All fields are required.MONTEREY 2016 CONSIGNMENTS
Vehicle to be offered for Auction sale August 18th – 20th, 2016 at Russo and Steele’s 16th Annual Monterey, California Auction. Please contact us for more information.
The original Ford Thunderbird was an irresistible combination of luxury and sportiness that appealed to a much larger market than did the early Chevrolet Corvette. While the next four-seat “Square Bird” generation was even more popular, the third-generation Thunderbird, also known as the “Bullet Bird” by virtue of its projectile-like profile, remains quite likely the most visually striking of all. Produced only for the 1961 through 1963 model years, the “Bullet Bird” was relentlessly improved and updated throughout its brief production run and remains immensely popular with Thunderbird enthusiasts today. Four Thunderbird models were available, comprising the hardtop, formal hardtop Landau, convertible, and from 1962, the Sports Roadster, equipped with a sleek rear tonneau cover and available from the factory or at your local Ford dealer.
For 1963, the last “Bullet Bird” model year, the Thunderbird was described by Lee Iacocca, Ford Motor Company vice president and Ford Division general manager, as “…the most changed car we are offering for 1963. Yet, for the most part, the changes are inside the vehicle.” In addition to exterior updates including a new vertical-bar grille design and revisions to the body sides and taillights, the 1963 Thunderbird included additional sound deadening material, a quieter and longer-life exhaust system, and myriad upgrades to the electrical system and accessories delivering improved operation and reliability. Accordingly, the final-year Thunderbirds are particularly sought-after by today’s most knowledgeable and passionate classic Thunderbird collectors.
Of all the 1961-1963 Thunderbirds produced, this example is undoubtedly one of the finest in existence today. A beautiful rotisserie-restored, correctly detailed example, it is very well-equipped with air conditioning, power windows, and the iconic Sports Roadster tonneau cover which was available as a dealer accessory when the car was new. Best of all, this 1963 Thunderbird convertible is quite likely the most prolific 1961-1963 Thunderbird show winner, with an amazing 67 Antique Automobile Club of America (AACA) awards to its credit! Beginning with its first victory in June 1989 and culminating in multiple Senior Grand National Awards, this Thunderbird has been a virtual fixture at the trophy stand though 2015, all while under the long-term and truly loving care of its enthusiastic husband-and-wife owners.
Further proof of this Thunderbird’s excellence was received under Vintage Thunderbird Club International (VTCI) judging, with the vehicle scoring 295.5 out of 300 possible points. According to the VTCI scoring sheets on file, the Thunderbird earned 32/32 for Special Items Operation, 59/61 for Interior Authenticity and Quality, 16/16 for Trunk Authenticity and Quality, 68.5/71 for Engine Compartment Authenticity & Quality, 24/24 for Undercarriage Authenticity and Quality, 81/81 for Exterior Authenticity and Quality, and 15/15 points for Overall Attention to Detail. It should be noted that if the Thunderbird’s purchaser is a member of the AACA or joins the club, the vehicle’s status and the awards it has earned will continue to accompany it in the future; accordingly, it can continue to be shown at any AACA-sanctioned event the new owner should choose to enter. Accompanied by all show awards, plus judging sheets and the AACA report listing, this 1963 Thunderbird is exceptional in all possible respects and stands proudly as one of the winningest cars of its kind in existence today.