While I am not a huge classic American car fan, there are a number of cars built in this country that I really like. Some of these include Corvettes of every generation, Mustangs from 1964 ½ to 1973, all generations of Camaros, a few random AMC cars, and the odd Mopar. The model I like, which might surprise people who know me, are many generations of the Ford Thunderbird.
To me the Thunderbirds built from 1955 until 1969 are the cars that sum up all the great design ideas that were influenced by the space age of the 1950s and 60s. The styling of the cars from this era are some of the coolest of any post war American car model.
The Springfield, Massachusetts dealer offering the T-Bird states that it is a very nice original car that runs and drives well. They go on to say that the drivetrain is the original 390 V8 with a three-speed automatic. They advise that the interior is also clean & original, and that the body has been touched up over the years, but remains in good shape.
Based on the description and the many pictures provided in the ad, this Thunderbird looks to be a very nice and largely original survivor. It is not a barn find car that has a shredded interior, lots of rust, and completely ruined paint. It’s simply a well-cared for old Thunderbird that would be just the thing to take out for a trip to a local car show or an ice cream run.
In a lot of ways, you can have more fun in a car like this one when compared to a restored car, as you tend to not worry about the occasional stone chip in the paint. I would guess that if I owned this car and also owned a fully restored 1963 T-Bird, this is the one which would get driven the most miles per year.
These third generation T-Birds are a bit interesting historically as well. The model was a favorite of President John F. Kennedy, so much so that they were featured prominently in his inauguration parade. Also, the third generation T-Bird had a great number of standard features that were usually options on other cars. This included bucket seats, power steering, power brakes, and all T-Birds were powered by Ford’s 390ci V8 backed by an automatic transmission. The interiors have a great futuristic look to them, more like an airplane cockpit than a car’s interior.
The best part about this car is the price of only $12,990. Now as I said before this is not a show car, but a nice and tidy driver. I would be hard pressed to find another classic car from the era for that price. No, this 1963 T-Bird is not a car to buy and restore; it’s a car to take it as it is, drive and enjoy.