Featured Thunderbird for July 1997

1963 Hardtop / Exterior: Rose Beige/ Interior: White Leather
Owners: Mike & Bernice Barron, Hanover Park, Illinois USA

A friend of mine had this T-Bird for over 20 years. It sat in a garage for most of that time. For several years I jokingly told him if he ever wanted to sell it to contact me first.

His family began to grow and space became limited. One day out of the blue he called and told me that the T-Bird was going up for sale. He want me to have the first shot at it. I never looked at the car very closely nor did I want a light pink car. Still, I was curious so I went over to check the car out. To my surprise this car was in great shape. There is no rust anywhere. It is completely solid and completely original. This 1963 T-Bird has a 390 cid motor, power windows, power seat, swing away steering wheel, air conditioning and leather interior. It has the original working AM radio and the original cardboard liner in the trunk along with the original carpet still intact. After a detailed inspection I could find nothing major wrong with the car. When I asked what he wanted for the car he said "because we're friends, I'll make you an offer you can't refuse".

I purchased the car in October 1996 and spent the entire winter cleaning it. Twenty years of sitting in a garage created a great deal of grime. The more and more I clean the car, the more I found out what great shape it was in. The chrome is all original and in perfect shape. The 2-inch white wall bias ply tires are a nice touch, but I think Ford stopped that on the Tbirds in 1961. The tires are too new to replace now.

I checked out the data plate and compared it to the original shop manual, which is in need of replacing, and found that the car was originally Raven Black and not Rose Beige. Otherwise, everything checked out. It has a white leather interior with a two inch tear in the drivers seat. The dash requires replacement. The head liner needs a little care and the steering wheel could use some work. But otherwise the car needs very little work. Granted this is a 34 year old car, and it does requires some odds and ends, but otherwise I think I got a good collectible car. I never have been a Ford person but now I'm in T-Bird heaven.

Mike Barron

Copyright © 1997 by Mike Barron

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