By the time Ford dispensed (at least temporarily) with the Thunderbird moniker in 2005, the model had progressed through no less than 11 generations, the combined production total of which was in excess of 4.4 million. It had also been immortalised by the Beach Boys’ hit song “Fun Fun Fun”. The first generation cars hit the streets in October 1954 and, while it was created in direct response to Chevrolet’s Corvette, Ford’s emphasis was more on comfort than overt sportiness. Though sleeker than most of its Ford siblings, it shared many of their components and the 292ci (4.8-litre) V8 engine was borrowed from the company’s Mercury division. By the time the fourth generation appeared in 1964, the T-Bird was an altogether larger proposition, with four rather than two seats and power from a 6.4-litre V8 of either 300bhp or 330bhp, mated to a three-speed automatic gearbox. The styling reflected the trend for twin headlamps and by 1965 disc brakes had become standard fare for the front wheels. There was a choice of Coupé, Convertible or Landau body styles, each equally imposing in their own way.
This iconic Thunderbird was supplied new to its first Californian owner in 1963, fitted with the most potent 390cu 6.4 litre V8, and very well equipped with almost every factory option available. He clearly loved his T-Bird dearly, keeping the original bill of sale and a very careful record of maintenance and repairs over the years.
The Thunderbird has more recently been brought into the Netherlands. The car and has benefitted from a re-trim to the seats some time ago, however the rest of the interior is original and is presented in very good condition. We are pleased to note that the paint is still largely original, having never been completely repainted in the lifetime of the car.
Offered with a fresh technical inspection and Dutch registration papers, such is his confidence in the car that the Thunderbird will be driven to the auction by the vendor. A great original example of one of America’s great cars of the swinging 60s.