1965 Ford Thunderbird Hardtop - $19,900
     
  • Overview & History
  • Specifications
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This attractive 1965 Ford Thunderbird hardtop comes from long-term ownership that spans two generations and more than 30 years.

Ford worked hard to keep the Thunderbird at the top of the sales charts, steadily improving the cars and giving them extensive restyling every three years. With a fresh face in 1964, Ford set about modernizing the ‘Bird mechanically in 1965, adding power front disc brakes and the famous sequential taillights, as well as numerous detail improvements that make them the best of the ‘60s Thunderbirds for those who like to drive. It nails Ford’s performance/luxury mission perfectly, doing everything well without asking for much in return from the driver. We like these cars a lot.

This attractive 1965 Ford Thunderbird hardtop comes from long-term ownership that spans two generations and more than 30 years. It has been repainted once in its original Colonial White, but as you can see in the photos, it needed no bodywork or other repairs and the respray was due simply to age and the ravages of the sun. You’ll note that door jambs and the trunk area are still original Ford enamel, and the color match is quite good, making it difficult to discern where the new paint ends and the original paint begins. Either way, the car looks fantastic from any angle, showing off the forward-looking styling that makes these some of Ford’s most attractive ‘60s automobiles. The doors fit well, closing with a precision that only old cars can deliver, and all the panels line up just the way the workers at the Wixom assembly plant installed them. All the chrome is likewise original, still bright and shiny with a patina that works well with the rest of the car. Both bumpers are in excellent condition without even a parking lot ding in their surfaces, and the ornamentation on the ‘65s emphasizes the car’s graceful lines. And yes, the sequential taillights are fully functional, no worries there.

The all-original interior is just as remarkable as the body, with beautiful red vinyl that’s in excellent condition. The driver’s seat may show some minor signs of wear, but the rest of the seats are quite nice, particularly the wrap-around back seat that is simply the coolest back seat ever created. Door panels show off the detailing that made these cars the ultimate personal luxury coupe of the time and the carpets are in good order, showing some light fading that’s all but impossible to avoid with red. The only notable demerits are a crack in the dash pad right above the instrument panel, and a few finger-sized holes in the headliner, both of which can be remedied without a major expense. The dashboard shows an adventurous look with knobs that were surly inspired by aircraft instrumentation. All four power windows are fully operational, along with manual vent windows that do a nice job of providing draft-free ventilation. There’s also a newer digital AM/FM stereo radio in the original radio’s slot, and it fits in with the rest of its surroundings rather well. In the trunk, you’ll find 100% original matting that is still glued down by factory adhesives, along with a full-sized spare and a complete jack assembly stashed in the special compartment in the side.

For power, this ‘Bird uses the Z-code 390, which makes a nice, round 300 horsepower and a mountain of torque. By 1965, the Thunderbird was almost as much Lincoln as it was Ford, and it moves with an effortless ease befitting a top-of-the-line personal luxury car. The big V8 was rebuilt perhaps 15 years ago and still starts instantly and idles well thanks to a recent service and regular use, so it’s in good health. All the original details remain under the hood, including black engine enamel and gold tinwork, so it looks pretty much like it should. There’s big torque at almost any speed and while this is a luxury car first and foremost, there’s a nice rumble from the exhaust and a bit of a lope to the idle to let you know this isn’t just any car.

The burly 390 is backed by the standard 3-speed automatic transmission and with 3.00 gears in the 9-inch out back, it loafs along at supra-legal speeds with barely a whisper. The undercarriage was cleaned and freshened when the engine and transmission were rebuilt and it has nothing to hide as the floors, frame, and other components are unquestionably original and in very good condition. A newer dual exhaust system with resonators gives it a fantastic V8 soundtrack that’s probably a little more sporting than the original equipment, but I don’t think anyone will complain. The big news for 1965 was the addition of disc brakes, which were sorely needed in the increasingly heavy Thunderbird, and it wears the original 15-inch steel wheels that were unique to the disc-brake-equipped cars and do not fit other models. 215/75/15 Firestone whitewall radials have been fitted, so the car tracks straight and rides beautifully, making it the ultimate ‘60s highway cruiser.

These cars make fine tour machines thanks to their combination of comfort, performance, and luxury, and with increased interest in affordable fun, this is a great opportunity to get a survivor-class ringer for a very affordable price. Today, as when it was new, the Thunderbird represents outstanding bang for the buck. Call today!

Harwood Motors always recommends and welcomes personal or professional inspections of any car in our inventory prior to purchase.

Vehicle: 1965 Ford Thunderbird Hardtop
Price: $19,900
Stock Number: 117024
Mileage: 103
VIN: 5Y83Z125732
Engine: 390 cubic inch V8
Transmission: 3-speed automatic
Gear Ratio: 3.00
Wheelbase: 113 inches
Wheels: 15-inch steel wheels with hubcaps
Tires: 215/75/15 Firestone whitewall radials
Exterior Color: Colonial White
Interior Color: Red vinyl
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