1963 Ford Thunderbird

FTLComm - Tisdale - Wednesday, May 15, 2002

When the 1961 Thunderbird appeared in the fall of 1959 the car was a big design change giving the appearance of being bigger and less crowded inside yet it really was about the same size it just had a bigger look. Ford had been using the Thunderbird as its design leader ever since it had been first introduced but the 1958-58 disaster with the Edsel had made the company shift its emphasis to the family sedan so that the 60

Ford actually came out with the new look a full year before the bird got its face lift.

The 61 and 62 Thunderbirds were modestly popular and only minor design changes were made. The 63 is the only one of the series to have the sidebar stripes so it is easy to identify.

In the sixties most cars, all makes and models were blue. It was a sort of convention that drivers wanted to drive

blue cars. This particular shade of blue was not loved by prairie drivers as its pale completion was serious camouflage during the winter,

In the sixties hub caps were major design components of every car with General Motors doing well with spooked hub caps. This Thunderbird hub cap is elegant and costly to replace.

The roof line of the thunderbird, introduced with the very first version was classic and all manufacturers except Chrysler designed around the flat back window.

The turbine, afterburner designed tail lights of the 1959 Ford were replicated on the Thunderbird 61, 62 and 63. Though a clean and nice design they were also a great safety feature as these are big tail lights.

But practical, economic and sensible were not adjectives used to describe this car. It was a car to drive and make a statement it also was extraordinarily masculine in its appeal. It is surprising how during the fifties and sixties when men decided what they wanted a car to look like so that women would be impressed. This is a much different

reality now where women tend to want to drive vehicles that express aggression and durability.

The Thunderbird was and still is a car for impractical but status and achievement purposes. This excellent example seems almost mint with no modern touch ups, it just doesn't need anything.
thunderbird year by year site