Lay Z Boy On Wheels: 1965 Ford Thunderbird


These Ford Thunderbirds are some of the most comfortable cruisers that were made in the 1960’s. This ‘Bird is clean, and would make a great driver after a good sorting from its 25 year hibernation. This cruiser is priced at $8,500. Find it here on Auto Archeologist out of Middletown, Connecticut.


This ‘Bird has been repainted in its lifetime, but the engine and bay look clean and simple. Often a mismatched engine bay may be off putting for the purist, but this Thunderbird would make a great driver. Powered by a 390 cubic inch V8, backed by a 3 speed auto, this Bird does run but needs some looking over. The seller has explained precaution was exercised in reviving this Ford. But the fuel system, and brake system could stand a solid looking over.


The interior is fantastic on this Thunderbird. If you have ever ridden in one of these, then you know they are extremely comfortable cruisers. Remarkably clean, this interior is almost perfect. Unfortunately mice nibbled a small hole in the back seats outer most edge, and there is also a hole in the headliner as well. Even though there are those minor issues, to most passerby’s these issues would go unnoticed.  The exterior of this Thunderbird looks aesthetically nice as well. The rockers are a little questionable, and there are a few holes in the floors, but this Thunderbird is solid over all. The front foot wells have been repaired at some point with non-Thunderbird specific metal, but the floors are solid. Again a purist may not approve of the metal work and the paint change, but we think this Thunderbird is great as is, and would make for a fantastic cruiser. Rust inhibitors, and a cozy garage to live in would maintain this Thunderbirds condition for quite a long time.


If you have never driven or ridden in one of these Thunderbirds then you are cheating yourself of a grand experience. This Thunderbird is a great car, needing only minor tlc to be a reliable driver. Who is looking for a great looking two door, that’s a comfy driver? Would you pick up this 1965 Ford Thunderbird?


  1. Don E Member

    Too much money for this project with issues you’ll have to live with and a color change!

  2. Luke Fitzgerald

    Dons right – wrong is wrong

  3. Bruce

    Looks like a lot of “mud” under that fresh paint. Being a northeast car, I KNOW what that hides…

  4. Jumping g

    This car has been up on other sites for sometime now . I wonder what is the reason it didn’t sell.

  5. Howard A Member

    Well, I’m on the “for it” side. This, to me, was as good as the T-bird ever got. While there may be issues inherent with a 50 year old car, you’ve got a pretty good start on one of the finest road cars Ford made. I agree with Brian, look at that interior and airplane inspired dash. Beautiful. While the 390 will use a lot of gas,( 7 city/11 hwy.) it will be money well spent. This is a “left lane” car, for sure. I like it a lot.

  6. John K

    Those rockers don’t look solid to me. Coupled with the other visible spots of rust/rot, and also being a New Englander, I advise any buyer to be very cautious with this one. A shame though, as these 60’s Thunderbirds are really nice cars.

  7. Fred W.

    Looks a lot like mine, (a ’66) which I got for $2800, drove home and worked on for months sorting the power accessories, fuel system, brakes and interior. Not sure what mine is worth now but it’s not $8500, as much as I would like it to be. Photo is the day I bought it – really need to take a new one. Mine has typical screwed on floor wells, good rockers and doors, some filler in lower quarters and a paint job that Earl Scheib would blush at. But it photographs well.

  8. Calfruit

    Correct engine color for 65 was black block with gold air cleaner and valve covers, I believe

  9. AutoArcheologist

    I really didn’t expect to see this car here as well as the trucks.
    This is a neighbor of mine. The car sat in his garage for quite a while as not only was he deep into getting his business off the ground, he too wasn’t totally happy with the results.
    This IS NOT a show car. However, if you saw this car cruising down the street, most of you would still smile. Heck, you might do the same if you saw it at the local cruise.. the attitude, hey, someone is driving it like they should. Yes, she has some needs.. not that would keep her off the street but would keep her from the concourse invite list.

    My neighbor wanted to ask that amount.. I told him what he should accept for a low offer and he agreed.. it is a bit lower.. but he wants to ask high first for awhile.
    Not expecting to see the car listed here (Thank you guys!) the car is posted currently only on my local CL, Old Cars and the AutoArcheologist site. I will be spreading the word on her more so over the next couple of weeks. It has only been posted for about 2 weeks, so Jumping, I think you may have seen another car.
    If one takes the time to research similar cars, what the SOLD for, not asking prices, run the gambit of the assorted price guides (there has to be at least 10 different ones) you’ll see that $8500 isn’t that far off from what is considered its value. On that note, I feel it is a tad high…

    I found out recently that when the car was painted, the motor came out and was rebuilt, hence the probable reason it is not original color.

    Fred W, I’d say you got a great deal. Often, location and timing are very influential on where price goes.. I easily have $25000 of “classic cars” that I purchased cheap, as I was in the right place at the right time… Two cars I purchased for $500.. both running and driving, just needed some sorting and one of those has taken first in class at several shows and took second at a JCNA regional concourse.. Another was barter in a trade for services (roughly $700-$800 value) and the other was just over $1000… Jaguar Vanden Plas, MGB roadster, Bugeye Sprite and 107 series 280 SL MB full Eurospec. I can’t judge the value of other cars based on what I paid.

    I am rambling which is often my curse..LOL I think I addressed all current concerns.
    Any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask.

    Talk soon,

    • Otis

      Just because other ones sold for around 8,500 dollars doesn’t mean this one is anywhere near that worth. Ever restored a classic car? I have. And I would never spend 8,500 dollars on a car that most likely has sickening hidden rust issues. I’ve dealt with that before and its sickening. You buy a seemingly rust free car. You take it home. You start looking it over and you see one little rust spot you didn’t see before. So you start cleaning it up to prevent further oxidation and by the time you’ve got it cleaned up, there’s a hole the size of a baseball and bigger. Then there’s the issue of it sitting for 25 years. Sure, the interior looks good, that doesn’t mean a thing. Know why? Mice. I’m going to absolutely guarantee that if the back seat was removed and the trunk was cleaned out, you’d find at very least 2 mouse nests and likely more hidden in places you wouldn’t normally look. That leads to a revolting odor that only a reupholstered interior can fix. Mice cause rust too. They get into the heater boxes and make nests on top of the heater core and then the box rusts away and now you’ve got a great big hole in the dash where water gushes in every time it rains or you wash it. The there’s the problem with the engine and transmission seals. Even if they were brand new when the car was parked, they will have deteriorated over the past 25 years quite gravely. Put that car on the road right now and I’ll guarantee you every engine seal will start leaking like a sieve. Then the gas tank! Over the years it sat it has more than likely gathered lots of rust and debri that if you start it on, comes straight to the carburetor which now needs a rebuild if it didn’t already because the accelerator pump had dried out over it’s “hibernation.” Nothing against the owner or you, but I’m tired or the laziness of classic car owners who think that leaving a car sit is the best thing for it. It’s the single worst thing you can do to a classic car next to crashing it or blowing it up. Starting them up every 3 months would at least keep them pumping hence keeping seals swelled and moist. You think 8,500 dollars is a little high? I think it’s way too high, knowing it’s been sitting that long no matter how nice it looks. I know better, I’ve seen the worst of the worst.

  10. Derej

    I myself own a 1965 Thunderbird Hardtop, which I purchased new in March 1965
    in Alexandria, Virginia, while I was posted to Washington, with the Canadian
    Government. I have taken care of this car for over fifty (50) years. It does not see
    winter driving, however, I start it up over the winter and it is kept in a dry garage.
    I had the transmission rebuilt in 1971, and I still have the lifetime guarantee on the
    tranny. After 40 years Mr. Transmission advised me that my car is guaranteed as long as it is in my name. I have replaced the four barrel carburetor in the 1990’s,
    and replaced the brake master cylinder, brake booster, brake rotors pads and shoes. My car has disc brakes on it as this was the first year that Ford had disc brakes on the Tbird. I do not plan to sell my car anytime soon. I still have my original 1965 Virginia license plate. Now I live in Canada so my original license plate was taken off in 1965 when I moved to Canada. The car runs beautifully, and the original 390 engine purrs. I added a petronix breakerless point system
    to my car but it can always be returned to its original distributor breaker system/.
    If someone buys that red Tbird, they will have to spend quite a few dollars to get it in decent shape. The main thing is that you do not want the unibody to be rusted.
    Have the car checked out by a competent mechanic and body specialist.
    Happy motoring

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