Sports Roadster Look:

1963 Ford Thunderbird Convertible

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Ford's 1961-63 Thunderbird, affectionately named "Bullet Bird" , due to its sleek, aerodynamic styling, has long been regarded as an iconic American sports car.

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Of the 63,313 'Birds manufactured in 1963, only 5,913 were convertibles. An additional 455 Sports Roadsters were built, which are very hard to find today.

The Sports Roadster featured Kelsey-Hayes 48-spoke wire wheels, a removable fiberglass tonneau cover hiding the rear seat, special front fender badges, and a unique, dash-mounted passenger grab bar.

VIN plate is easy to decode. This 'Bird was built on December 8, 1962 in Wixom, MI as a black-on-black car with a 390 (6.4-liter) engine, Cruise-O-Matic transmission, a 3.00 rear end ratio and sent to San Jose, Calif. Its list price was $4,912.00, plus options.

Ford's trusty "Z" code 390 engine, fitted from the factory with a 4-bbl carburetor, develops 300 stout horses. This one runs like a clock.

The old school generator was replaced with an alternator in 1963. All '63 Thunderbirds came equipped with power steering and power brakes. We've just had a brand new battery installed.

This 'Bird also features power windows, power seat, and the -- new for '63 -- remote driver's side mirror.

A true engineering masterpiece: the electro-hydraulic, fully retractable convertible top. Having been recently serviced and upgraded to braided stainless lines, it works beautifully. (See the video at the bottom of this presentation.)

A major design feature of the Bullet Bird is its futuristic looking cockpit. You can't help but admire the gleaming, curved stainless trim and the finely detailed gauges nestled in their individual chrome nacelles. The fantastic dash styling was definitely influenced by jet airplanes and moon rockets!

Yessiree, all gauges work perfectly, even the electric clock! Odometer shows 8,000 miles, has turned over once.

Nicely kept original interior confirms car's low mileage. Black bucket seats -- an unusual feature for an American car of this era -- with their gold piping and "Thunderbird" insignia look classy, are very comfortable.

Remove the Roadster tonneau cover and the Big Bird morphs into a true 5-seater.

Having been sold new in the Golden State, our bird still wears its irreplaceable, original California black license plates, front and back.
Note rocket-style taillights and working backup lights.

Befitting a California native, the undercarriage presents itself bone dry and spotless. We didn't find any rust or accident damage.

Ready for a test drive? We were looking forward to our town-and-country day trip, taking pictures and videos along the way.

Thunderbird starts, idles, runs, drives, handles and stops as you'd expect if from a well-kept example of the breed.

It's a fairly massive car, but very easy to guide with all the power assists.

A super neat Thunderbird feature is the famous Swing-Away steering column, which can be moved 18 in. to the right when the transmission lever is in the "Park" position, to make getting in and out of the car easy. It works flawlessly and is shown "in action" in a video below.

Black finish shows off T-birds beauteous design to its fullest. Having been repainted once in its original color (of course), there are many small touch-ups and signs of age and use visible upon close inspection; however, there is zero body rust, the paint is very glossy and overall presentation is still very favorable.

A bona fide collectible, the 1963 Ford Thunderbird is also a great-driving automobile that will reward you with many smiles per mile.

Here's a documented California black-plate 'Bird sporting a very desirable color combination, featuring low miles and a perfectly functioning top mechanism. It proudly boasts of Sports Roadster trim and can be used right away, just the way it sits.
From any viewpoint, this '63 Bullet Bird represents a lot of classic car fun and value for the money!


Operation of Convertible Top

Freeway Driving

We sold this black 'Bird early in 2018 to a customer in France.

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