Featured Thunderbird for August 1997

1965 Hardtop /390 cid
Owners: Ken Shelton, Enfield, Connecticut USA

The pride and joy is a 1965 Thunderbird, Special Landau. The restoration was performed by Rodger & Gene Daniel of Corcoran Ca. This car was bought new in 1965 by my grandparents. I rode in this car 1 week after it was purchased. I remember that ride as if it were only yesterday. I fell in love with it. Today I have it and am very proud to own this work of art. The "thunderchicken" has been restored from the ground up.

Rebuilt were the engine (390 cid), automatic transmission (3 speed FMX), A.C. unit, power steering, master and all wheel cylinders, and all gages. Replaced were rearend bearings, universal joints, all wheel bearings, all front end componets, front brake rotors, resurfaced rear drums, window and seat motors, all vacuum lines and about 50% of all the wiring, carpeting, headliner, vinyl top, and trunk lining. (Note: All items are original except for the natural wear and tear items.)

All exterior metal was rechromed to original. The car was painted (no body work was needed as it had never been in an accident, although the passenger window was removed with the aid of a 12-ga shot gun. Its a long story and very funny. The hub caps were painted and all missing decals replaced.

The seats did not need any repair, I did clean them up but other than that they are perfect. The glass is all original, except one window. That's about it. I am still tinkering with a few things, but for the most part, the vehicle looks like it did when I first saw it 32 years ago.

It is a daily driver, and my wife and I fight over who gets to take the car. I don't believe cars will ever be made like these again. It's amazing the amount of real metal these cars contain right down to the trim in the interior.

Ken Shelton

Copyright © 1997 by Ken Shelton

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