Monday, April 27, 2015

L.A. Rob once again shows us what Show Car Sunday/Monday is all about

FLAWLESS T-BIRD
There have been few cars on this blog as immaculate as the one being featured today (most of the other ones were provided by L.A. Rob as well actually). When one of these pics first showed up in a text I thought the car looked pretty good. After seeing the full size images I realized this is basically as if you stopped by the Ford dealership in 1966 and somehow warped into 2015. Without further ado:
This is a 1966 Ford Thunderbird in the extremely rare color Sauterne Gold. Somebody truly loves this car as it seems to have been restored to better-than-new condition.
Though it looks a bit like the '65 this is a 1 year only car. The '65 had a sort of catfish mouth compared to the clean, somewhat straightforward look of the '66. The year after this the Thunderbird turned into something so different it's hard to imagine they continued with the name! 1967 saw the addition of hidden headlights behind a full-width grill, and perhaps most surprising, the addition of a 4-door for the first time in T-bird history. To add to the craziness those 4 door rides had suicide rear doors that opened at the front. The lines of this 'bird are as crisp and clean as folded paper.
The original hubcaps are gleaming in their perfection. You can catch a glimpse of the leaf springs from this angle, letting on that this is still a 49 year old car.
That generous Cali sunshine really shows off the angles of this ride. Notice how there are no rear quarter windows on this glimmering beauty. The backseats wrap around a bit almost like lounge seating. When you're back there you have almost total privacy. It still wouldn't make the best spot for a liaison though as the console continues from the front all the way to the back, essentially making 2 rear bucket seats. 
I'm so happy L.A. Rob got this interior shot as one of the coolest and most unique features of this car is on display. See how the steering wheel seems slightly askew compared to the dash? This is the Swing-Away Steering Wheel where you could unlock the steering column and swing it towards the passenger seat in order to get out of the car with more ease. It was originally an option on the '61 T-bird but it proved so popular that they made it standard equipment starting in '62. The year after this car was built they redesigned this feature and renamed it Tilt-Away. It was discontinued after '69 as it could no longer meet safety regulations.
*It's interesting to note that you could start the car with the steering wheel disengaged, you just couldn't shift out of park until it was locked in place. There were no manual transmission T-birds in '66.
Here are the fabled sequential turn signals where the inner lens would light first, followed by the center, and finally the outer lens to indicate which direction you were headed. I love these loop bumpers housing the taillights. The whole rear of this car looks like a rocket ship about to take off into space. The fact that the body panel under the bumper is in that condition really brings home the show car vibe.
Finally we'll look this thing head-on! Notice the lack of a passenger side mirror on the door. This, along with reverse lights and seat belts were still options on most cars of the day.
 1966 was the only year for that enormous and very stylized chrome bird on the ice cube tray grill. Little details abound such as the 3 miniature chrome stripes on the front turn signals. This was the top of the heap for Ford back then, and the idea was that you could feel sporty while enjoying full luxury. If you wanted to upgrade from this point you would move up to a Lincoln which added luxury at the expense of any perceived sportiness.
Hats off to whomever is the lucky owner of this sweet ride, and to L.A. Rob for capturing it in the wild.

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