Barn Squarebird: 1960 Ford Thunderbird

The 1958 to 1960 Thunderbird is often referred to as the Squarebird by Thunderbird enthusiasts, because of  their boxy shape and styling. Those that know this sort of trivia, also know that this era of Thunderbird was a groundbreaking and influential car. When Ford developed the 1958 model their goal was to create a compact four-seat luxury coupe, while pioneering an entirely new market segment, one that is still very popular today. The popularity of the second generation T-Bird grew and by 1960 sales had reached nearly 100k cars. But even with these kinds of numbers, there aren’t many solid unrestored Squarebirds still out there. This 1960 Thunderbird was left in a southern Missouri barn for 35 years, until it was discovered in 2010. The car is currently listed here on eBay with a current bid of $200.

 This Thunderbird is surprisingly solid for having been left in the Missouri humidity, but it does have some rust that needs repaired. Also, while in the process of removing the car from its barn, the driver’s side door and fender were damaged. However, the seller has a new door for the car and is including it in the sale. It appears that the car is still wearing its original paint and that it could possibly be polished out. All the original chrome work is with the car and it shouldn’t be too hard to bring back its luster. The worst rust we could find on the car is on the passenger side rear quarter panel. We’re sure replacement sheet metal can be sourced and welded in by any body shop.

 The 1960 Thunderbird was powered by Ford’s 352 cui V8, which produced a respectable 300 hp. While the Thunderbird’s V8 produced a considerable amount of power, the car weighed in at nearly 4000 pounds. However, the V8 and its 3 speed automatic were still capable of propelling the car to approximately 110 mile per hour. Sure it isn’t the fastest car to have been built in the late ’50s, but considering the luxury, size, and styling it’s still very impressive. This car still has its original V8 and 3 speed Ford-O-Matic transmission, sadly the car wasn’t properly prepared to be parked for 35 years, so the engine is going to need a rebuild. We aren’t sure on the condition of the rest of the drive train, but with any luck it’s still in usable condition. The seller claims that all the original parts are still with the car.

 The interior is very rough and parts can be hard to come by for these cars, but all the hard-to-find stuff appears to be here. There is plenty of surface rust on the floorboards, but we couldn’t see any daylight shining through so there is hope. We wish we could see what condition the seats are in, as we would be tempted to leave them as-is if they aren’t too rough. It might not be feasible, but we think this car would look amazing if it were preserved as original inside and out as possible.

This Thunderbird is going to need lots of work, but it should make for a great head turner after someone invests the time and money. These great American icons are becoming harder to come by and this car should make for a great starting point. We really love the look of the T-Bird and would love to have one. We just hope the seller has set their reserve at a realistic amount and that those hubcaps are not included…

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Comments

  1. Horse Radish

    My guess is that the car is worth about $600 , crushed , that is, possibly more.
    Of course our economy is booming , so there should not be any worry about this car being pressed into a cube and sent to China, is there ??????

  2. Horse Radish

    I was trying to add, that honestly I hope somebody will save it…….

  3. scot c

    ~ few if any of my friends found these T’birds pretty. that is a matter of taste however the are stylish in that late ’50s way. to me, convertibles are preferred. a rather sophisticated personal luxury car of that era with very little to compare and a preview of larger ’61 to ’66. until ’63 Riviera and ’62 Grand Prix they wee almost alone. the Studebaker Hawk suddenly jumps to mind, but not much else filled the niche.

  4. Dan

    Maybe somebody could make it into a bed! I saw an old corvette and a 65 Mustang made into King or queen size beds just for nostalgic purposes! They light up and the tires look real!

  5. Bob

    Learned to drive in a 59 and took my test in it for my first license.

    Powder blue with a white interior.

  6. Bob

    In 61, I went to one of the first NASCAR races at Riverside. It was won by a Steady Eddy Gray in a 60 Thunderbird.

    A 59 Thunderbird finished 2nd in the first Daytona 500 in a controversial photo finish.

    So they could be modified to be fast cars.

  7. Gas2Hi

    I also took my drivers test in TBird same color and the outside temp was -27 below 0, not wind chill, and the cop directed me just to go around the block, didn’t test my parking skills as heater was not kicking out much heat!!

  8. GonzoDuke

    I’m in at $200…. I need the fan shroud for my 58.

  9. GonzoDuke

    But wait…it doesn’t have one either… nevermind.

  10. Dan

    I don’t remember the 352 making 300 horse power except possibly the police interceptor version.

  11. Cliff McSparran

    The 1958 Ford Interceptor engine was a FE 352. It was the 332 bored and stroked, and was rated at 208 HP with the 2-V (called Interceptor V-8) and 300 with a four-barrel (called Interceptor Special V-8). In ’59, this engine series was renamed the Thunderbird V-8 and the Thunderbird Special V-8. In Mercurys these were the “Marauder” engines. In 1960 Ford created version of the 352 rated at 360 horsepower. The new 430cid Ford engine was also available in T-bird that year.

  12. Alex Elkins

    58-60 are the best t-birds made in my opinion. save this one! i would but i have too many projects right now.

  13. J. Pickett

    Great car, I hope someone saves it. To all the naysayers, It was a solid seller, a pioneer and a great car. Too bad I’m not in shape to restore it.

  14. DJS

    It might be a great project car but parts are not easy to come byon this old baby it is worth 500>00 to buy but will soon cost 10,000 to get a total restore if you are not full of parts in your shed but agreat old find .

  15. Larry

    Had 1959 with the 430 Lincoln engine and A/C back in the late 60’s. what a pretty car, black on black. It was VERY fast, but I was alot younger then, maybe it just seemed fast :-)
    Wish I had it now. The one’s with the 430 engine i haer are rare.
    Ahhhhhh, the memories !!

  16. Mark W

    I’m sorry, those are ugly cars, that haven’t aged well. Unique yes, but it looks like 7 guys had their hand at the drafting board, and they all had different ideas

  17. Namethomkat64

    kick myself in the arse everytime I remember letting my 59 Rag Top Go, top dissapeared in the trunk, what a beauty!!!!!!!!!!! Miss it……………

  18. Sam Sharp

    What has happened to many questionable ‘restorables,’ the old car NASCAR type racing has been a great savior of these cars.

    Many car shells have been ‘raced’ in anger, bringing back fond memories of real dirt track racing.

    Equally so, some of these racers are almost show quality.

    This T-bird would be beautiful on the track.

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