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 can't we have something like that?" Walker promptly telephoned Ford's 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. Ford's description was a personal luxury car, and the company essentially created this market segment. Although the original Thunderbird was successful, the corporation's 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 60's 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 Thunderbird's 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 Raven Black with Delux Black Leather Interior and Black Top. This Extremely Rare 2 Owner, Largely All Original T-Bird has been maintained to the Highest Standards. Options Include: � Cruise-O-Matic Automatic Transmission � Master Guide Power Steering � Swift Sure Power Disc Brakes � Power Fully Disappearing Soft Top � Original AM Radio � Front & Rear Speakers � Swing-A-Way Steering Wheel � Clock � Full Instrumentation � Cigar Lighter (unused) � Factory Select Aire Air Conditioning (Ice Cold) o Extremely Rare Option on '65 Convertibles � Kelsey Hayes Wire Wheels � Padded Dash � Vent Windows � Backup Lights � Sequential Blinking Rear Turn Signal Lights � Quad Headlamps � Chrome Dual Side View Mirrors with Remote � Day/Night Rear View Mirror � Bucket Seats � Reclining Passenger Seat � 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/Defroster � Wh
Owned and driven for years by the iconic Hollywood star, the car could be bid multiple times higher than the auction’s estimate
Pick of the Day driven less than 80,000 miles since new
Car is being sold because owner lost its indoor storage spot
This is the sixth vehicle in the 30-day Countdown to Barrett-Jackson’s 47th annual Scottsdale auction.
The “square-bird” four-seater models that replaced Ford’s iconic Thunderbird roadsters are considered the original “personal luxury” cars.
Barrett-Jackson auctioned off in Scottsdale the impeccable silver-gray 1956 Ford Thunderbird that the legendary Frank Sinatra drove around Palm Springs, California, when he was not off with the rest of the Rat Pack.
Strikingly elegant was the thought that popped to mind when this triple black 1966 Ford Thunderbird appeared as I clicked through candidates for Pick of the Day.
The first-generation two-seat Ford Thunderbird is always a favorite among classic and collector car owners, which sometimes leaves the second generation largely overlooked.