Rare Color! 1964 Ford Thunderbird

The 1964-66 Ford Thunderbirds were treated to new sheet metal that would earn them the nicknames “Jetbirds” or “Flairbirds”. The public responded enthusiastically to the changes and sales increased by nearly 50% in the first year. The only thing rarer in 1964 than the Sports Roadster (maybe 50 made) was the one-year-only paint color, Samoan Coral – akin to pink to the naked eye. This T-Bird sports that color and the car is in overall nice condition. Located in Pompano Beach, Florida, this near survivor-quality automobile is available here on eBay for $19,750 (although you can submit an offer). Thanks, T.J., for this unusual tip.

Styling updates to the earlier Ford Thunderbirds ran in three-year cycles (1955-57, 1958-60, 1961-63, etc.) and this was also true for the fourth generation. Although mostly unchanged platform-wise, the new shape of the cars had a more squared-off sharp look, a departure from the 1961-63s but similar to the 1958-60 T-Birds that were the first with seating for four. We’re told the ’64 Jetbirds were the only ones to have the name spelled out on the hood instead of the image of the Thunderbird.

Though apparently not unique to just the Thunderbird (some Galaxies got the color, too), Samoan Coral, color code “L”, was only offered in 1964. It was the trade name for 1637 Bittersweet (Pink/Copper). While it looks a bit like pink, the Thunderbirds wore it especially well, although the number of 1964 T-Birds painted in this color is unknown (total production would top 92,000 for the first time). This is the original color on the seller’s car, although it was repainted in the 1980s.

This Ford is said to have lived in Southern California for its first 50 years (where some of the photos may have been taken). The seller tells us it was a “barn finds” when he got it, although no indication is made that it was actually found in a barn. The 390 cubic inch V8, likely the 300 hp version, starts right up and we’re told it runs well at 119,000 miles and no mention of a rebuild is made. The car has been treated to a new water pump, battery, hoses and belts, tires, front suspension work, and dual exhaust. Everything works except for the two rear windows (power-operated) and the AM/FM radio.

The black interior is original, and the seller rates it as a 9 on a scale of 1 to 10. The body and paint are in okay condition, with a bit of rust in the trunk (typical to these cars?), and the chrome could use some polishing. The fender skirts are still in place and the car retains its “spinner” wheel covers. Perhaps unusual for a personal luxury car even in the mid-1960s, this Ford does not have air conditioning. For the age of the car, it seems to be in good overall condition and if you were seeking out this particular color, it might be hard to find one this nice that hasn’t already been restored.

Comments

  1. Daryl Roe Daryl Member

    great looking cars! the salmon color seems to fit its lines very nicely! I always appreciated the interior design.

    Like 9
  2. Irwin From

    Were these available with a 428? All I remember is it was a horse.

    Like 3
    • Terrry

      My ’66 had the 428. I don’t know if the ’64 did..doubtful as that engine wasn’t out yet.

      Like 3
  3. Bob_in_TN Bob_in_TN Member

    If you are going to have a cruisin’ car from the 60’s, this generation of Thunderbirds fits the bill. And while you are enjoying that highly-styled interior, why not complete the theme with a seldom-seen color like this?

    Back in the day a neighbor’s 1964 Galaxie was this color.

    Like 7
  4. Terrry

    Not really pink, not really bittersweet either, more of a “flesh” tone if you compare the colors to those in a Crayola box! Looks good anyway!

    Like 4
  5. Malcolm Boyes

    I prefer the 61 to 63 “Bullet Birds” but this one is very cool especially in this colour. So regret parting with my late Mom In Laws pink 61 ‘Bird..it went to Norway to make room for my 56 Coupe De Ville..should have kept them both but we all have those stories..dont we?

    Like 2
  6. Chuck Dickinson

    This color was NOT an RPO color on any Ford exc. the Bird. If it were on a Galaxie it would’ve been a SO color. It is not ‘pink’, it is coral. There is a difference. However, this color, called Bittersweet on Mercs, WAS available on full-size Mercs (Parklane, Montclair and Monterey). Florentine (Green), which bordered on chartreuse, was likewise available only on Tbirds and the big Mercs.

  7. Angel_Cadillac_Diva Angel Cadillac Diva Member

    Love those taillights!
    Not going to find anything like that nowadays.

    Like 2
  8. David Laker Member

    There was a similar Ford color around 1954 called Pima Red. Never seen a car of that color since. Painted my 1941 Austin Pima Red.

  9. Tom

    I sold the car to the current owner on eBay about 18 months ago. Just to clarify, the interior is not original, I had replaced the carpet, headliner and driver seat covers. Transistor ignition equipped, bypassed. The car was from the central California area originally. I believe this gentleman is the 4th owner. The paint is about 5 years old.

    Like 2
  10. Bill McDonough

    My ’64 Tbird is not pink (it is bronze thank the Lord), but I must say that for some odd reason, pink looks OK. I did not know that power rear windows were an option for ’64, however I found out very quickly that the drum brakes are a hazard if you live in hilly country like we do. Changed the front brakes to disc and it now stops as it should. Had to change the rims as well to accommodate the calipers. Tbirds are like land yachts seemingly sorting out the rough roads and pot holes very nicely. Mine has under-the-dash A/C very necessary where we live in Queensland. Lost a hubcap recently, damaged beyond repair, but I managed to find a couple of replacements here in Australia.

    Like 3
  11. murph428

    I too enjoy driving my 66 TBird luxury Landau powered by its original 428 around Australia!
    I agree the interior is so Cool, Lounge Room on wheels
    Would any of you guys know where I could find a nice pair of original white Landau door cards?

    Like 1
  12. Mike

    My parents bought a ’64 T-Bird (white w/black interior) slightly used in 1965, their first”luxury” car. I remember all five of us setting off on Sundays for an afternoon drive exploring the rapidly growing So CA and all the new housing developments in Orange county. Back seat was very spacious for three kids and the ride was super smooth. I think my mom shed a tear when they traded it for my Dad’s new bright yellow ’72 Mustang Mach 1! Family drives were relegated to my mom’s Chevy Malibu wagon thereafter…🤓

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