Tidy Top: 1966 Ford Thunderbird Convertible – Sold?

by | May 2024 | Craigslist ClassiFINDS, Topless Thursday

(To stop the slideshow and expand the pictures, click on the current photograph below)

June 20, 2024, Update – While the May “ClassiFIND” for this ’66 Ford Thunderbird convertible we first spotted in December 2023 expired recently, given the seller’s history, we suspect their classic car may not actually be sold yet.  For now, we’re labeling this ride “Sold?” However, we will keep an eye out for an updated listing. In the interim, please reach out either by email or call Rudy directly if you’d like to be informed when we come across something similar.

May 14, 2024 Update – The seller replaced their latest expiring Craigslist ad with a fresh listing.  The pictures, description, and $39,900 asking price all carry over.

April 10, 2024 Update – After letting their December 2023 Craigslist ad expire without a replacement, the seller sat out the next four winter months before posting a fresh Craigslist ad for their stunning 1966 Thunderbird convertible.  While the stunning photographs and description carry over from the previous listing, this time around the seller elected to increase their asking price from $39,000 to $39,900.

January 11, 2024, Update – We confirmed the listing for this “ClassiFIND” expired, so with no replacement found, we’re assuming this ride is “Sold?” until we come across a replacement listing.

Ask an automotive engineer what the challenges are when designing a convertible, and they will tell you the folded top stack is among them. How well the top folds is often just as important as how well it keeps occupants dry when erected.  The folded stack can often make or break the lines of a convertible.  As far as I’m concerned, no one made a cleaner top fold mechanism than Ford on its 1960s Lincolns and Thunderbirds.

While Ford’s innovative but complex retractable Hide-Away Hardtop only lasted three model years through 1959, the company’s engineers modified the fold-in-the-trunk top design with a traditional canvas roof.  The result was a flat stack with a matching steel boot covering the top when lowered.  Lincolns and Thunderbirds from this period look like they have no roof when the top is lowered, albeit with a significant loss of luggage space.  Ford used this design on the second, third, and fourth-generation Thunderbirds. When Ford launched the fifth generation Thunderbird for 1967, it discontinued the convertible model and replaced it with a controversial four-door hardtop. That, however, is a story for another time.

This freshly restored Sapphire Blue over White Leather 1966 Ford Thunderbird Convertible for sale, first spotted on Craigslist in Rosarito, California, in December 2023, is a stunning example of this color combination.  The seller details all of the components that have been addressed during this car’s restoration. With a complete rebuild of the convertible top system and seals, potential buyers have some piece of mind that the complex system will work properly for the foreseeable future.

Last offered for $39,900 (the original ask was $39,000), Classic.com, the analytics and search engine for the collector car market, confirms the ask aligns with this guide’s six-month results for all fourth-generation Ford Thunderbirds produced between 1964 and 1966. By clicking on the green dots in the graph below, you can get a sense of what comparable examples sold for recently:

As a second data point, the  Collector Car Market Review Online Tool reveals the seller’s ask falls above this guide’s #1 “Excellent” appraisal of $32,580 after factoring in a ten percent reduction for not being equipped with factory air conditioning.

The 1966 Ford Thunderbird Convertible is an iconic representation of American automotive craftsmanship during the mid-20th century. This classic convertible’s distinctive design, powerful engine, and innovative features encapsulate the era’s spirit.

The exterior of the 1966 Ford Thunderbird Convertible is a testament to the sleek and aerodynamic styling trends of the 1960s. The car features a long hood, a prominent front grille, and distinctive sequential turn signals embedded in the rear taillights. The convertible model boasts a power-operated soft top that seamlessly integrates with the overall design, giving the car a timeless and sophisticated appearance. The body lines are well-defined, with sculpted curves and chrome accents that add a touch of elegance to its profile.

Under the hood, the 1966 Thunderbird Convertible packs a powerful punch. The standard engine is a 390 cubic-inch V8, delivering a formidable 315 horsepower and 427 lb-ft of torque. This engine is paired with a three-speed automatic transmission, providing a smooth and effortless driving experience. The robust engine and well-tuned transmission allow the Thunderbird to accelerate with authority and maintain a comfortable cruising speed on the open road.

Stepping inside the Thunderbird Convertible reveals a luxurious and well-appointed interior. The cabin is designed to provide a comfortable and enjoyable driving experience. Plush bucket seats upholstered in high-quality materials, such as vinyl or optional leather, offer both support and style. The dashboard features a sleek instrument panel with easy-to-read gauges and a distinctive swing-away steering wheel, allowing for easier entry and exit.

One notable feature of the 1966 Thunderbird is the swing-away steering column. With the touch of a button, the steering wheel swings to the right, facilitating easier access to the driver’s seat. This innovative design element reflects Ford’s commitment to enhancing driver comfort and convenience during an era when automotive technology was rapidly advancing.

The convertible top is power-operated, adding extra convenience for drivers who want to enjoy the open-air experience. The top retracts seamlessly, stowing beneath a tonneau cover to maintain the car’s clean lines when not used. This convertible configuration allows the driver and passengers to enjoy the wind in their hair and the open road.

In 1966, the Thunderbird Convertible featured advanced technological elements that were ahead of their time. Notable among these are the optional AM/FM radio, a luxury feature during the era, and power windows, which were still relatively uncommon. These features underscore Ford’s commitment to providing a premium driving experience and anticipating the desires of its discerning customers.

The Thunderbird Convertible of 1966 offers a smooth and controlled ride, thanks in part to its independent rear suspension, a departure from the live rear axle commonly found in American cars of the time. This suspension setup improves handling and a more comfortable ride, especially on uneven road surfaces. The power steering enhances maneuverability, making it easier for drivers to navigate city streets or cruise along highways confidently.

The 1966 Ford Thunderbird Convertible has left an indelible mark on automotive history. Its combination of striking design, powerful performance, and innovative features has made it a sought-after classic among collectors and enthusiasts. Restored examples of this iconic convertible continue to turn heads at car shows and evoke a sense of nostalgia for a bygone era of American automotive excellence. Whether as a pristine showpiece or a carefully maintained driver, the 1966 Thunderbird Convertible remains a symbol of style and sophistication in the world of classic cars.

The This Week With Cars YouTube Channel demonstrates the convertible top operation on a fourth-generation Ford Thunderbird:

With zero miles on this freshly restored Sapphire Blue 1966 Ford Thunderbird convertible for sale, there are many more miles left in this vintage Flair Bird for the next caretaker to enjoy.  The “Date Correct” engine comment likely means the original 390 cubic inch V8 was replaced with a similar engine from the same production period, but you’ll need to confirm that with the seller.

If you are serious about buying this Thunderbird convertible for sale, you can start the conversation by using the contact information provided by the seller in their Craigslist ad.  When you connect, please mention that you saw their Flair bird featured here on GuysWithRides.com. Good luck with the purchase!

Here’s the seller’s description:

“Rare restored Saphire Blue 1966 Ford Thunderbird Convertible with brand new White interior. Date correct 390 ci engine, automatic, power steering, power brakes. Zero miles since restoration. New white top, new hoses, seals, new hyd pump, top relay electronics, brakes, brake lines complete engine reseal and top overhaul, window motors rebuilt, switches, etc. replaced or restored, new weather seals, new shocks, rebuilt front end, etc…too numerous to list. There are some minor chips in the paint, but no dents. Sequential tail lights restored. The car is located in Rosarito, but will deliver in S California. Will consider partial or full trade for car, boat, plane, construction equipment or real estate.

Show or go: What would you do with this freshly restored 1966 Ford Thunderbird convertible for sale? Please comment below and let us know!


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *