Prior Provenance: 1963 Ford Thunderbird Sports Roadster – Sold?

by | Dec 2022 | Craigslist ClassiFINDS, Topless Thursday

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January 11, 2023, Update – We confirmed the listing for this “Classifind” expired, so with no replacement found, we’re assuming this ride is “Sold?” While this one got away, please reach out either by email or call us directly if you’d like to be informed when we come across something similar.

December 29, 2022 Update – The seller lowered their asking price from $27,500 to $24,000.

December 18, 2022 Update – The seller lowered their asking price from the original request of $28,000 to $27,500.

Ford’s third-generation Thunderbird, produced from 1961 through 1963 and known by enthusiasts as the “Bullet Bird” generation, had very clean jet-age styling that still looks great today. With the top down, the convertible version remains one of the cleanest-looking rag tops ever produced. Adding even cleaner lines to these cars was the rear-seat-hiding fiberglass tonneau that came standard on the Thunderbird Sports Roadster models. In our humble opinion, the 1962-1963 Thunderbird Sports Roadsters are the best-looking TBirds ever made and among the cleanest-looking top-down convertibles.

This black-over-red 1963 Ford Thunderbird Sports Roadster, originally listed in December 2022 on Craigslist in Norwood, New York (Yonkers), features a stunning black-over-red color combination and working factory air conditioning. The seller reports actress Uma Thurman once owned their Bullet Bird.  To the seller’s credit, they haven’t tried to price a premium for that provenance on what is a driver-quality car benefitting from an older restoration.

Last offered for $24,000 (the seller started at $28,000), Classic.com, the analytics and search engine for the collector car market, confirms the ask falls below the one-year rolling average of this guide’s summary for fourth-generation Ford Thunderbirds of all body styles produced between 1961 and 1963.  By clicking on the green dots in the graph below, you can navigate to each comparable car sold as a way to help you evaluate the price of the TBird featured here:

As a second data point, the  Collector Car Market Review Online Tool reveals the seller’s ask falls between this guide’s #4 “Fair” estimate of $18,000 and its #3 “Good” appraisal of $32,100 before factoring in adjustments for equipment and powertrain options.

Ford redesigned the Thunderbird for 1961 with styling that gave the car a unique bullet-like body-side appearance. A new engine, a 300 horsepower, 390 cubic inch “FE V8, was the lone engine initially offered in the Thunderbird and was only available with a three-speed automatic transmission.  A vinyl-roofed Landau option with simulated S-bars was added to the Thunderbird for 1962 hardtop models.

Also added for 1962 was a Sports Roadster package for convertible models. The Sports Roadster included 48-spoke Kelsey-Hayes-designed wire wheels and a special fiberglass tonneau cover for the rear seats, which gave the car the appearance of a two-seat roadster like the original Thunderbird. The Sports Roadster package was slow-selling due to the high price of the package and the complexity of the tonneau cover. Clearance for the Kelsey-Hayes wheels meant that Sports Roadster models did not come equipped with rear fender skirts.

Few other changes were made to the Thunderbird for 1963 as Ford prepared to introduce a new version for 1964. A horizontal styling line was added that ran from the point where the bumper and fender meet back through the door and angled down. Small diagonal chrome bars were added in this area on the door. Alternators replaced generators on all 1963 Thunderbirds.

The Classic Annuals YouTube Channel features this vintage 1963 Ford Thunderbird sale training film strip:

This 1963 Ford Thunderbird Sports Roadster appears to be a nice driver-quality example featuring an older restoration that has aged well. While the undercarriage won’t win you any awards in its current driver-quality state, the stunning red leather interior featuring factory a/c more than makes up for it.

Here’s the seller’s description:

“1963 Ford Thunderbird Convertible
5500 miles shown
390 V8 Power

 

Runs and drives very nicely has power steering and power brakes. The paint is not original, it shows quite well but is not perfect. Overall the car is in great shape, the interior is in great shape and the car is generally rust-free.

Has the following rare/desirable options:
– Kelsey Hayes wire wheels
– Rare factory air conditioning
– Sport Roadster style tonneau cover

Previously owned by Uma Thurman with documentation to confirm prior ownership.

Asking $28000 open to reasonable offers

Show or go: What would you do with this 1963 Ford Thunderbird Sports Roadster?  Please comment below and let us know!

2 Comments
  1. Lou

    NOT a TRUE Sports Roadster

    The 1963 Ford Thunderbird Sports Roadster convertible had the same sporty styling as the 1962 Sports Roadster, but it had the added benefit of a separate model designation. The third and fourth digits in the VIN should be “89” for a factory-built Sports Roadster and those numbers are present in the tag on this Corinthian White 1963 Ford Thunderbird Sports Roadster. Standard ’63 T-Bird Convertibles have “85” in their VINs. Production of the 1963 Thunderbird Sports Roadster was a mere 455 units, making this one a rare bird, indeed.

    Reply

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