1963 FORD THUNDERBIRD
Having been purchased from a desert state — Texas — and then dry stored for nearly 20 years, this Thunderbird was in good shape from a body perspective, but the mechanicals had deteriorated due to non-use to the point that it needed a full overhaul to get things reliable again. This wasn’t difficult as the vehicle was a good runner when it was parked up, according to the current owner, who travelled over 3000km in the first two weeks of owning it — a fair way across America. Some parts were obviously in need of replacement, like the suspension bushes up front and the carburettor, replacements being purchased in the US, and although only the carburettor was fitted Stateside, the rest of the bits stayed in the boot whilst the car was stored in Onehunga. In the last three years everything has been rebuilt, from the engine and transmission right through to the original clock and radio. Receipts totalling over $40,000 are available, and the owner’s time amounts to about 1500 hours. The only part that didn’t need attention was the differential, as these Ford units are nearly indestructible. The interior was professionally retrimmed, the body stripped and repainted, and new rubbers were fitted to the windscreens and doors. The suspension was refurbished as well as the air conditioning, power steering, brakes, electric seats and windows. Everything works from the boot light to the door lights. The vehicle was restored with an emphasis on originality, right down to a decal set on the engine and NOS parts from the US for the engine bay. The car needs a new set of wheels to really set it off — while serviceable the chrome on the existing wheels is now looking tired. This vehicle has never had a boot-kit fitted, and although the boot has been painted and is tidy, it would benefit from a set of material inserts. The old boot kit is there, and the jack and brace are as original.
Whilst the front bumper has been rechromed and all the trim on the car polished, the rear bumper has not been rechromed as it is in pretty good original condition. The car comes with a clean manual, as well as photocopy for the workshop, and matching paint (two-pack Dupont) in case of touch-ups, as well as a few
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small parts and spares from the rebuild. Standard equipment includes an electric driver seat, electric windows, power steer, power brakes, an AM/FM radio, hydraulically-operated wipers, a two- or three-speed selectable transmission and, of course, swing-away steering. The Thunderbird drives beautifully, and an underbody inspection (the car lives in a mechanical workshop equipped with a hoist) and test drive is encouraged. The owner can deliver anywhere in New Zealand if expenses are covered. Price is $55,000, negotiable. Call Greg, ph. 021 776 796.