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Monaco Edition: 1963 Ford Thunderbird Limited Landau

When Ford introduced the Thunderbird, it was meant to compete with the Corvette, but ended up carving out its own niche. Rather than being a sports car with some luxury features, the Thunderbird was a luxury car with some sports car features. It proved to be extremely popular and led to a whole slew of personal luxury cars. Few did it as well as the Thunderbird though and it showed in sales. Due to its success, Ford continued to develop the T-Bird for more than just a few decades, with each new generation adding more luxury features to the mix. Personally, I think the 3rd generation of Thunderbirds was a high watermark, with the perfect blend of style, power, and luxury. This 1963 example, which is being offered here in the Barn Finds Classified by reader John E, is a rare Limited Edition Landau or more commonly known as the Principality of Monaco Edition! If you are a fan of these Birds, this one is definitely worth a closer look. John is asking $5,000, but is open to offers, as he hopes to see it go to a good home.

This car is in need of a full restoration, as it has rust issues. These cars are finally starting to appreciate in value enough to justify giving one a complete restoration, but this one is going to be a substantial undertaking. Thankfully, the special edition parts appear to be present and with just 2,000 cars built with this option package, it has some added desirability. The Monaco Edition was primarily a special color combo with the Landau top, but the steering wheel and trim were unique to these cars. All two thousand cars were painted Corinthian White with a Dark Rose Beige roof. The dash pad and carpet were also Dark Rose Beige paired with simulated rosewood trim throughout the cabin. To tie everything together, the seats were covered in white leather and featured unique badging.

Ford’s 390 V8 was the standard engine for the 3rd generation Thunderbird and offered a decent amount of performance. It was rated at 300 horsepower, although there was a short-lived Tripower model that generated 345 horsepower, and gave the car plenty of grunt to be a very comfortable high-speed cruiser. This one’s engine bay is complete, but showing rust issues. John hasn’t attempted to start the engine, but it does turn over, so that’s promising. A quick search revealed that patch panels and interior parts are being made for these cars, so fixing it up wouldn’t be an impossible task.

I don’t know if Ford still does cool product launches, but the debut of the Limited Edition Landau came with quite the fanfare. The first example was built specifically for the Prine of Monaco. At a special party at the Monaco Casino, the Thunderbird was displayed with the Ford Falcons that were to be run at the ’63 Monte Carlo Rally. The same day the car was revealed, production started on the two thousand examples that were set to be sold to the public.

There’s no denying that this is going to be a big project, but it could be a worthwhile one for a serious Thunderbird fan, especially if you appreciate rare options. John has provided lots of detailed photos to ensure you know what you are buying and you can find additional photos in his Classified ad, so be sure to take a closer look there. I hope someone saves this T-Bird, there can’t be many of these Limited Edition Landau’s left and they played a big role in kicking off the Landau trend, plus it’s just a plain cool car. So be sure to take a closer look and don’t hesitate to make him an offer!


  1. 8banger 8banger Member

    Man, perks for being the last year they looked good, but by that time they were almost as hard to work on as the Lincolns!

    Like 3
  2. Howard A Member

    Talk about “high water mark”, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a column shifter rust like that. The T-bird/Corvette debate goes on and on, like what was the 1st muscle car. I read, and always thought, while the T-bird was initially a 2 seat roadster, it almost immediately catered to a more upscale market. Corvette was in your face, brute hp, while the T-bird had that, but a bit more class. Of course, in ’58, T-bird practically abandoned the sports car concept, while Corvette stayed true. This is what’s called an ” ambitious restoration”, and not sure what kind of market there is for this anymore.

    Like 6
  3. Pat

    Juuuuuusssssst a little rusty….

    Like 3
  4. Pops in TX

    My uncle has had one parked n covered in his backyard, that he bought brand new, since I was 15 years old… That was 45 years ago!! He’s still trying to tell me he’s gonna fix it one day… Swivel front seats are pretty cool and it came with ac.. He found squirrel nests in the cylinders years ago after he had taken the heads off n left them uncovered so not sure the total rebuild would be worth it at this point

    Like 3
  5. Steve Clinton

    Driven hard, and put away wet.

    Like 2
  6. Steve Clinton

    BTW, I thought the ‘Monaco’ was a Dodge.

    Like 2
  7. wubbie

    One of the ugliest cars ever made. They did have a heck of an air conditioner though.

    Like 0

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