 1962 Sports Roadster,” the dealer says in the ad. “Many people claim to have a true Sports Roadster, but this is a genuine one.”

The limited-edition Sports Roadster was offered for only two years, 1962-63, and just 1,427 of them were sold in 1962 out of the 10s of thousands of Thunderbirds produced. As well as the rear-seat tonneau, which gave the car a very long, low look, the package included such premium trim as Kelsey-Hayes chrome wire wheels.

Thunderbird“The car was previously restored with correct Rangoon Red paint,” the ad says. “The interior had new seats, carpets. The rest is original and remarkable. The exterior chrome was all triple chrome plated including bumpers, vent windows, emblems, factory ford mirrors. Many FOMOCO parts were used during the restoration.

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“Mechanically, this Sports Roadster runs and drives great. The engine is very smooth and powerful. The transmission shifts on the button. The car rides very nicely and is a very comfortable driving car.”

ThunderbirdThe Thunderbird is powered by the 300-horsepower 390 cid V8 which has been upgraded with a chrome package, the dealer notes.  Overall mileage is just over 52,000 miles, and the restoration was done on a solid, rust-free car, according to the dealer.

The rare Bird is priced at $44,888.

To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.

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Bob Golfen is a longtime automotive writer and editor, focusing on new vehicles, collector cars, car culture and the automotive lifestyle. He is the former automotive writer and editor for The Arizona Republic and SPEED.com, the website for the SPEED motorsports channel. He has written free-lance articles for a number of publications, including Autoweek, The New York Times and Barrett-Jackson auction catalogs. A collector car enthusiast with a wide range of knowledge about the old cars that we all love and desire, Bob enjoys tinkering with archaic machinery. His current obsession is a 1962 Porsche 356 Super coupe.

5 COMMENTS

  1. A true rare 60’s classic
    Wonderful restoration.
    Priced very fairly. Instead of
    their dud failed retro look attempt of the 50’s T Bird, Ford should have
    considered their 1962 version.

    • I agree. The 2002-2005 (2 seater) 11th generation TBirds looked like a chick car. Not masculine at all. Too girlie.

      They should’ve based it on a 1962 TBIrd & offered the fiberglass tonneau cover. A 4 seater like all the other retro muscle cars (Camaro, Mustang, Challenger, etc.)

  2. As a kid, I always pictured this gen TBird as the perfect platform for retractable (James Bond Lotus/submarine) wheels and antigrav hover tech.
    Really- picture it as Luke Skywalker’s ride if he’d had access to daddy Darth’s money instead of being tied to Unk Owen’s tight budget.
    I’m pushing 60 and still think these would be great as our long promised "future cars". Over the years, Ford has had some odd and unsuccessful designs (some govt mandates 5mph bumpers, ugh) and some self inflicted, but in my opinion the rocket engine taillight TBirds were simply perfect, both as an industrial design and for their intended market; I’m surprised they didn’t sell more.
    And for an automobile design to be stylish and attractive nomatter the color in which it is presented, well, that’s fairly rare.
    Wish I had a white over red interior roadster, with a built/supercharged 5.0 Coyote backed by a 6spd Tremec. Or that antigrav hover tech; if yet gonna wish…

  3. Car seems quite nice from photos. What issues or blemishes should I be aware of before I take this further with you? I can see there is no A/C, what about a power seat? How is the top operating on this car, as we both know those issues too well, how long ago were the motors replaced on the trunk deck/boot mechanism, etc?

  4. I really enjoy the entire collection.
    The 1960 ‘s convertible Benz was one that caught my eye.
    Looking forward to more of your classic vehicles .

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