CC Capsule: 1963 Ford Thunderbird – Farewell Summer

Everybody has their favorite time of year.  Each season has its own particular set of perks but none of them equal the sheer splendor and joy that come with summer.  There is simply so much one can do during summer, with these events being of a nature where they aren’t easily or comfortably duplicated at other times of the year.

One particular activity that is the embodiment of the splendors of summer is driving a convertible.

Having been lucky enough to have partaken of a number of convertibles over time, there is a distinct freedom that comes with driving with no top.  The sun is brighter, the sounds of wildlife are more vivid, and the overall great experience of life itself is amplified exponentially.  If one is seeking a non-medicinal method for cleansing themselves of life’s various and annoying stresses, a convertible is a fine way to seek treatment.

If ever there was a type of vehicle that is synonymous with summer, might the convertible be it?

Even routine drives on highly familiar roadways can be a new thrill if taken in a convertible.  Make that convertible a 1963 Ford Thunderbird and the thrill may vault a person into the stratosphere.  It could almost defy description.  There have been countless convertibles built over time but few, if any, have ever succeeded in approaching the persona and presence of a Thunderbird.

A wise person once said life is like fishing.  Individual events are like lakes or ponds where you fish until it’s dry and you move to the next lake.  But these ponds are fed by the River of Time, that large body of water that never ceases moving.  Sometimes the river flows slowly, other times it flows briskly.  But flow it does and never shall it cease.

The river analogy also explains summer, that ever so fleeting event that is always sandwiched between the dreariness of winters.  Spring is great, but winter always wants to linger like bad company.  Autumn is grand, but we all know what is next.  Summer is the prime season and, like life itself, it is painfully short.

So one must embrace summer like the love of a lifetime.  Life is meant for savoring those magic moments and driving a Thunderbird convertible in the summer is likely as close to automotive nirvana as any person can imagine.  Sure there may be faster convertibles, more swoopy convertibles, and even convertibles that offer a more dynamic driving experience.  But none of them are a Thunderbird.  If one were to peruse the CC archives, they would be hard pressed to find any car that possesses more unanimous popular support than a 1960s era Ford Thunderbird.

Finding this particular Thunderbird was rather representative of the season of summer itself, with these pictures presented in the order in which they were taken.  I had found myself stopped for a moment, looking up to realize summer was here.

After a moment it went mainstream and all was well, with the ride being straight and smooth.  Yet, suddenly, much like the season itself, it turned and was gone leaving me, and the river of my life, to flow on downstream without the accompaniment of a summer Thunderbird.

Here’s to next year, white Thunderbird.

(Author’s Note:  Yes, I know it’s now spring for those in the southern hemisphere.  Perhaps this Thunderbird is headed your way as he is indeed turning south in this last picture.  JS)

Found August 28, 2019, Centralia, Missouri