The 1960s brought about new and exciting engineering innovations across the industry, and Ford was at the forefront with such design features as space-age styling, sequential taillights, and a convenient “Swing-Away” steering wheel. All of those were available on the Thunderbird.
The Pick of the Day is a low-mileage, bright-yellow 1964 Ford Thunderbird two-door hardtop that has had a “meticulous restoration,” and is offered for sale on ClassicCars.com by a private seller in Enterprise, Utah.
“Every part and system restored or replaced to new/like-new condition,” the seller states in the ad.
The 79,000-mile odometer reading is true, the listing attests, although the Ford’s original engine has been swapped out for a newer unit and driven only 50 miles since. Restoration receipts totaling more than $34,000 accompany the sale, supporting the seller’s claim of a “white-glove” restoration approach.
The Thunderbird debuted as a two-seater in 1955 and was marketed by Ford as a personal luxury car, placing greater emphasis on comfortable amenities than sporty driving dynamics. The fourth-generation Thunderbird subsequently launched in 1964 and adopted a more formal look than its predecessor.
Power for this big bird comes from a 390cid, 300-horsepower V8 paired with a three-speed Cruise-O-Matic automatic transmission.
The Ford’s yellow finish is described as being an “excellent, high-quality paint job,” and dress-up exterior accents include fender skirts, generous chrome trim, wire wheel covers, and a hood scoop. The sequential taillights were introduced the following year.
Now about that steering wheel: While Ford wasn’t the first to invent a movable steering wheel, the feature did gain a lot more attention thanks to eventually becoming standard equipment on Thunderbird and later offered on the Galaxie and other FoMoCo vehicles.
With the car in park, the steering wheel would move laterally toward the center of the vehicle and lock in a new position allowing easy ingress and egress, and a metal plate moved with the column to fill in the gap. The option cost $25.10 when it was first rolled out by Ford in 1961. This video illustrates the functionality of the wheel moving back to its driving-ready position:
The rest of the Ford’s interior looks show-ready: Reupholstered gray bucket seats are split by a center console and integrated armrest with chrome trim. A ribbon-style speedometer and pod-like auxiliary readouts provide instrumentation, and the vinyl-lined trunk includes literature that accompanies the sale.
“This is one very striking turnkey example of the fourth-generation T’Bird for any classic American-car collector,” the listing states. “She’s ready to drive and even show off a bit.”
The seller is asking $29,500 for this big yellow Bird.
To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.