1959 Ford Thunderbird Convertible - $44,900
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It’s just the right shade of red (which was Ford’s name for it), not orange, not pink, but vivid fire engine red that looks spectacular.

Very high quality restoration in fantastic colors. Runs and drives extremely well, everything works. Beautiful paint, correct interior, functional convertible top. New chrome wire wheels and radial tires. Awesome Square ‘Bird ready to cruise!

Ford probably didn’t know that they were about to hit another home run by putting a back seat in the Thunderbird, but one ride in this gorgeous 1959 T-Bird will convince you that they were on the right track. Bigger didn’t mean less stylish, and this is a gorgeous car from any angle. The paint is a few years old but absolutely shines in the sunlight. It’s just the right shade of red (which was Ford’s name for it), not orange, not pink, but vivid fire engine red that looks spectacular. There’s very straight bodywork underneath and someone obviously spent the long dollar to make it look its best. Good gaps on a convertible this big are tough, but again, that only shows that there were pros at work. The chrome was largely refinished, although some parts are reproductions and some are good originals—only the vent window surrounds show their age, but that’s a very small demerit on a very nice car. Take note of the taillight panels, which are difficult to restore properly, and the crisp fluting on the “arrow” emblems on each door, which show quite well. We’ve had more expensive Square ‘Birds, but I’m not convinced we’ve had better ones.

The two-tone red and white interior was also correctly restored in original patterns and materials, showing what Ford’s personal luxury car looked like in the late ‘50s. Bucket seats are comfortable for long highway drives and with a console between them, it feels sporty like it should. New carpets, correct door panels, and an unmarked dash pad are more indicators that the little stuff was done right. All the gauges are fully operational, including the auxiliary dials tucked underneath the dash, and the power windows go up and down properly. The big white steering wheel makes it easy to handle (power steering was standard, of course) and it won’t take long for you to feel comfortable in the driver’s seat. Of note, the 1959 Thunderbirds did not use the insanely complex top mechanism from the Retractable; instead, you press the locking button under the dash to pop the deck lid, lift it, extend the filler panel, use a hidden switch in the trunk to retract the top, then lock it down manually. It’s easy to do and eliminates 80% of the issues that the later cars usually face with their power top mechanisms. Nice! And speaking of the trunk it’s properly outfitted with a plaid mat set and a full-sized spare tire.

The standard engine in the 1959 Thunderbird was the 352 cubic inch V8 making a nice, even 300 horsepower. Don’t bemoan that it doesn’t have the ultra-rare 430 (only a handful of those were built) because performance is excellent and the 352 never seems to work very hard to move the big ragtop. It starts easily, idles smoothly, and just goes about its business the way you’d expect a luxury car powerplant to behave. It doesn’t get hot or fussy and it just loafs along on the highway at supra-legal speeds. The engine bay is nicely detailed with correct hardware and finishes, although it’s not quite detailed for show. You can see that the restoration was a full disassembly, as the engine bay is treated to the same luscious red paint as the rest of the car, and that really makes the engine pop. There are no modifications, so it remains bulletproof reliable and parts are still plentiful and easy to find.

This car also features a 3-speed Cruise-O-Matic automatic transmission and 3.10 gears, so it’s effortless on the road. These are unit-body cars, believe it or not, which means the support structure must be in excellent condition, as is the case here. Check out the super solid floors, heavy-duty rockers, and factory spot welds in all the critical spots—this has never been a rust bucket. The floors are painted black but there’s no undercoating to hide any details. All the important systems have been serviced or rebuilt—the brakes are strong, the power steering is light, the shocks are new, and there’s a dual exhaust system that sounds right. Four new chrome wire wheels look spectacular on the big red ‘Bird and are fitted with recent 215/75/14 whitewall radials that significantly improve ride and handling.

Documentation includes an inch-thick stack of restoration receipts.

If you’ve been looking for a Square Bird, this is the one to own. It isn’t a show-winner, but it’s excellent in every way that matters, particularly on the road. It drives beautifully. It also looks awesome and has a long list of options that make it very easy to live with. Someone who knew these cars inside and out restored it to a very high level then enjoyed it as intended. Now it’s time for you to take over and have some fun of your own. Call today!

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

Vehicle: 1959 Ford Thunderbird Convertible
Price: $44,900
Stock Number: 118040
Odometer Reading: 86,521
VIN: H9YJ163377
Engine: 352 cubic inch V8
Transmission: 3-speed automatic
Gear Ratio: 3.1
Wheelbase: 113 inches
Wheels: 14-inch chrome wire wheels
Tires: 215/75/14 whitewall radials
Exterior Color: Red
Interior Color: Red and white vinyl
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