Featured Thunderbird for March 2001

1968 Thunderbird

1968 Four-Door Landau
Owner: Robert Wetmore, Jessup, Maryland

I grew up in Pennsylvania, spending many summer hours working in my stepfather's body shop, admiring many antique, classic, and muscle cars, always wanting something "special". Now at the age of almost 43, I think I've finally attained that goal.

Over the years I've owned several Mustangs, (still lusting for a 1965-69 fastback with just about any Ford V-8), but found that because of the enormous numbers of them, they almost seemed common. (Sorry Mustang owners). But then my stepfather called me and told me about the car I now own, a 1968 four-door landau Thunderbird. I bought it sight unseen because of his description.

It was owned by a woman whose husband had died, and was stored in a garage for many, many years in Pennsylvania. It was donated to the Kidney Foundation in New York, then somehow brought down to to an auction in Pennsylvania where my stepfather found it and bought it. It was in excellent condition, but needed some new gaskets, engine seals, brakeline, four new window motors, wire, plugs, etc. I've replaced belts, hoses, and shocks. It also needed the fuel system cleaned out, due to old gas being dirty and almost like varnish. I am currently having the window switches replaced, as the windows don't work. Otherwsie, the T'Bird is in beautiful, all-original condition!

I drive it on weekends and other days off. I spent 10 hours just waxing, cleaning the interior and engine compartment. I am very grateful and proud to own such a rare and beautiful automobile. I like all classic cars, but feel like I now have something very unique; everyone comments on the "suicide" doors where ever I go.

It now has 84,000 original miles, a 429 Thunderjet engine, black vinyl interior with bench seat, original am/fm radio that still works, power windows, tilt wheel, climate control, cruise control, wood-grain dash and steering wheel, and mag-type hubcaps. The tires are "LR" series, from the 70's.

Robert Wetmore

Copyright © 2001 by Robert Wetmore

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