Featured Thunderbird for April 1997

1962 Landau / Exterior: Cascade Green / Interior: Black Leather
Owners: Bob & Pamela Horan, Hazlet, NJ USA

This photo was taken at Monmouth Park race track in 1995, one of the first shows I attended after 4 months of cleaning and polishing. What a job that was. I found this T-Bird shortly after I had started to restore a 1966 hardtop I bought a few months earlier. I saw car sitting only two blocks from my home, in a driveway under a tree, where it had been for 12 years, and thought to myself, I`ve got to have it.

I knocked on the front door of the house, and asked if it was for sale. The woman who answered said it was, and told me that it had been listed in Hemmings the year before for $5500. The engine wouldn't start and the owner didn't know what was wrong with it . So I spent two weeks working on the car. I was determined to get it started, even though I didn't own it yet. This was in January with 1 1/2 feet of snow & ice on the ground.

Just when I was ready to give up, giving it one last turn of the key, it started. Black smoke poured out the back. Once it was warmed up I proceded to road test it. They lived on slight hill, and the car had no brakes. Had to steer into a snow bank to stop.

The owner must have been hurting for some cash as I got him down to a low 3 figure price. What a steal. Settled the deal before he had a chance to change his mind. He told me it was his mother's car, which she had given to him. He just let it sit in his driveway. The car had 64k original miles on it.

It was a carefull ride home with no brakes. Had to plug the vacuum line, but it was still hard to stop. Glad I only had to go 2 blocks. Once home I started to clean her up. There were leaf prints in the paint , and it was very dirty. At first I thought the car was black, but after a few scrubbings it turned out to be green. The car was solid. No rust, just bad paint with a lot of cracking due to repainting after repair of a rear 1/4 panel damage in the mid-sixties. Some time in the 70`s the top was replaced. Original top was white. The car as it is pictured has only been cleaned & polished.

Since then I`ve attended an all Thunderbird show, and took 2nd place for 61-63`s. That made my day and the 180 mile round trip worth it. Cruising home at 70 -80 and better, what a rush in a car that felt like it was ready to take to the skies. I nicknamed her Road Rocket.

Over this winter I plan on restoring her to new condition, with new carpet, headliner, rechroming, and new paint, in the original green with a white top.

Bob Horan

Copyright © 1997 by Bob Horan

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