One Year Only Bird: 1966 Ford Thunderbird Town Hardtop

The fourth generation Thunderbird was another great addition to the Thunderbird lineage, but 1966 brought about a one year only option that is subtle, but certainly unique. This 1966 is a “Town Hardtop” model where it has smaller door glass than a standard Thunderbird, giving a sleek and interesting appearance to the side view of this fine machine. Although this Thunderbird is a little neglected, it is still a great looking original car that could certainly be enjoyed in its current condition. With the bidding starting at $900 this rare Ford could possibly wind up being a great deal. Take a look at it here on ebay out of Bellingham, Washington.

Taking a peek in the bay reveals a simple yet original looking 390 cubic inch V8. Described as a reliable starter, and a good runner, this 390 has not run since September. Not a terribly long time, but some fresh fuel, and some other work may be needed to get it in tip top running condition once more. Surface rust can be seen on the fan shroud and the coolant expansion tank, but beyond that the engine bay is mostly rust free. It is unclear what the exact mileage is, but the odometer shows 96,518 miles. Also the brake system is going to need some work as the brake master cylinder is not functional and is not returning, likely from sitting too long and rust developing in the cylinder bore. It would seem the brakes worked fine previously, but now there is some work to get them sorted.

Inside of this unique Thunderbird is a reasonable condition interior that could certainly be worked with. There is some dirt and light mold on the leather, but overall the leather appears to be in great condition. A good cleaning and conditioning would assure it would last even longer. Beyond the leather, there are a few other condition issues. The dash has some light discoloring, and the steering wheel is cracked. Also the flooring looks pretty rough, but there is a rubber mat down, so perhaps the carpet isn’t too bad off.  The driver side door pull is damaged, and the center console arm rest is split. Despite these concerns this interior would clean up nicely where it would match the cars overall condition.

It is hard to say what made the owner buy this unique Ford, but part of me feels as if it matched his house nicely. The Honeydew yellow paint still covers most of the body, and is still shiny in places. Some buffing work would bring some vibrancy back to the paint. Although the paint is manageable there are some rust concerns on this old ‘Bird. There are two smaller rust spots in each rocker before the rear wheel arch, and the driver side wheel arch has a rusty spot above the fender skirt. There is also some rust developing around the rear bumper on the driver side, along with some other minor concern areas. Personally I would use this as a fair weather car and enjoy it as it is, while fixing the mechanical concerns. Are you a fan of this original and unique Thunderbird Town Hardtop?


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  1. Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

    If the price stays reasonable, this could be a great buy. Hope it does!

  2. 2VT

    These were known as “Big Tops”

  3. Dave

    Cool ride, and those expansion tanks are well-known for leaking.

  4. American_Badaz

    The back seat arrangement in the mid 60’s personal luxury cars (especially t-birds and rivieras) was simply amazing. It is such a shame that kind of style will never be repeated again.

    • Marshall

      Never say never. Sean Connery said he would never play Bond again, until he did,in “Never Say Never Again” (1983).
      And I just read that Daniel Craig said that he would rather slit his wrists then play 007 again. But apparently he has changed his mind.
      Therefore, possibly the 1960’s styling of automotive upholstery may return someday.

  5. Fred W.

    One of the cheapest ways to get into the old car hobby with some style, got one of my own.

  6. jw454

    These are very nice looking cars and they have some very nice features but, it seems they just don’t have a big following in the market. I’ve seen these cars, in very good condition, sell at very reasonable prices. I hope this one finds a new home.

  7. Bob

    Hi Guys, love Barn Finds!I have to take exception with your “one year statement. This roofline was produced from ’66 thru ’71.

    • Steven

      Yeah someone doesn’t know their cars! I’m just wondering who it is working at Barn Finds and or they just posting anything too get comments from people who do know actual truth..

  8. Steven

    What a Crock, there were more Hardtop Thunderbirds from 58 thru 66 than Convertibles as I take it someone doesn’t know his cars..

    • Bill McCoskey

      Steven: Ford made 3 different T-bird coupes in 1966: The standard version with 4 side windows [see photo from factory brochure], and 2 versions without the small 1/4 windows. If it had a vinyl top, it was called the “Landau”, and if it was painted, like this one, and the red one too, it was a “town” hardtop. The Landau versions are fairly easy to find, the Town not so easy. Landau cars had curved fake landau bars instead of the Thunderbird emblem.

      I find it interesting that nowhere on these vehicles does it say Town or Landau, only in the dealer sales books and brochures are they listed using those words. And of course they did have separate body ID numbers.

  9. stillrunners lawrence Member

    Had a 66 when I was younger and more agile….ran good – moved good – stopped good…..but a bitch to work under the dash or under the hood….just saying….happy the day it left !

  10. W9BAG Member

    This is my very favorite body style of Thunderbirds. They also have the most incredible instrument panel design of any car made. The night time illumination is fantastic. The wrap around rear seating and the “swing-a-way” steering is a great feature.

  11. Bill Owens BillO Staff

    The Town Hardtop was a one year only style for 1966; there was also a Town Landau available for 1966. These roof lines came to the back of the door and eliminated the rear side quarter window. Thunderbird brought back the Landau form of this top in 1969 and 1971, but they were called Landau, not Town Landau. There was never another Town Hardtop for Thunderbird after 1966.

  12. MikeK

    Lately I’ve noticed more and more people posting comments which include disparaging and personal remarks against either the original poster, or against someone else who has commented.

    Personally I enjoy this site. I appreciate the effort it takes to produce the stories, and the research into those same stories. If some detail is incorrect and you feel compelled to point it out, fine. I actually appreciate mistakes being corrected also. But these childish remarks aren’t needed. If it bothers you so much that you want to make underhanded comments, there are plenty of other car sites out there. May I suggest you go troll one of those?

    Just my two cents…. Mike.

    • Steven

      Who is Trolling? No one..

      • MikeK

        Your comments could be worded better Steven. We all have varied tastes in cars, but we’re all car guys. Mistakes happen, but there’s no reason to be rude about it. Lots of people not only send in tips to Barn Finds, they also do a write up. Maybe you should do that instead.

    • Terry C.

      I’m with ya Mike. Just happens that sometimes certain people don’t know any different I guess. We all share a common interest in cars, or we wouldn’t be here, yet some people just have to express thier inner negativity at every opportunity. Too bad. Anyway, keep it between the lines and enjoy every mile🍻

  13. David Miraglia

    classy design and one of my favorites

  14. Jim Z

    Just wanted to post a picture of the back seat that everyone has been mentioning. 1966 Town Coupe Ivy Gold Interior.

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