American Dream: 1963 Ford Thunderbird

The idea of the “American Dream” combines so many ideas, and concepts. Although for some of us, the idea of the American dream is of much simpler times, with beauty, style and grace, much like this Thunderbird. Having been family owned since 1964, this beautiful Ford has held up well in its family circle. But all things come to an end, and the family is finally letting this beauty go. Ready to drive, this survivor is priced at $8,200. Take a look at this Thunderbird here on craigslist out of Westland, Michigan. Thanks to reader Clarke B for this wonderful submission!

Neat as a pin, the 390 cubic inch V8 is stunning and appears to be just about clean enough to eat off of. Extremely original in appearance, the only non-original item in sight is the coil. The mileage is listed at 73,000 miles which is low for this classic. Being in the Michigan area, it is clear that this ‘Bird has always been well maintained, and garage kept.

The interior, much like the engine bay, is clean and tidy appearing very original other than an aftermarket tachometer. My fingers are crossed that they used double stick tape to install that tachometer instead of screws. Glistening like new, the dash is truly a piece of art, and is quite pleasing to the eye with its symmetry. Overall the condition of the interior is very nice, but there is some wear on the driver seat, as well as a split seam. Also the carpet is nice in appearance as it is not matted down, but it is slightly discolored with a few marks present. The door panels have some minor wear to the door pulls, and there are a couple of dents in the aluminum on the passenger side door panel. Without getting too nitpicky, this is still a nice condition survivor that has stood up to the test of time very well.

From the exterior stand point, the paint and bright work appear excellent. Despite the fuzzy photos, I think it is safe to bet that this Thunderbird has no rust issues or any major defects in the paint. Looking through the glass into the cabin, the glass is beautifully shiny, and clear with no apparent pitting or de-lamination concerns. All of the trim is in place, and even the factory caps are present. All in all, this looks like a great car to pick up, maintain, and enjoy. Would you welcome this Thunderbird to your family?


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  1. scooter8

    tach? TACH? i don’t need no stinkin” tach! what for?

    Like 1
    • al8apex

      yeah, what on earth were they thinking?

      Like 1
    • Tom S.

      “Boy, this car sure has a nice dashboard. How could we make it better? I know, let’s drill a couple of holes in it to mount a tachometer.”


      Like 1
  2. SunbeamerStu

    Rocket tail lights are the best.

    Like 1
  3. Chris Kennedy

    I have always liked these!! Would look good in my shop with the rest of my collection!
    All I need now, is a shop AND a collection :)

    Take care my fellow gear heads!

  4. Tirefriar

    Man, if this car be lack to me it would be in my garage. From the pics, you can’t beat the condition for the money. I really took a liking to these 60’s T-birds.

  5. Bill Lawrence

    Why don’t these have a stratospherically high price, like other collectible cars? I might have to buy one before they get that way.

  6. Rodney

    It is just me, I know, but, “Menopause Blue” was not the best color for these futuristic Road Rockets. This is a well taken care of example that deserves a good home despite its limited color palette.

  7. Puhnto

    I love these birds. Did anyone notice if there was mention of the fender skirts being in the trunk or somewhere? (Hopefully.)

  8. RoselandPete

    For me, 1963 was one of those rare years when all the planets were in alignment and the automotive-styling gods smiled down upon us mortals and gave us their blessing. This car was the offspring along with the 63 Riviera and 63 Corvette.

    Like 1
    • Dean

      …and the ’63 Impala SS…

    • Greg Member

      ….and the 63 Pontiac Grand Prix!

  9. RoselandPete

    That one came to mind too. We had a 63 Impala but not an SS.

  10. Gerald Stuber

    I had a 61 in the early 70’s in Michigan. Cruised easy at 75 on the highway.

  11. Woodie Man

    Those turbine tail lights are the bomb. These have grown on me. Especially like the glass tonneau cover for the convertible that sits snug up against the front seats.

    Like 1
    • al8apex

      the tonneau cover was only for the few Sports Roadsters that were built in 62 & 63

  12. Steve H

    I’d be proud to cruise down the street in this beautiful bluebird. First thing to go would be that tach! Can you even see out the left side of the windshield? It will sell for sure, surprised it’s not gone already.

  13. Sam

    What a great car! I like the 55-57 and 61-63 and late 70’s birds the most. I know its the 60’s but the “hash” marks on the doors seemed like a styling add on/flourish…like the landau irons on a 62 bird.

    Technology is great as evidenced by touch screens and tablets in todays autmobiles. However it seems like dash board design will go by the wayside….think of all the cool dasboards from the 50s and 60s.

  14. RS

    It looks like a respray to me… and apparently no A/C. Still a nice car if you remove the stupid tach.

  15. JimmyJ

    Why are these cars so cheap? I love em!
    Back in 82 my buddy whose dad was a commercial airline pilot paid big bucks for a 57 bird I think it was $20000 I remember it was a ton of cash he bought as an investment I assume he lost his shirt on it. Beatiful car though he probably shoulda bought an old Porsche,tiger or an ac cobra….

    • jw454

      Robert Urich’s T.V, show “Dan Tanna” had a big impact on the prices of the ’57 ‘Tbirds as he cruised around in a red one. I just thought it was cool he parked it in the building where he lived.

      • Mike Williams

        I preferred the Mustang he used in Spencer for Hire.

  16. Howard A Member

    One of the very few cars that looks as good today as it did in ’63. Personally, I love the color, “Ice Blue”, I think it’s called. “Swing-away” steering wheel, aircraft inspired dash, ( ok, I agree, the tach is a bit much), but timeless design. Reason I think they are still somewhat affordable, is there are a bunch around ( 154 on Hemmings alone), as very few people junked a T-bird. This car rolled like thunder, my favorite T-bird.

  17. Rex Kahrs Member

    Now take that 1900 dollar 63 bird from last week and put 7000 into it, and see if you get something as nice as this car.

  18. wuzjeepnowsaab

    As much as I think the SquareBirds were ugly as sin, I think the BulletBirds are one of the most beautiful cars ever penned. From the front to the back, interior, everything about them is just a statement of grace and luxury.

    Seems like a more than fair price if it’s anywhere near the condition it looks in the pictures

  19. Don H

    Ya the tach looks tacky but maby he took it to the drag strip I no probably not


    I love it! Isn’t it supposed to have a brace from the LH shock tower to the center of the firewall?

  21. Luke Fitzgerald

    Tach – wrong seat material – fender skirts optional in 63 (gotta have ’em ‘tho)

  22. Bradley Clark

    The last of this body style; a girlfriend of mine had one of these when I was in high school. Personally, the ’64-66 TBirds were my faves. I agree with Luke: the material on the seats are definitely not correct, as well as the pedal dress ups. And that tach….ewww . Nonetheless, a beautiful classic Thunderbird.

  23. Mike Williams

    My friend has one that is lowered and the top chopped and it really looks slick!

  24. Mike Williams

    Has anyone seen what Ian Roussel did to one?

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