1965 FORD THUNDERBIRD CONVERTIBLE
Three men are generally credited with creating the original Thunderbird: Lewis D. Crusoe, a retired GM executive lured out of retirement by Henry Ford II; George Walker, chief stylist and a Ford vice-president; and Frank Hershey, a Ford designer. Crusoe and Walker met in France in October 1951. Walking in the Grand Palais in Paris, Crusoe pointed at a sports car and asked Walker, Why cant we have something like that? Walker promptly telephoned Fords HQ in Dearborn, Michigan, and told designer Frank Hershey about the idea. Hershey took the idea and immediately began working on the vehicle.
The concept was for a two-passenger open car, with a target weight of 2,525 pounds, a powerful V-8 engine and top of over 100 mph (160 km/h). Crusoe saw a painted clay model on May 18, 1953, which corresponded closely to the final car; he gave the car the go-ahead in September after comparing it with current European trends. Unlike the Corvette, the Thunderbird was never a full-blown sporting vehicle. Fords description was a personal luxury car, and the company essentially created this market segment.
Although the original Thunderbird was successful, the corporations executives felt its sales volume was too small. Market research suggested that sales were limited by its two-seat configuration, making it unsuitable as an only car for families. The second generation, introduced for the 1958 model year, was designed as a four-seat car, which was designed with unibody construction to allow maximum interior space in a relatively small exterior package. The 1958 Thunderbirds were produced at a new assembly plant at Wixom, Michigan, built as part of a corporate expansion plan to increase the sales of up-market cars (Mercury, Lincoln, and Thunderbird). For many, the new Thunderbird was their welcome to the Jet Age.
Big changes came in the mid 60s when the newly redesigned Ford Thunderbird was introduced. The Thunderbird was restyled in favor of a more squared-off formal look. Referred to by some as the Flair-Bird or the Jet-Bird, the Thunderbirds sporty image was maintained when Ford wisely decided to make the 390 cubic-inch V-8 the standard powerplant. The 390 cubic-inch engine with a four-barrel carb and dual exhausts, offered up to 305 horsepower and only needed 11 seconds to push the full-sized T-bird to 60 mph, and it had enough top-end to reach a top-speed of about 120 mph. This T-bird will eat up the asphalt with ease, and is fully comfortable at modern highway speeds.
This Magnificent Example is finished in Stunning Wimbleton White with Delux Frost Turquoise Interior and White Top. This Extremely Rare Southern Estate T-Bird underwent a Ground Up Restoration exceeding $47,000, including Exterior, Interior, Top, Chrome, and Mechanics.
Cruise-O-Matic Automatic Transmission
Master Guide Power Steering
Swift Sure Power Brakes
Power Fully Disappearing Soft Top
Power Window Lifts
AM-FM Cassette Radio (T-Bird)
Swing-A-Way Steering Wheel
Cigar Lighter (unused)
Factory Air Conditioning (Ice Cold)
o Extremely Rare
Kelsey Hayes Wire Wheels
Rear Fender Skirts
Sequential Blinking Rear Turn Signal Lights
Chrome Dual Side View Mirrors
Factory Seat Belts
390 Cubic Inch V-8 Engine
o 4.05 Bore
o 3.78 Stroke
o 300 Horsepower
o 4 Barrel Carburetion
o Dual Exhaust System
T Bird Crested Floor Mats
o Front & Rear
Highly Detailed Engine Compartment & Undercarriage
Magic Air Heater/D