Featured Thunderbird for January 1999

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1967 4-dr Landau, Exterior: Candyapple Red, Interior: Black
Owner: J.G. Houston, No. Hollywood, CA

Built on January 18, 1967, this Thunderbird 4-door Landau was originally delivered to Dunton Ford in Santa Ana, CA and then transferred to Ford Aerospace in Newport Beach, CA for use as an Executive's car. After a year of fleet service the car was retired and transferred to Theodore Robins Ford of Costa Mesa, CA where it was purchased by Robert L. Woods in early April of 1968.

With the introduction of the 1969 Thunderbird, Mr. Woods (who apparently never bought a new-model year car) purchased a gold 1968 4-door Landau and sold the 1967 to my father in May of 1969 (I remember the day well - I was 6). The car has been in my family ever since, and in my possession since 1979; in fact I learned how to drive in it!

My car and I went through a lot together; we had quite the good time during high school and a brief stint in Colorado. When I returned to California in 1985, I had found the State had introduced some very stiff smog laws - so stiff in fact my car was incapable of passing them as all of the original smog equipment had been removed. This, along with a major rebuild looming on the horizon, I was forced to park my Thunderbird for a "short time."

As time passed, I found myself missing my car more and more. I decided the time had come to pull the car out of storage and get it back on the road again. So, in April of 1997, I went to Petaluma (40 miles north of San Francisco) and had the car "resurrected" from the chicken coop where it had spent the past 12 years.

As the restoration nears completion I look back on the past year and wonder where the time has gone. And then it dawns on me - it spent 5 months at the mechanics shop, 4 months at the electrical/vacuum shop, and 2 1/2 months at the paint/body shop!

I've done a few modifications to it - mostly bringing the '60s technology into the '90s - such as adding electrical remote door locks and alarm, automatic antenna, hard-wired garage door opener, and electric trunk release.

I feel half the fun of owning a car like this is driving it at every available opportunity; fortunately, as we live in Southern California, we have lots of opportunities! The other half of the fun is meeting others who share our interest - we are members of the Funbirds of Southern California and will be joining the local chapter of Great Autos of Yesteryear shortly; both clubs have been a constant source of help and inspiration.

As you can imagine, driving this 1967 Ford Thunderbird 4-door Landau is like driving a tourist attraction! And, true to Ford's advertising in 1967, it is truly "Unique in all the World."

J.G. Houston

Copyright © 1999 by J. G. Houston

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