1963 FORD THUNDERBIRD CONVERTIBLE
46,414 original miles. One repaint in original Rangoon Red. Sport Roadster tonneau and Kelsey-Hayes wire wheels. Fresh carburetor, exhaust, brakes, and tires. A beautiful ‘Bird to enjoy this summer!
Code J Rangoon Red is this car’s original color and we have to admit that this long, red ‘Bird looks like a rock star sitting in the sun. The respray was incredibly thorough so the car looks quite good from any angle, and it’s obvious from looking underneath that the car has always been someone’s fair-weather toy. Finish quality is quite good, with even gaps and lots of time invested in getting everything straight, with doors that close well and no signs of accident damage or other issues in its past. Of course, on a car like this, the critical issue is the jewelry, which includes all that wonderful chrome trim. All the Thunderbird logos have gorgeous inlays that are designed to simulate genuine turquoise, and from behind, it’s easy to see why they also call these the “rocket Birds.” Then there’s the bright strip of stainless that defines the top edges of the fenders, running across the doors to form the door handles, before cresting the modest tailfins. The ‘Thunderbird’ script on both quarter panels, the hash marks on the doors, and the stainless windshield surround are all in great shape.
According to the door tag, this car’s code 82 black leather bucket seat interior is correct, and it features a great deal of new components. The seat covers front and rear may possibly be original, complete with Thunderbird insignias on the seat backs and no splits or tears, just some wrinkles that you’d expect over time. Black carpets with a heel pad for the driver look more recent, and the dash pad doesn’t suffer any cracks or UV damage from years in the sun. Sleek, round gauges are pure 1960s cool, with clear markings and bright pointers, all surrounded by an anodized aluminum trim panel that extends into the center console. The top itself is black vinyl, as original, and remains in excellent shape with a few wrinkles but no tears, and it does work correctly in both directions. The Sport Roadster tonneau cover is a very desirable addition, but can be removed easily if you need to use the back seat (it does not affect top operation). The trunk is fully lined with a new mat set and includes a full-sized spare tire and jack assembly tucked into the quarter panel.
There’s plenty of horsepower on tap with a Z-code 390 cubic inch V8 under the hood. Topped by a fresly rebuilt 4-barrel carburetor, it makes a nice, round 300 horsepower and plenty of torque to make the ragtop ‘Bird feel effortless in everything it does. The engine bay is dominated by the big, gold air cleaner and the expansion tank, so it looks quite authentic and you can see how clean this car is from the visible spot welds on the inner fenders—this is not a car that was patched up and rusty. It starts easily, idles smoothly, and has a very healthy V8 rumble from the brand-new dual exhaust system (interestingly enough, dual exhaust was an option in 1963). It was undercoated years ago, but the rockers, subframe supports, and floors are sharply rendered and don’t have that worn look that rusty cars in the north always get. The power drum brakes were rebuilt, the suspension is supple and rides well, and with 3.00 gears out back, it cruises at highway speeds easily. Genuine chrome wire wheels and 215/75/14 whitewall radials look fantastic on the dramatic body, the perfect finishing touch for such a gorgeous convertible.
Go ahead and look around, but you’ll probably find that 1963 Thunderbird convertibles are red hot collectables, especially with only 5900 or so being built. Perhaps you never even considered a 4-seat ‘Bird until you saw this one, but its combination of good looks, a fantastic interior, and a potent V8 have won you over. An absolutely fantastic vintage convertible with zero needs beyond a happy new owner. Call today!
For more details and photos, please visit www.HarwoodMotors.com