Delightful Driver: 1961 Ford Thunderbird Hardtop

July 12, 2023 Update – The high bid did not meet the seller’s reserve price, so we’ve moved this vehicle to our “Buy Now or Make an Offer” page. 

GuysWithRides is excited to offer this driver-quality, Raven Black over Red Leather, 1961 Ford Thunderbird Hardtop in an online, reserve-style auction on behalf of the current caretaker.

Bidding opens Wednesday, May 28, 2023, and closes at 3:30 PM Eastern on Wednesday, July 12, 2023.

This 1961 Ford Thunderbird Hardtop is part of the owner’s collection in Flemington, New Jersey, approximately one hour from Newark International Airport. The seller confidently says he would have no trouble letting someone fly in and drive this vintage TBird home.

(NOTE: Click on the picture to stop the slide show and expand the pictures. Scroll down to see all photographs)

The Deets

Year: 1961
Make: Ford
Model: Thunderbird Hardtop
Location: Flemington, New Jersey
Mileage: 73,614
VIN: 1Y71Z125126
Exterior Color: Raven Black
Interior Color: Red Leather
Engine: 300 hp 390 cu in "FE" V8
Transmission: 3-Speed Cruise-O-Matic
Drivetrain: Rear Wheel Drive
Fuel: Gas

Current Bid: $3,600

The 1961 Ford Thunderbird hardtop was an iconic American car that combined stylish design, luxury features, and powerful performance. It was part of the third generation of Thunderbirds, produced from 1961 to 1963. Affectionately referred to as the “Bullet Birds” by Thunderbird enthusiasts, the third generation car replaced the original four-seat “Square Birds” produced from 1958 through 1960.

For 1961 Ford offered two Thunderbird versions: a two-door hardtop and a convertible.  The Thunderbird hardtop featured a sleek, elegant design that exuded class and sophistication. It had a long, low-slung profile with a distinctively wide, chrome-accented front grille. The headlights were placed in a slightly recessed position, adding to the car’s aerodynamic appearance. The overall shape was characterized by smooth, flowing lines and a curved roofline seamlessly integrated into the rear end. The Thunderbird logo adorned the front grille and rear fenders, emphasizing its brand identity.

As a hardtop model, the 1961 Thunderbird featured a fixed, non-removable steel roof. It extended smoothly from the windshield to the rear, creating a continuous and uninterrupted profile. The absence of a B-pillar allowed for a clean and seamless side profile when the windows were rolled down.

The interior of the 1961 Thunderbird hardtop was designed with a focus on luxury and comfort. It could accommodate four passengers in a 2+2 seating arrangement, with individual bucket seats up front and a bench seat in the rear. The seats were well-padded and upholstered in premium materials, providing a plush and comfortable ride. The dashboard featured a combination of analog and chrome-accented controls, including a centrally-mounted speedometer and a stylish steering wheel.

The Thunderbird was equipped with a range of features ahead of its time. It offered standard power windows, power steering, and power brakes, ensuring a convenient and effortless driving experience. The Thunderbird also boasted an AM radio with a telescopic antenna, allowing passengers to enjoy their favorite tunes on the road.

Under the hood, the 1961 Thunderbird packed a powerful punch. It was powered by a 390 cubic-inch (6.4L) V8 engine that produced 300 horsepower. This engine provided strong acceleration and impressive performance, allowing the Thunderbird to glide smoothly on the open road. It was paired with a three-speed automatic transmission, ensuring smooth and effortless gear shifts.

Overall, the 1961 Ford Thunderbird hardtop was a stylish and luxurious vehicle with an eye-catching design, comfortable interior, and powerful performance. Its classic lines and attention to detail made it an icon of American automotive design, and it remains a sought-after collector’s car to this day.

The seller reports they purchased this 1961 Ford Thunderbird hardtop in May 2016.  He wanted a rust-free, driver-quality car he could feel comfortable driving he and his wife to various car shows. An avid collector and race car builder, the current caretaker no longer uses this Thunderbird as much as he used to and would like to make room in his garage for other projects.

Rudy personally inspected driver-quality Thunderbird and will post his report here before the start of the auction.

To help you make informed bids, we’re providing access to, the analytics and search engine for the Classic Car market, that provides an interactive graph of recent comparable sales for the past rolling 12 months. By clicking on the green dots, you can navigate to each comparable car sold as a way to help you make an educated bid on the car we are featuring for auction here:

Exterior Gallery

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Interior Gallery

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Underhood And Undercarriage Gallery

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Tires And Wheels Gallery

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Documentation Gallery

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If you have any questions about this driver-quality 1961 Ford Thunderbird Hardtop for sale, please comment below or call Rudy directly at 877-468-6497.  Thank you for looking, and happy bidding!

  1. 1961 Ford Thunderbird Hardtop For Sale

    Nice car. I am going to guess those tires and wheels in the gallery probably don’t fit that car.

    • 1961 Ford Thunderbird Hardtop For Sale

      Ugh, you would be correct, Jimmy! Thank you for spotting that error; we’ve updated the gallery with correct pictures. Mea Culpa!

  2. 1961 Ford Thunderbird Hardtop For Sale

    What is the buy it now price?

    • 1961 Ford Thunderbird Hardtop For Sale

      Hi Tom, there is no “Buy It Now” price while the car’s auction is underway. If the car does not sell at the end of the auction on Wednesday, it will be moved to our “Buy Now Make Offer” page, where you can either elect to buy the car for the Buy Now Price our make an offer. We encourage you to bid before the end of the auction as the top bidders get first right of refusal before we move the car from the auction page.

  3. 1961 Ford Thunderbird Hardtop For Sale

    Where is the car located?

    • 1961 Ford Thunderbird Hardtop For Sale

      Flemington, New Jersey. The location of all of our auction cars can be found in the introduction and in the “Deets” table located towards the top of each listing.

  4. 1961 Ford Thunderbird Hardtop For Sale

    Does the car have AC?

    Also, any holes in the headliner?

    • 1961 Ford Thunderbird Hardtop For Sale

      Hi Milt,

      While this ’61 Bullet Bird does not feature factory A/C, there are aftermarket retrofit kits available to add. The video confirms there are no holes in the headliner. Thanks for looking!


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