Chopped 1965 Ford Thunderbird

This 1965 Ford Thunderbird was one of 42,600 hardtops built for the model year. And it looks like the car has been off the road and up in the air for quite some time. Someone decided to cut the top off of this one to turn it into a permanent convertible. Not sure that I’d agree with that action, but the top was saved in case you want to make it whole again. Located in Blackwell, Oklahoma, this T-Bird is a project that’s available here on Facebook Marketplace for $3,500. Thanks, Channing, for sending this tip our way!

After a near record sales year in 1964, expectations were high at Ford for the 1965 Thunderbird. And yet, production dropped by nearly 20%. While most would say that was because the car was largely unchanged year-over-year, but there may have been another factor at work. 1965 was the first year for the new Mustang, which took most of Ford’s advertising and promotions budget. You couldn’t turn on the TV, listen to the radio and read a newspaper or magazine without seeing something about the Mustang. But not a lot about the Thunderbird. Whether that directly impacted T-Bird sales is up for debate as you would think the two cars appealed to different buyers.

This ’65 looks to be wearing Patrician Green paint which may be original to the car. From what we can see of the body, it looks solid with no signs of major dents or rust. The chrome pieces look good with some minor damage in the front grille. But our views are limited, so we have to make assumptions about what we can’t see. The glaring issue is the hacked-off top which I assume can be pieced back together but why would you do this? The green/grey interior looks good other than sharing the same layers of dust and dirt the outside of the car is wearing.

We’re told there is a 390 cubic inch V8 under the hood, flanked by an automatic transmission. The seller says it runs but it can’t be driven home without telling us why. That may because everything is really old, like the tires and brakes. The mileage is a placeholder figure, so we don’t know how far this car traveled prior to finding itself up on a lift. If the Mustang did steal some of this car’s “thunder” back in ’65, that’s a shame. Because these were pretty cool cars and were so cool that even Perry Mason drove one on TV!

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Comments

  1. JACKinNWPA JACKinNWPA Member

    Well Russ this is not and never was a convertible, rather a hardtop that got sawed off. At this point the easiest fix would be to smooth up the sharp edges and make it a fair weather roadster like car. Since the top comes with it l would consider making a chopped top custom with panel paint just like they did in the 60’s.

    Like 3
    • Russ Dixon Russ Dixon Staff

      Thanks, Jack. I think you’re right. Why anyone would do this is beyond me. I have adjusted the story content accordingly.

      Like 1
  2. nycbjr Member

    were these unibody at this point? If so betting there is “some” body flex now lol

    Like 11
  3. Don Sicura

    All I can say about this abortion of a project is: What in the holy Hell inspired this numb nuts to destroy what potentially would be a valuable car?

    Like 15
    • Bill Hall

      To many controlled or uncontrolled substances?

      Like 1
  4. CCFisher

    This is what happens when your Thunderbird, your cut-off wheel, and your beer fridge are located too close together.

    Like 30
  5. Steve Clinton

    ‘Imma gonna make myself a Thunderbird convertible seein’ as there weren’t any in 1965…Huh, you say there were Thunderbird convertibles? Crap.’

    Like 4
  6. Gary DelVecchio

    Structural Integrity???

    Like 4
  7. Russ Ashley

    Looks like it was a nice car before being turned into a parts car. I hope this is a body-on-frame car but even if it is convertible frames were reinforced to prevent twisting. Sometimes I think a sawsall should require a license to own one.

    Like 9
  8. Jetfire88

    Many yeas ago a dear friend did something similar to this.
    He had bought a ’65 ‘Bird that was on the lot at a local Milwaukee Ford dealer and a lot light had come down in a windstorm and landed in the middle rear of the roof. Only damage was to the roof and rear window.
    He bought another roof from the boneyard and spliced it in pretty much as this one is cut except the C-pillar was done below the trim to hide the reweld. It looked just like this for a few years because he was doing it part-time.
    Just one possibility for the current state of affairs.

    Like 1
  9. JCH841

    I had a 1965 T-Bird (factory) convertible and there was some flex and shake. I cannot imagine what this is like. Maybe why it’s bee up on a lift “for quite some time.”

  10. Miguel - Mexican Spec

    That is an expensive parts car.

    Like 3
  11. Dale S

    This is my favorite year T-bird. It was the first car to have the new safety glass installed, and the first year of the sequential taillights. The design really came together in 1965, with the chrome applique’ on the side of the front fenders being the final touch. I saw a mint ’65 coupe in forest green with a black interior, parked on a side street about ten years ago. That car was stunning! This one could have been! :-(

    Like 3
  12. Chuck Dickinson

    just no!!!

    Like 2
  13. Rodney - GSM

    I believe that “car beheading” is a felony in most states. As well it should be…

    Like 4
  14. Ron Bajorek

    Dopw, needs a cut down winsheild and a Tonneau Cover with a zzip out for the driver and this thing is ready to rock

  15. LotusS777

    I’m kinda liking it myself, I’d put on a 65 mustang fastback top, put it on airbags, and a cool 60’s paint job. The result would be worth more than any normal 65 t-bird, hard top or convertible.

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