Lot 287 - 1966 Ford Thunderbird
|Odometer reading||74,000 miles|
|Estimate||£20,000 - £25,000|
|Result||Sold - £22,400|
The Thunderbird entered production in 1955 as a sporty, two-seat convertible and, unlike the Chevrolet Corvette, was not marketed as a sports car. Instead, Ford created a new market segment, the Personal Car. Ford has since produced over 4.4 million Thunderbirds.The second to fourth generation Thunderbird convertibles were similar in design to the Lincoln convertible in that whilst these models had a true convertible soft top, this was lowered to stow in the forward boot area. The boot lid was rear-hinged; raised and lowered via hydraulic cylinders during the top raising or lowering cycle. When fully retracted, there is no sight of the soft top and the overall appearance is a sleek one with no trace of a hood at all.For 1964, the Thunderbird was re-styled in favour of a more squared-off appearance, hinting at its roots in the previous generation. The 300 horsepower, 6.4-Litre, FE V8 continued as the standard engine, paired with a three-speed automatic transmission. In the last year of the generation, 1966, saw a stylistic revision for the Thunderbird highlighted by a new egg-crate style grille with a large Thunderbird emblem at its centre and a new rear fascia. The standard 6.4-Litre, V8 now produced 315 horsepower alongside a newly optional 345 horsepower, 7.0-Litre FE V8.
This rare example of the 7.0-Litre, 428 convertible was originally registered on 1st January 1966 in Texas before spending some time being fully restored in Europe including a top end rebuild of the engine and strip down and soda blast to bare metal for the re-spray. This fully numbers-matching car has covered just 74,000 miles, of which 73,000 were in the dry aforementioned climates. Finished in metallic Ice Blue and equipped with power everything, cruise control, sequential tail lights, swing away steering wheel and disc brakes all complimented by the expensive optional extra of full black leather interior. Also, perhaps more importantly, the electric roof works perfectly! First registered in the UK on 22nd January, 2013, the car is with its 1st UK owner and is supplied with a UK V5 registration certificate, a new MoT test certificate, Texas title documents as well as a workshop manual, owner's manual, service book and old MoT test certificates. The car has undergone a recent service which included new plugs, coil, leads and new fitted carpets.Less than 8% of 1966 Thunderbirds were convertible which makes this car rare enough but when coupled with the 428, V8 engine under the bonnet with 350bhp, this is surely a collector's item.