Ripe for your viewing on ClassicCars TV is an Interesting Finds video of a 1963 Ford Thunderbird Sports Roadster with the “M-code” 390. There’s a lot to distill here so, if you don’t know T-birds, class is in session.
The Sports Roadster was introduced in 1962, a $651 option package available only on the convertible. Equipment included fancy Kelsey-Hayes wire wheels (which negated skirts as an option), fiberglass tonneau cover, color-keyed passenger assist bar, and special emblems. For those pining for the return of the two-seater Thunderbird, they got their wish. For 1962, 1,427 were built, with an additional 455 built for 1963.
During those two years, two engines were offered on the Thunderbird (aside of a low-compression 390 for some export markets). The standard engine was a 300-horsepower 390cid, but an option with a trio of Holley two-barrel carburetors and 340 horsepower was available (though unrelated to that available for the Galaxie, which used a different intake). The engine code in the VIN was “M”, hence the name we use today.
Join “Jalopy Jeff” Sutton as he gives a walk-around of a 1963 Thunderbird Sports Roadster that sold for $181,000 at the 2023 Barrett-Jackson Las Vegas auction. Out of the 455 built, this one of 37 with the M-code 390.