1962 Ford Thunderbird
From around 1956 until the mid 1980s, Dodge, Plymouth and even Chrysler squads were the most ubiquitous police cars in North America. In fact, the biggest department, the NYPD, used Plymouth and Dodge squads almost exclusively until the rear-drive M body car was finally axed in 1989.
The no-frills Savoy two-door sedan was home to another engine of considerable repute, the infamous 413 Max Wedge, a Super Stock monster block Chrysler introduced in the spring of 1962.
Classic Car Overview
here is so much content in the way of photos, video and copy, you will probablyneed a computer, NOT a cell phone to see everything.
Included are the 1962 owner's manual, copy of Florida title from 10-09-2000 showing 53,171 actual miles,a nice white binder book with all the documentation, articles on this car, photos of 1st owners, photosof the restoration, photos of the car taken by the owners of this car from 1999 in Stuart, Florida and aFord Factory Marketing photo in black & white
Make a list of your questions....we will answer them all and do so honestly.If we don't know the answer, we will tell you so and find out the answers.
The following copy deals with verifying your buying what is being represented and the history as thedocumentation reflects from the day this car was manufactured in Ford's Wixom plant and headed to Eck Motors who had special ordered this car for the 1st owners, Mr. and Mrs. Lutter.
If this is of no interest to you, scroll down to the bold red letters dealing with this car's condition today!
Serial number: 2Y89Z158488
Serial number decoded: 2 Y 89 Z 158488 1962 Wixom plant Factory Roadster 390cid V-8/300hp Chassis number
Factory original Trim Plate Decoded
Body 76B= Color Trim Date Mfg. DSO Axle TransmissionRoadster N =(sales name Diamond Blue) 52=Medium blue 19D=19th of April 53=Kansas City 1=3.00:1 4=Cruise-0-matic Factory code 921 called it Platinum Metallic DSO= Domestic 3 speed Automatic Note this special color only available Special Order on a special ordered roadster
Engine: Original 390cid V-8 rated at 300HP
Serial number: 2Y89Z 158488
Actual mileage on title states "Actual Mileage: CURRENT READING IS 66,569
The weather in South Florida this time of year is phenomenal. This Roadster may have another couple of hundredmore miles on it before it finds a new home. If you see this Bird cruising down AIA from DelRay Beach to Boca Ratonhonk 3 times and I'll wave back.
Here is how to determine if a 1962 Thunderbird is a factory built car....rather than a replica or simply "a Fake or Imitation"
We would be remiss if we didn't mention William Wonder as much of the following information was derived from his book,on pages 93-106, The Thunderbird Restoration guide. Pages
The Thunderbird Roadster was another brainchild of the genius of Lee Iacocca's. It was a 4 seater car that in acouple of minutes could transform into a car that looked like the "Batmobile". The Fiberglass Tonneau could be puton the car in less than a minute after the convertible top was automatically stored in the trunk.
Other Roadster treatments were special badging on the left and right front fenders, a padded "Grab Bar"affixed to the dash for use of the person in the passenger seat...it soon became known as the "Sissy Bar"A gorgeous set of authentic Kelsey/Hayes Chrome Wire Wheels with 48 spokes. A total of 5 wheels (spare)were mounted on top quality 800X14" White walls. Fender skirts could NOT be installed because the wire wheelsstuck out enough to prevent installing fender skirts. The spare appears to be the original Goodyear tire.
The 1st Factory Roadster left the Wixom plant on September 13th, 1961. I have been told by several Ford Factoryemployees it was given to Elvis Presley at the urging of Lee Iacocca. The first 465 Roadster's were all RangoonRed with black vinyl interior (4 were built with red leather & 1 with red vinyl.)
Ford changes the designation of factory Roadsters on February 2nd, 1962
All of these 1st 465 cars had 85 as the 2nd & 3 serial numbers which were same as the regular convertibles.To eliminate the confusion around invoicing & Data plates, the convertibles continued to be 85 designatedcars while all Factory Roadsters built at Ford were assigned 89 as the 2nd & 3 digits in the serial numbers.In addition the Roadsters received a different body code on the Trim plates and were now designated 76Bas a special body code which further authenticated the car to be a factory built Roadster
I was fortunate to meet Lee Iacocca, Lee is 94 and still sharp as a tack, Author and Thunderbird expert William Wonder,and Lois Eminger, a long time employee of Ford. Lois sadly passed away in 2008 and anyone who was fortunate to know hermisses her. Lois was known as "The Pink Thunderbird Lady" or "Mrs. Thunderbird."The knowledge I learned from these 3 wonderful people is indeed most valuable.
If you want to learn every thing there is to know about Thunderbirds built 1958-1966I recommend you buy the Thunderbird Restoration Guide by William Wonder...it's available at Amazon. Bill is a terrific guy and about10 years ago we purchased his rare 1963 fully restored Thunderbird coupe with the M, 340hp special engine
Total production of all Ford Thunderbirds for 1962
Hard tops: 69,554Convertibles: 7,030Factory Sport Roadsters: 1427
No one knows the precise numbers of 1962 Roadsters that have survived but most experts feel thenumber is somewhere between 20% to 25%which translates between 285 to 356 Factory built 1962 Ford Sport Roadsters still exist. How many in this condition?
Caution: Don't buy a fake...there are more counterfeit ones on the market for sale than the 1427 carsthe factory actual produced. Your welcome to call (954) 873-6495 and we will try and help you with oneyour considering to buy. Our advice is free.....we love all vintage cars and one of the guys withGarage Memories has been buying, selling, trading and collecting cars since 1960.
Car Collections: If you have at least 6-10....or more vintage cars or exotic sports cars and want to get the top market price,please write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (954) 873-6495. The more cars the merrier. Two years ago we sold 68 Vintage cars Exclusivelyon Ebay Motors in 43 days....every single car in the Jack Miller Collection who had an amazing car Museum in Jupiter,FloridaWe can also come to you and do the same. Check out the Hi-definition photos in every auction as well as theUltra high definition special drones we use to create a 2-3 minute video professional presentation.
We sold our 1st vintage car on E-bay on March 15th, 2000 and our proud of our reputation and Feedbackas well as our relationship with Ebaymotors.com
You will see why we "Never make a sale"...a sale is a one time event!
Instead we want to make you a "CUSTOMER" because a customer is forever.
What kind of paperwork & documentation will prove the authenticity of a real factory roadster?
1. The ORIGINAL Factory window sticker, not a cheap reproduction one
2. The factory ORIGINAL build sheets (each car had 2, both usually under the seats.
3. The ORIGINAL factory gate release, showing the date the car was shipped and to what dealer.
With this stunning Diamond Blue (Platinum) example we are offering on Ebay, we haveall 3, including the books, manuals and photos of the restoration.
This special color was ONLY available on a "Factory Built Roadster" and required a DSO number. (District special order)Only 6 Roadster are believed to have been built in this color combination in 1962. We only know of the existence of one remaining....this car!If you know of another 1962 Roadster built in this color combination with this equipment please write to us at email@example.com or callus at (954) 873-6495.
Now....let me share my 1st hand knowledge of this car.
The Factory Gate release and accounting document has a time stamp indicating 2Y89Z 158488 was invoiced out April 17thin the AM and has a time stamp indicating it was shipped April 19th, 1962 to The Eck Motor Company in Haven, Kansas.The Trim Tag was the last thing put on these cars, thus the DATE of 19D= April 19th.
The original proud owners were Mr. & Mrs. Lutter. We have a lovely photo in the auction of the Lutters getting ready for a trip to St. Louis, Missourias well as their beautiful Thunderbird in their large backyard showing off how the convertible top retracts into the trunk.
Included is the 1962 Ford Thunderbird window sticker...it's slightly yellowed from age and it shows an MSRP of $5760.40 which includes$118.50 for transportation and $5.00 for Gas & Antifreeze....man...those were the days...yes I remember paying 18.9 cents a gallon for hi-test.
The Lutter's loved this Bird...they sold it on April 1st,, 1968 to Helen & Fred Alonza in Hutchinsen, Kansas who financed this car withAVCO Financial Services. The back of the title indicates the lien was paid in full on the 5th of September, 1975 and was signed offby Fred Alonzo on the 10th of November, 1975.
A newspaper article (no date) states that a Ron Tussey took 1st Place in post war sports cars through the 1960's in the Easter Classic.The story appeared in the Globe-Democrat.
Another newspaper story appeared on September 27th, 1988 with a Mike Krull of Mattoon in the Journal Gazette in which Mike is shownreceiving an award as "State Champion " in his class.
Other photos show this car at the Thunderbird Nationals and a large table loaded with trophies.
There are several more very sharp & clear photos of this car inside of a garage devoted solely to this car.
We have many photos showing this car in various stages of a total restoration. We do not know who did theincredible restoration on this car or when it was done. When you see and drive this car....you will think it received this restoration within the past year.
There are photos of the engine & transmission out of the car....and the car in various stages of restoration.I can tell by the way this car starts, idles, accelerates, shifts and stops that it was done to perfection.The cost to do a rotisserie restoration on this car today, if no body work is required, exceeds $100,000 and will take between 1-2 years.
Sometime in 1999 this Thunderbird ended up in Stuart, Florida. We have many clear photos taken by it'sowners in and around their home. You can see Palm trees in many of the photos and a Florida personalizedlicense plate that reads 62 TBIRD. The photos are time stamped 9 '99.We have a newspaper article dated Sunday, May 18th, 2003.A large color photo of this car with it's owner, Kathy Evens is shown at a Howard Johnson's Inn in HainesCity, Florida & Kathy is waiting for her husband, Michael.
We have a very important document which further proves this is an ACTUAL MILEAGE car. We have a colorcopy of the Florida title on this car issued on October 8th, 2000.It states on that date this car had verified mileage of 53, 171 miles and states on the title as ACTUAL.
I am very pleased that this car has not be parked in a garage or warehouse since making it's way to South Florida.It has been driven approx. 13,400 miles over the past 19 years for an average of 700 miles a year.
This is a car that you can drive several hundred miles to an AACA judging meet or other top car show.Wipe the car down and your ready to take home the 1st Place award. Spend a day...or a week and enjoy the ride back home.
The Florida title reads as follows as the registered owner:U-A G Michael Even living Trust1457 N.E. Ocean Blvd, Unit 13Stuart, FL., 34996
We checked everything on this car and found two things that do not work...the clock & AM radio.
Regarding the original AM radio...there isn't much to listen to on the AM band today.
We have been dealing with the same stereo shop in Pompano Beach, FL. for almost 20 years.We recommend installing a modern name brand Stereo AM/FM/CD radio with blue tooth. You canplay any song you like and have your I-phone transmit the signal to the modern sound system. (wireless)
They radio is custom mounted in it's own enclosure and can be accomplished without drilling any holes.The great sounding JBL tri-axial speakers are mounted in a custom enclosure that will slide under thetwo bucket seats from the rear and the entire car will be enveloped in great stereo music. Our costis between $500-$600 and we will put you in direct contact with this stereo shop. Zero markup is addedfor Garage Memories and you can pay the dealer direct after the system is installed and working. Hewill send you photos showing the system playing in your car....he takes most any credit card.If you prefer to have your own shop do the installation...all the better.
When we say everything works....we mean everything! That includes cold air-conditioning, heater, defroster,every light, every lamp, every switch, Liter, wipers, turn signals, bright lights, regular lights, parking lights,back up lights, front and rear turn signals, courtesy interior lamp and dash lights that fade darker or brighterand can also turn on the interior courtesy lamp.
When was the last time you bought a car that will be 57 years old that everything worked and you were NOT disappointed?
Garage Memories and it's staff guarantees this is a NO DISAPPOINTMENT valuable appreciating collectible. We hopeshould you ever wish to sell this car....our number will be the first one you call...(954) 873-6495. Same number and sameE-mail address since 1999.
Ready for some positive pluses on this car?
1. The generator has been upgraded to a new modern alternator.
2. If your stuck in traffic and it's 90+ outside, there is a hidden toggle switch thatturns on a very efficient cooling fan.
3. The AC has been converted to the atmosphere friendly R34a.
4. The AC compressor is a new, modern & efficient one that will last for years to come.
5. The 4 tires on the car are Michelins and look and ride as new.
6. We believe the spare tire is the one that came with this car. (Goodyear)
7. This car has 5 gorgeous real Kelsey/Hayes 48 spoke factory wire wheels andnot the cheap Chinese reproduction ones which sell for $1200 a set.
8. The Tonneau cover is the real deal...not one of the cheap reproduction ones on the market.
9. If you so choose, you could fly into Ft. Lauderdale or Palm Beach Airport. We will pick you up andif you so inclined, you could drive you spectacular Ford Factory Roadster back home.
10. The prior owner really loved this car!!!!! It has a secret hidden "kill" switch and when used, this car will notstart. I tried to find it and gave up after one hour. I open the center console and found instructions as to where itis concealed. I'll bet you can't find it either so open the center console and save yourself the trouble of trying to find it.If you can find it on your own....you a better man...or woman than anyone at Garage Memories....LOL.
If you prefer, we have been shipping our cars for more than 14 years with Mary Olson of Crossroads Transport.She can arrange everything when it comes to shipping your "new baby" back home in an Enclosedcarrier that is fully insured, licensed and bonded and save you money in the process. She has shipped morethan 1500 cars for us and 1000's of cars more for several of my car pals who also have their own car museums.
HOW DOES THIS CAR DRIVE?
This car comes with two sets of keys.
Slide the ignition key in, depress the gas pedal 1/2 to the floor and this will activate the choke mechanism.Turn the key one notch to the right and you will see two red lights glow...one will read oil (oil pressure sensor) the other gen (generator)
Turn the key one more notch to the right, gently give it a little more gas, and the Thunderbird 390 cid V-8 ratedat 300hp will spring to life. After 3-4 minutes, the idle will come down and this car idles so smooth & quiet it mightseem to not be running...but it is.
Select reverse or forward and this car shifts so smoothly it's hard to detect a gear change, It's a silky smooth 3/speed Cruise-O-maticautomatic with a final drive ration of 3.00-1. What does that mean? This car will run all day at 70-75mph andyour only turning approx. 2500 RPMS at 75mph.
The gorgeous blue convertible top, once unlatched at the front header bar, will flawlessly retract inside the trunk in 40-45 secondsand possibly a little quicker if you give it a little gas while idling. Always retract the top or put up the top with the engine runningas it takes steady & strong voltage to operate the top...another reason why the alternator makes so much sense.
We have owned more than 50 Roadsters from 1962 & 1963 but none that looked and drove like this car. In our Museum we have both a 1962 and a 1963 "M" factory roadster.(triple carbs rated at 340hp) They look as goodas this car but do not drive nearly as well. (sorry, neither are for sale)
I have driven this car at various speeds both in the City and own the Florida Turnpike at 75mph. I felt no vibrations, the car tracksArrow straight and this car drives better than any other car I have driven from this era. I could not find any play in the steeringwheel which is most unusual in any car 50+ years old.
The brakes work great with no pulling to the right or left.
The speedometer is accurate and the needle is steady (no jumping around)
I can tell you from past experience, the 1st two things that will stop working (after the clock stops)will be a power window or the switches that control the windows and the power seat. You will neverexperience the same problems with windows the easily roll up and down and bucket seats that easilywill slide forward or backward with a simple lever under each seat. If you want to replace theclock, you can buy a quartz electric replacement which looks identical to this one but willprobably outlast the car.
How is the Chrome & the pot metal?
It's show quality and we are very, very fussy. I will look again and have my Son go over this entire carto see if we can find any problem areas and photograph them up close. He is more than 1/2 my ageand has much better vision.
What about the paint? Does it look as good in person as it does in the photos & video?
Yes it does.
We have found a few tiny chips that you can see as the top opens & closes.We will show them up close and I'll hold a pen next to them so you can get an idea of their size.I would NOT take this car anywhere near a paint and body shop.
This car is ready to show...and to win.The factory paint code is found in a web site called www.autocolorlibrary.com. With that formula numberany paint shop can make you up a small amount of touch up matching paint for the retail priceof $45 (approx. 1/2 of a pint) It's Ford factory name is Platinum but the retail brochure calls it Diamond Blue.
How does the interior look and feel?
I doubt if the back seat has every been sat in. You can turn this Roadster into a 4 seater in under a minute...However, most like the incredible look of the sporty 2 seater. Look at all the aluminum on the center console and on the dash...it's flawless...no visible scratches...none.The gauges and speedometer and clock are crystal clear.
Gas gauge is accurate...and whether you fly in to pickup the beauty or if you decide to ship it to thefront door of your business or home....it will arrive with a full tank of 93 octane hi-test. Always run Premium fuel in this car...it will perform fine on both leaded or unleaded.
Engine compartment, trunk and undercarriage
Study all the high resolution photos...it looks just as good in person.
Please read: We temporarily installed this small battery...it is of course incorrect.
We are having made the exact correct Ford Battery called the "Power Punch" It is custom made to order in Youngstown,Ohio. You will never have to add water as youdid back in 1962. No points will be deducted at ANY judging event with this battery. In fact it's a plus.They cost $260.00 plus shipping. We expect it to arrive in 10-14 days as we ordered it two weeks ago.
Your probably tired by this time of reading everything?.......sorry but this is a VERY special car....one youwould typically see at one of the MAJOR TOP auctions and we although we feel it might set a record price.... We really "Love the cars....more than the money and we prefer to know who ends up with a Garage Memory car.
I just remembered one final thing, if your curious about the blue leather wrap on the steering wheel, there isa photo showing this wrap on the wheel when it was restored and more photos of the wheel takenby it's Florida owners back on 9-1999. We were not about to remove it but we think it was put thereby the Lutters in 1962. The wheel feels perfect to the touch. (no holes or like anything is missingfrom the steering wheel...... Should you choose to remove the wrap, it will take less than 5 minutes.
Classic Car ID101065606
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