Mid-60s T-birds, particularly convertibles like this gorgeous 1966 Ford Thunderbird model, are seeing some big gains in the market of late, and this is the one to own
With a gorgeous high-quality respray, great preservation, recent maintenance, all the luxury and comfort options, and a unique color combination, it delivers personal luxury unlike anything else of the era.
Drawing on both the original Ford “Retractable” hardtops and the Lincoln Continental 4-door convertibles, this big bullet ‘Bird is the epitome of Ford’s high-end products in 1966. This droptop has been kept stock it’s entire life under the tutelage of just 3 owners since new (the 2nd owner had the car from 1969 to 2019), and the current owner purchased the car in 2019 and had it repainted and fully serviced for the road. Wearing a gorgeous coat of Code R Dark Green Metallic paint, it looks a mile long yet incomparably sleek thanks to that low-slung design. Workmanship is great throughout and with that much sheetmetal, there are plenty of places for things to go wrong, yet the guys in charge of the repaint didn’t really miss a thing. Note how well the doors line up with the quarters, the deep shine that reflects without distortion, and the total absence of waves that would suggest significant bodywork underneath. It’s by no means a perfect piece, and there are a few imperfections that can be seen upon closer examination, although most of them could easily be attended to with a thorough buff-and-wax. Trim is surprisingly restrained on this lovely Thunderbird, but details like the fender-mounted turn signal indicators, faux hood scoop, and the finely detailed egg-crate grille are all in fine shape.
Black upholstery combined with bright stainless trim makes this feel like an adult’s car in every way. The bucket seats offer original-style upholstery (if not the actual, original upholstery) with a wonderful combination of pleats and quilted seating surfaces, and the rear seat with its famous wrap-around look is perhaps even more inviting. A ribbon-style speedometer and small round pods for the auxiliary gauges are an incredible piece of design, as is the swing-away steering wheel that really makes a difference in ease of entry. Factory A/C leads the options list, although it’s not currently blowing cold but thankfully with a top-down cruiser like this, you probably won’t need it very often anyway. And speaking of top down, the insanely complex power top mechanism on these cars is a ballet of electro-mechanical automation, with the black vinyl top disappearing completely under the deck lid with the touch of a button.
Ford’s 390 cubic inch Z-code V8 was standard equipment in the 1966 Thunderbird and makes the kind of leisurely torque you need in a luxury machine like this. Neatly detailed under the hood, it has a factory-correct look and the reliability you need for a car that is capable of going cross-country on a whim. The big A/C compressor dominates the engine bay, but it also has a correct Ford Blue air cleaner with reproduction ‘390’ decal and a big 4-barrel carburetor underneath. This early production car uses a C6 3-speed automatic transmission linked to 3.00 gears in the 9-inch rear, so it just loafs along at highway speeds without breaking a sweat. A dual exhaust system gives it a burbly V8 rumble that’s got a bit of muscle car DNA in it, and with power disc brakes becoming standard equipment in 1965, matching up with the responsive power steering system, it’s a fine road car in every sense of the word. Right-sized 215/75/15 whitewall radials look right surrounding those flashy stock hubcaps.
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Location: Fort Worth, Texas, United States