Posted at the Cohort by Ned Fielden.
Car Show Classic: 1965 Ford Thunderbird Special Landau – What Might Have Been
CC Capsule: 1966 Thunderbird Town Landau – The Thunderbird Comes Down With Brougham Fever
Pre Brougham, Akchully. My 66 Town Landau in Silver Mink. A “Q” code (428 powered). Mid 60s class and style.
One of the dads in our neighborhood had a ‘66 Thunderbird wit the same roofline as the featured car, except it was dark blue metallic with a black vinyl top. Its light blue interior made it a real looker. I’m not sure of the engine, but I’m guessing it was a 390. He bought it used around 1970 and drove it about 5 years until the undercarriage rusted so extensively that it had to be scrapped. Damn that tinworm!
It’s remarkable how in less than ten years the Tbird’s hardtop roof went from mimicking the futuristic retractable hardtop of the Skyliner, to by this time mimicking ye olde tyme horse drawn buggy coach roofs complete with fake landau bars.
That said these pull off the look much better than the successor with them, I think.
Pop had a ’64 with the rear quarter windows as a “station car” from about ’70-’74, when it was a cheap beater. I’m sure I only rode in the back seat a handful of times, but I recall it being pretty claustrophobic. I can’t imagine sitting in the back with not even that slim quarter window to see out of. But I don’t think the car was designed with even the remotest thought of rear-seat passengers.
Yeah, not even the remotest thought of rear-seat passengers, overlooking the absolute swankiest back seat of all time.
We had a 65 T-Bird coupe when I was in high school. I sat in the back a few times and it was fine. The wide door and flat folding front seatback allowed decent entry room. The wraparound “cocktail lounge” back seat was swanky – and comfortable. And the hardtop was one of the early cars to have flow-through ventilation so cigarette smoke exited beneath the vent below the rear window. Sounds strange today but I distinctly remember riding back there in a funeral procession with my Dad’s cousin who was constantly smoking and I managed to survive with smoke flowing out of that rear vent. I think the 66 without the rear quarter is over the top in terms of style vs. practicality. I also prefer the 65 front grille, rear taillights, and interior upholstery design. That said all 64-66 models are gorgeous. I really didn’t care for a Thunderbird design again until the 1983 and 1989 models.
I wonder if the stylist thought of Edsel’s original Continental, which also had no second side window.
The most beautiful body style Thunderbirds ever came in “64-66”. I still own a 1966 Thunderbird Town Landau, I’ve had for many years. Not driven in awhile now but it’s my plan to put that beauty back on the road again. It’s like a sculpted piece of art work on wheels
These are beautiful but my word I can’t imagine navigating that blind spot.
Dad bought new a 1966 Town Landau, same blue & white combo as the feature car. He gave it to me in 1969 after he borrowed and wrecked my 1963 T-Bird. Sad, but after a few months he borrowed my 1966 and wrecked that as well. The Town Landau blind spot never bothered me as ours had duel side mirrors and I knew how to adjust them. I now have a restored 1966 T-Bird convertible.
It’s amazing how a simple change can so resonate with buyers. When the blind-quarters 1966 Thunderbird Town Coupe and Landau arrived, buyers flocked to the style: 50,783 versus the old quarter-window hardtop: 13,389. The survival rate on the blind-quarters version seems to be extremely high by the numbers that still show up for sale in all venues.
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