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  • If you find genuinely rare cars interesting...

    ...it would be hard to beat a 1960 Thunderbird with factory overdrive:

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Rare-...item439fec22cb

    Wow! IIRC, they were still racing these in NASCAR in 1960, so the bulk of stick-shift cars, the ones that did not have overdrive, likely saw service on NASCAR tracks. I could believe the seller's claim of only 20 cars built with overdrive. It makes you wonder why Ford bothered...but I'm glad they did as I like B-W overdrive! BP
    We've got to quit saying, "How stupid can you be?" Too many people are taking it as a challenge.

    Ayn Rand:
    "You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality."

    G. K. Chesterton: This triangle of truisms, of father, mother, and child, cannot be destroyed; it can only destroy those civilizations which disregard it.

  • #2
    I've always really loved the "squarebirds". That rear view is one of the coolest EVER. I just have had a bit of bad experience with electrical problems with 'Birds of the 60s, culminating with a beautiful bright yellow 68 'Bird that had every imaginable electrical system gremlin.

    I may buy another someday- but usually if I'm in the mood take on an electrical problem child, I'll make sure it's a Lincoln <GG>

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    • #3
      Wow Bob! There was a '60 w/OD here some 30 years ago! It was owned by the uncle of someone I worked with in the early 80's. Only difference it that it had the turquoise interior. I havn't seen him for quite some time, but I can ask if his uncle still owns it.

      Craig

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      • #4
        My dad bought a red 59 convertible from my uncle, in 1962 i was fresh out of the army (19 years old)and was a terror with that car, drag raced and beat my friends 58 Bonneville conv Tri power, and raced a 56 Ford Victoria 3 times he won the first, me the second and i won the third but the brakes were hot and fading, couldnt stop and ran into a telephone pole accross a busy street, luckly missing traffic , Oh the dumb things we did as kids. ( Or should i say I did). I've always told younger people if you ever make it passed 30, you have a chance to get old.
        101st Airborne Div. 326 Engineers Ft Campbell Ky.

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        • #5
          Well, I will agree that the overdrive places it into a "rare" class, but I think the fact that it has survived the "tin worms" is what really makes this rare. Back in the day, my teen age eyes were extremely disappointed in Ford for what they had done to a promising "Thunder Bird" by ballooning them into what I referred to as the "Blunder Birds." It was as if they had taken a petite beautiful super model and turned her into Rosie O'Donald! Other makes were just as guilty. It seems like every time they would get us excited about a sleek, swift and beautiful raptor, they would find some way to morph it into an ugly bumbling vulture sooner than later.
          John Clary
          Greer, SC

          SDC member since 1975

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          • #6
            I was watching Squarebirds on ebay for awhile and this car along with 2 other o/d cars kept popping up. Sadly, unless you wanted to cut up the console you would always have the column shifter.

            BAMS, I don't think you would have the same electrical problems with a 58-60 as you did with a '68 especially if you can live with roll up windows.

            My friend had a 59 when we were in college with a real 427 from a full size Ford. Tore up the trans, dropped it in a 63 Ford wagon, tore up the trans, sold me the car and while it was parked on a lot owned by another friend's father waiting for me to pull the engine some thieves did the job for me! The lot was fenced and locked but in Newark NJ so a fence was just an annoyance and not a deterrent for those crooks. They knew engines though.

            Working under the hood was a breeze so much so that I managed to replace a control arm bushing in a parking lot without jacking up the car. It wasn't perfect but he was able to drive it until he got the arm off and did it right. After 1961 things got a lot more difficult and complicated.

            The right squarebird is still on my shopping list.

            ErnieR

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            • #7
              Originally posted by jclary View Post
              Back in the day, my teen age eyes were extremely disappointed in Ford for what they had done to a promising "Thunder Bird" by ballooning them into what I referred to as the "Blunder Birds." It was as if they had taken a petite beautiful super model and turned her into Rosie O'Donald!

              Well, John, it was a classic case of being in business to sell cars and make money.

              In the disastrous (for the industry) 1958 model year, even with a late introduction, the 1958 Thunderbird outsold the 2-seat 1957 by 37,892 to 21,380....and the 1957 model had been the high-water mark, sales-wise, for the 2-seat Thunderbird.

              But comparing the 1958 Thunderbird to Rosie O'Donald...now that's low! <GGG> BP
              We've got to quit saying, "How stupid can you be?" Too many people are taking it as a challenge.

              Ayn Rand:
              "You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality."

              G. K. Chesterton: This triangle of truisms, of father, mother, and child, cannot be destroyed; it can only destroy those civilizations which disregard it.

              Comment


              • #8
                My folks had a '60 Bird in about '69. It was an automatic and had power windows. Even though I was pretty young, I remember Dad messing with the electric windows for an afternoon trying to get them all to work right. We didn't have the car much longer after that.

                Fast forward to today and not much electrical scares me on a car anymore. I've done several street rods, worked on modern computer controlled harnesses etc. One of the most challenging though, was troubleshooting various problems on a '58 Skyliner retractable.....wow.
                Skinny___'59 Lark VIII Regal____'60 Lark Marshal___

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                • #9
                  Hey, I did say my "Teenage Eyes." What did I know about business? (still haven't got that figured out) However, lots of badges underwent similar morphing. Remember the little Tempest? Also, in time, lots of the names associated with big sedans have been "down-sized."
                  John Clary
                  Greer, SC

                  SDC member since 1975

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    You could argue that the Squarebirds began what was soon to be one of the largest segments of the auto industry...personal luxury cars. GM finally cuaght on and brought out the Riviera which spawned the lesser expensive Grand Prix's and Monte Carlos that subsequently morphed into every 2 dr up until the late 80's spawning opera windows and landau tops pretending to be Personal Luxury cars.

                    Even as much as I love my 2002 Retro-Bird the American 2dr sports luxury car still can't find a following.

                    And how about the interiors of the 4 seat Thunderbirds? Buck Rogers would feel right at home. They matched the country's fascination with space travel and rocketships, capitalizing on one trend while starting another. I don't think the T-Birds of the late 50's and 60's get the credit they deserve and it's probably because they replaced the beautiful Baby Birds.

                    IMHO.

                    ErnieR

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                    • #11
                      You have to wonder just how many cars Ford supplied with o/d at that time. As an apprentice knucklebuster in the late 60's (that is so last century ) I worked at a Ford dealership in downtown Vancouver. Amongst our customers were three cars with o/d, a 1960 Edsel a '62 Galaxy and a '63 Galaxy. At one point the Edsel blew out the rear end. The parts book didn't list the o/d ratio so we wound up putting a non o/d ring and pinion in it. The o/d unit in the '63 seized up and again there was nothing in the parts book that acknowledged Ford had sold cars with o/d then. We got the parts for that from a local manual transmission specialist (which still exists and is the supplier of transmission and rear axle parts for Studebakers here). The '62 was an immaculately maintained four door hardtop. It seems to me it had less than 20,000 miles on it about 1970.

                      Terry

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                      • #12
                        During my teen-age years, I saw the rear view of my cousins T-Bird with a 430 (59?) so many times that I hated that car. I had a 64 Bel Air and he would pass me so fast after I finally wobbled up to 85 or so, it would almost shake my car. When I would see him dropping back, I knew there would be a black, rusty, rattling rocket with a big ole' country boy grinning from ear to ear come flying by soon. He would always drop back so he would be going even faster than if he just pulled out and passed me. My next car was NOT another Bel Air. I've often wondered how fast that old Bird would run. It also got better mileage than my car and didn't use oil.- - -hated it, just hated it, Ha !!! We were escorting mobile homes across Tennessee back then, and the toter drivers kept asking me when I was going to get rid of that road block I drove-oh, the pain and shame, Ha !!! John

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                        • #13
                          It's not what it used to be!!

                          Well, I will agree that the overdrive places it into a "rare" class, but I think the fact that it has survived the "tin worms" is what really makes this rare. Back in the day, my teen age eyes were extremely disappointed in Ford for what they had done to a promising "Thunder Bird" by ballooning them into what I referred to as the "Blunder Birds." It was as if they had taken a petite beautiful super model and turned her into Rosie O'Donald! Other makes were just as guilty. It seems like every time they would get us excited about a sleek, swift and beautiful raptor, they would find some way to morph it into an ugly bumbling vulture sooner than later.


                          Yeah, I look at the ones from about '67 onward, and I can safely say that what Ford was doing was slowly creating a base model of the Lincoln Towncar and possibly the Mercury Cougar. Now I love all three of those vehicles for the crowd they were aimed for. But the T-bird was originally a 2 door with some very slick lines, even having a model offer a supecharged version(meaning the F bodies). But over the years it ballooned up into a lower model of what Lincoln was offering, or it started resembling the Ford LTD's, and that kinda turns me off about the styling of the cars after 1969.
                          1964 Studebaker Commander R2 clone
                          1963 Studebaker Daytona Hardtop with no engine or transmission
                          1950 Studebaker 2R5 w/170 six cylinder and 3spd OD
                          1955 Studebaker Commander Hardtop w/289 and 3spd OD and Megasquirt port fuel injection(among other things)

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by PlainBrownR2 View Post


                            Yeah, I look at the ones from about '67 onward, and I can safely say that what Ford was doing was slowly creating a base model of the Lincoln Towncar and possibly the Mercury Cougar. Now I love all three of those vehicles for the crowd they were aimed for. But the T-bird was originally a 2 door with some very slick lines, even having a model offer a supecharged version(meaning the F bodies). But over the years it ballooned up into a lower model of what Lincoln was offering, or it started resembling the Ford LTD's, and that kinda turns me off about the styling of the cars after 1969.
                            A friend and fellow Village of Fishkill resident purchased a 1957 Thunderbird with the F code engine (supercharged) new. He kept it for many years. It was rebuilt after many wrecks.

                            I purchased a 1989 Thunderbird new. I do not see how you can say it looks like any other Ford or Mercury (excluding Cougar) or Lincoln of the time. It was the first car (out of about 100) that I kept for more than ten years.
                            Gary L.
                            Wappinger, NY

                            SDC member since 1968
                            Studebaker enthusiast much longer

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I purchased a 1989 Thunderbird new. I do not see how you can say it looks like any other Ford or Mercury (excluding Cougar) or Lincoln of the time. It was the first car (out of about 100) that I kept for more than ten years.
                              Easy, here we have a relatively slick little two door vehicle that by the 70's balloons into a large square brick that resembles it's Lincoln counterparts. Maybe saying by the 80's it looked like a Towncar was a bit much because at that point it started to look more like it's Mustang counterpart instead with the wedge and the plastic lenses in front.
                              1964 Studebaker Commander R2 clone
                              1963 Studebaker Daytona Hardtop with no engine or transmission
                              1950 Studebaker 2R5 w/170 six cylinder and 3spd OD
                              1955 Studebaker Commander Hardtop w/289 and 3spd OD and Megasquirt port fuel injection(among other things)

                              Comment

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