1962 THUNDERBIRD 390 ROADSTER

1962 FORD THUBDERBIRD SPORT ROADSTER CONVERTIBLE                          NO34

Sports Roadster: 1 of 1,427 built.                          Ford’s entry in the Personal Luxury car market

Engine: 390 cubic inch V8 with a 4 bbl carb, dual exhaust and factory rated 300 HP

Transmission: Automatic                   Power Steering                      Power Windows

Power Brakes                                        Power Bucket Seats             AM/FM stereo radio

Power top                                              Dual mirrors                          48 spoke Kelsey-Hayes wire wheels

Swing-a-way steering wheel

This is an early production Sports Roadster documented with a copy of the original Ford invoice.

The Sports Roadster designed with a special fiberglass tonneau cover for the rear seats which gave the car the appearance of a two seat roadster like the original Thunderbird.

Odometer indicated 61,000 miles

The Third Generation Thunderbird

The First Generation of Thunderbirds were sold from 1955-1957 are represented by a 1955 and a 1957 T-Bird in the Lang Collection. The Second Generation was sold from 1958 to 1960 were four place models and were called the “Square Bids.” They looked big and bulky but carried the driver and four passengers in comfort and sold well. But then came the Third Gen . . . although with-in an inch of the same size of the square-birds, they looked much sportier. As Hemmings Classic Car says in their June 2017 issue:

“Sleek. No other word more accurately describes the shape of the Thunderbirds that Ford created for 1961-1966 model years, although other adjectives such as `striking,’ `fascinating’ and `sensational’ certainly do apply as well. These are truly fantastic automobiles with a distinct style . . . they looked lower, longer, wider, with an exciting looking body featuring all sorts of jet-aircraft styling cues. They simply looked fast even when they were standing still.

“From the far reaches of its pointed front fenders rearward to it jet-inspired round taillights, the profile of the new Thunderbird is spear-like in its form. And just like that man-made tool, it slices through the air like few automobiles have ever done before – it begs to be driven.

“Stylistically, it has a shape that truly is unmistakably Thunderbird: everything about its design is purposeful. Its lissome stance is sports-car low, and with just the right amount of front and rear over-hang, its proportions are near perfect – a veritable masterpieces of design . . . “

In 1962 “the grill was changed to a lace-type design incorporating small squares . . . a Thunderbird script was now placed on the leading edge of the front fenders and a decorative quarter panel trim was changed to three rectangular bars that simulated a jet’s exhaust. The Swing-Away steering column was now standard. . .

“But the model that stole the show was the sexy Sports Roadster. With its fiberglass tonneau cover sporting twin head rests that matched the outline of the adjoining seats ahead of it, the appearance was that of an exotic high-performance sports car. The tonneau cover was removable to permit use of the seats below.”

“All Sports Roadsters were equipped with Kelsey-Hayes chromed wire wheels, which did not allow use of the rear fender skirts due to clearance issues” making the cars look even sportier . . . the remote controlled driver’s side exterior mirror was now standard.”

Advertising of the period extolled the 62 T-Bird as: “Sleek as a racing hydroplane, arrogantly individual in its gleaming sweep of deck, this is the most exciting invitation to two person travel ever issued.” As you stand and appreciate the look of this beautifully preserved example of the 1962 Thunderbird Bird Roadster in the Lang Collection, you have to admire how well the advertiser’s claims have stood the test of time.