1964 Ford Thunderbird Coupe
1964 Ford Thunderbird Coupe
By the time the fourth-generation Ford Thunderbird appeared for 1964, the Thunderbird design studio had a firm grasp of what their customers liked and didn't like. Since the “banana-nose” design of the Bullet Birds hadn't gone over well, Bill Boyer and his team revisited some earlier styling themes for its 1964 successor. The Bullet Bird's unloved recessed headlights, tail fins, and dog-dish tail lights all got the ax.
In house for consignment is this 4th generation T bird from Ford known as the “flair bird”. It's all grown up and has found its niche, and from past sales Ford knew now what customers wanted. This car with 43K original miles (according to the consigner) and its factory coat of Silver Metallic Mink paint, with a beautifully designed interior dripping of mid century modern. Plenty of recent mechanical repairs to this car has made it a good driver, and survivor in many ways. Some overall dirt, smudges and a few scratches and dings, but it's all there, turn the key and enjoy this classic original car.
Silver Metallic Mink drapes the still straight steel panels throughout. Dual different size headlights reside within their own coves framed by the hood and lower bumper. It takes on an almost mad look with the lines of the hood like scowling eyebrows. The grille and bumper setup has a few smudges on it, but remains shiny. In lieu of any side trimmings this car has machined “skeg” lines extending through the doors into the rear fenders. These are like mini awnings for the door handles, and fender skirts on the rear quarters. Panels are straight and have nicely managed gaps throughout. A scooped hood, and chrome trimmings for the glass on the greenhouse, and large “B” pillar with a winged badge and squared off rear windshield. Bringing up the rear just below the thin designed rear quarters and trunk lid, is the rear bumper with dual horizontal rectangles housing taillights with more bird badges in the centers. Standard T bird wheel covers available for the day are wrapped in thin white tires all around. Paint is original, has smudges, chips scratches, and the beginnings of surface rust on the rockers. Its original factory paint from 1964 though so considering this it remains nice.
Inside affords a look into the future (from 1964 eyes) with sleek lines and well thought usage of ribbed vinyl, solid smooth panels, and a mix of plenty of shiny polished aluminum panels for the doors. A neat side to side moveable steering wheel allows easy access to the driver's seat, which like the passenger chair, is a low back stylized bomber bucket with tuck and roll and smooth steel blue vinyl and stitched in winged badges. Nice chrome trimmings hold the buckets firmly in place, and we note the driver's seat is power. Turning to the dash, all the modern stops were pulled out for this instrument cluster which includes a rolling line speedometer indicator (pointers are so pedestrian!), and 4 round ball like gauges in deep round bezels stretching across the bottom of the speedo. The original white steering wheel, smudged and discolored with time, fronts the dash, and has the shifter in tree for the automatic transmission. A curved line stretches from door to door, and melts into a center console with plenty more of polished and brushed aluminum. This part houses a radio, heater controls and the power window and door lock toggles. Also, a large glovebox is between the buckets. In back a wonderful wrap around rear seat with folding armrest, and side molded into the curve armrests are seen. The design just does not get any more modern looking. In front of the glovebox is a snappy sliding panel which reveals the cigarette station, lighter and ashtray. Smoke 'em if ya got 'em! A perforated vinyl white headliner, a bit yellowed and smudged hangs tightly above all this mid century modern bling, and charcoal gray carpet floods the floors.
Underneath the hood is the numbers matching engine in 390ci form, and its backed up by the 3-speed Cruise-O-Matic transmission. A 2-barrel carburetor is atop, and this engine specs out showing it will produce 300hp. All surfaces have patina, or corrosion, and some light surface rust is also noted, but it is unrestored, although has several recent swap outs with some new parts for this drivetrain.
Peering underneath, there is surface rust seen on some suspension parts, and intermittently on the floorpans, although these remain mostly undercoated and solid. Some oiling can be noted around the transmission and engine, and the power steering appears to have a leak, as some ended up on the studio floor during its photoshoot. As noted, some surface rust can be seen under the paint open the exterior rocker areas and just behind the rear wheel wells. Drum brakes are all around.
A quick starter, although there is an issue with the automatic transmission Park switch in regard to the ignition lockout. I had to play with the shifter to get it in just the correct spot to get the ignition to turn and try to turn over. This will need to be addressed to avoid starting frustration. This car accelerated with a smile and handles like it was on a cushion of air, very cushy ride. The power seat worked, although the power windows and locks were not cooperative. All other functions were doing just fine.
A survivor if you will, with the showing of the passage of time, but in a good way. A thorough cleaning will improve this car tremendously, and you can take the restoration as far as you want to go…or do nothing and have the original car right out of 1964!
Classic Auto Mall is a 336,000-square foot classic and special interest automobile showroom, featuring over 600 vehicles for sale with showroom space for up to 1,000 vehicles. Also, a 400 vehicle barn find collection is on display.
This vehicle is located in our showroom in Morgantown, Pennsylvania, conveniently located just 1-hour west of Philadelphia on the I-76 Pennsylvania Turnpike. The website is www.classicautomall.com and our phone number is (888) 227-0914. Please contact us anytime for more information or to come see the vehicle in person.
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