Restored as needed / Believed to have been driven only 20,586 miles
Original 390 cubic inch Ford-Edsel V8
Original Cruise-O-Matic 3-speed automatic transmission
Correct Wimbledon White paint / White vinyl top
Correct Turquoise interior / Factory air conditioning
Factory power steering
Factory power drum brakes
Modern direct-fit audio
Over the last 113 years, Ford has built such a vast empire of lovable marques that some of them just seem to get overlooked. Possibly the most substantial victim of that unfortunate phenomenon is the storied Thunderbird. Introduced in 1955 as a refined Corvette competitor, the brand's first 'personal luxury car' celebrates eleven generations of some of the most diverse products ever offered under one banner. And, not as acute as the GT or as commonplace as the Mustang, the car spent most of its life as the poster child for evolving automotive tastes. This classy T-Bird is a solid cruiser that's benefitted from careful restoration as needed. And if you're looking for an awesome classic that's fun, attractive and ready to roll, you simply won't find more car for the money!
Walking up to this beloved 'Flair Bird', one thing is certain: the car makes a big first impression. Harshly sculpted, but at the same time elegant, this Ford has presence that stretches far beyond its large and luxurious proportions. By 1965, all pretense of the Thunderbird being a Corvette competitor had been thrown out the window. And that certainly wasn't a bad thing, as Dearborn had decided conquering the burgeoning personal luxury market was a much better play than selling a niche sports car. Lovingly restored as needed, this particular 'Flair Bird' reflects a correct coat of Wimbledon White 2-stage that exudes a clean and classy demeanor. That pigment, believed to be the car's one and only repaint, highlights straight panels that appear solid and mostly original. That rust-free profile, spending most of its life in the southern United States, is well aligned, suggesting this 'bird has probably never experienced any in-flight emergencies or harsh landings. And, as far as its previous owner knows, the 20,586 clicks on the car's odometer are an accurate indication of a low-mileage life.
Looking more like a high priced Lincoln than a working man's Ford, the fourth generation Thunderbird reimagined the brand's familiar bullet profile with heavy style lines and intricate trim. At the front of the car, a '65-exclusive grille flows seamlessly into an angled bumper, which centers petite parking lamps beneath chrome-trimmed 'eyebrow' headlights that intentionally recall the earlier 'Square Bird'. Above that grille, a correct, bird-branded hood centers a tasteful scoop between classy turn indicators and stainless-trimmed glass that's capped by white vinyl, which is stretched across a rebuilt top. At the sides of that greenhouse, skeg-lined fenders flow into flared quarters behind a power antenna, optional wheel skirts, polished mirrors, classy "Thunderbird" scripts and '65-exclusive waste gate trim. And at the back of those quarters, a jet-inspired decklid founds a bold valance around sequential taillights, a second bird emblem and nondescript reverse lamps.
While the T-Bird's eventual purpose was more luxury than performance, power has never been an issue. Under this drop-top's long hood you'll find an original, 390 cubic inch FE V8 that, to the current owner's knowledge, has never been removed or rebuilt. One of the most versatile Ford engines ever created, this highly regarded block was, in the Thunderbird, factory-rated with stout 10 to 1 compression, a nice, round 300 horsepower and an impressive 427 lb./ft. of torque. At the top of the old school mill, a modern Holley carburetor nabs oxygen from a gold, correctly decaled air cleaner and shoves it in to a painted, cast iron intake. At the sides of that intake, factory heads hang requisite gold rocker covers over correct, cast iron exhaust manifolds. At the front of those covers, a traditional points distributor sequences spark through fresh 7mm Standard Silicon wires. And in front of those wires, a shrouded and decaled radiator circulates coolant around a modern alternator and factory AC components. As you can see, this Ford's well-kept engine bay maintains a professional mix of Satin Black and Wimbledon White paint. And many of the C5AE-A block's correct ancillary components, from its big brake booster to its old school Thunderbird washer reservoir, are present and accounted for.
At the bottom of this solid cruiser, undercoated floors combine with a straight and sturdy frame to provide an excellent foundation for years of top-down fun. Just aft of the Ford-Edsel eight, an original Cruise-O-Matic 3-speed, verified by a correct PCE-BB assembly stamp, spins power to a familiar Ford axle. That versatile drivetrain is held off the ground by a traditional coil and leaf suspension, which features factory power steering. Stops are provided by a quartet of power-assisted drums. In the middle of the floors, coated pipes funnel roasted dinosaurs through an H-shaped crossover, small resonators and large, rear-mount mufflers. And at the sides of that exhaust, ornate wire wheels twist 215/75R15 Hankook Optimo whitewalls around polished thunderbird spinners.
One of the best virtues of this Ford is its mostly-original interior. An artfully designed set-up that was intended to coddle occupants in Space Age comfort, it places major emphasis on style. At the center of the car, Turquoise buckets, re-covered at some point, are the perfect place for you and your family to spend sunny afternoons pounding the pavement. In front of those seats, a 'flight deck dash' hangs ornate telemetry behind a chrome shifter and a chrome-trimmed steering wheel. Below that dash, a stylish console props direct-fit audio and controls for the car's factory air conditioning in front of a relocated horn and switches for factory power windows. Color-keyed floor mats protect original carpet opposite a vintage, multi-function mirror. And at the sides of the cockpit, stainless-trimmed door panels hang bright handles between rolled toppers and full-length armrests.
OUR SALE INCLUDES THE FOLLOWING DOCUMENTATION AND ACCESSORIES
A vintage Owner's Manual
A regional car show trophy
A few spare parts
You really can't ask for a cooler classic than this classy T-Bird, especially when it comes to value. A unique, fully sorted collector car offering great looks and proven performance for less than $45K, it's the perfect platform for any enthusiast who wants a top-notch cruiser. So, what are you waiting for? Call your friends at RK Motors Charlotte and enjoy a little personal luxury!