Certified 1963 Thunderbird Sport-Roadster!
In '63 the grille was revised to look more elegant and the tail lamps had a “jet like” appearance. Louver scripts were redesigned and moved from the quarter panels to the doors. Perhaps the most obvious change was a stylish horizontal feature line that ran from the leading edge of the front fender to mid-door before angling downward. While not excessive, the small changes were enough to make it recognizable as a 1963.
To quiet Thunderbird’s ride, more than 150 pounds of sound deadener was added throughout. Nearly 80 pounds of reinforcement was added to the structure for increased rigidity and a more solid feel. An alternator replaced the generator for additional charging capacity. Eighteen inch variable speed windshield wipers were hydraulically powered using pressure from the power steering pump. New windshield moldings reduced wind noise. Exhaust pipes and stainless steel mufflers reduced noise and increased the systems lifespan.
Interiors were updated with a passenger side grab bar and door mounted courtesy lamps. An AM radio was now standard equipment as was a driver side remote mirror. Bright trim was added to the gas and brake pedal.
The arguably best looking entries for 1963 was the Sports Roadster. A removable fiberglass tonneau cover completely altered T-bird’s appearance by turning the four-seater into a stylish two-seat roadster. The tonneau cover rose above the beltline just behind the front seat back and provided integral headrests for both the driver and passenger. All Sports Roadsters included special front fender emblems and Kelsey Hayes wire wheels.
Powering the Thunderbird was Ford’s reliable 390 cubic-inch V8. The base engine was rated at 300 horsepower via a four-barrel carburetor and 9.6:1 compression ratio.
By the end of the model year, 63,313 Thunderbirds were produced, and of the total only 455 were Sports Roadsters.
· Number built – 63,313
· Construction – Uni-Body
· Engine – 390 cubic-inch V8
· Power/Torque – 300 horsepower/427 lb.-ft. torque, 340 horsepower/430 lb.-ft. torque
· Transmission –- three-speed automatic
· Suspension Front – independent, with coil springs, unequal upper/lower control arms and stabilizer bar
· Rear suspension – semi-elliptical leaf
· Steering – recirculating ball and nut
· Brakes – 11-inch front and rear drum
· Length/width/height – 205/76.5/52.5 inches
· Wheelbase – 113 inches
· Weight – 4,842 lbs.
· 0-60mph/quarter mile – 11.2 seconds, 19.2 seconds at 78 mph (Motor Trend, September 1962.
· Top speed – 107 mph (Motor Trend, September 1962)
· MPG – 8-13 mpg