Featured Thunderbird for January 2000

1961 Exterior: Corinthian White
Owner: Chris Kealey, St. Peters, Missouri

I don't think it will ever be completely finished, because I'm sure I'll always see ways to make it better. But after four years of work we're on the road at last.

My father came home with a '63 convertible sometime around 1965 and I have wanted one ever since. I couldn't afford a convertible so I found the next best thing in this '61. A neighbor had it sitting in his garage for some time and I asked one day if he wanted to sell it. I gave him $600 and pushed it up the hill to my house, where the work began. I had no idea how many flaws the primer and old bondo were hiding. I was determined to finish, so I worked whenever I had the time.

Floorings, quarter panels, lousy bodywork and many years of neglect were corrected and this is the finished product. The skirts need to be sanded, compounded and waxed before they are installed but I think she looks pretty good without them..

Chris Kealey

Copyright © 2000 by Chris Kealey


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