Detractors of the fourth-generation Thunderbird might criticize its mass and nautical handling, but this shot, taken by cjarcher2, highlights its functional side. As heavy it might be, that overbuilt pre-CAD unibody has what it takes to be used for hauling duty five decades later. It takes strength to carry all that flair.
The lettering at the hood’s leading edge identifies this as a first-year ’64; it would take until 1965 for dual-piston front discs to appear and until 1966 for an optional 428 CID V8 to be offered, supplanting the then-overmatched standard 390. The idea was to increase performance, but as a personal luxury pioneer, one could argue such hardware would be best put to use doing exactly what this owner has seen fit to do here.
With its chrome ribbing and italic logo, this Mercury outboard (a completely different company, in case you didn’t know) is about as old as the car towing it. What better way to replicate the lifestyle these cars represented when new? Then as now, this ‘bird shows off its driver’s freedom to pursue leisure activities and enjoy the finer things in life. It doesn’t get much more perfect than this.