History of the 1961-1963 Ford Thunderbird

Ford followed up the Squarebird’s three-year stint with the restyled “Roundbird” from 1961 to 1963. Technical highlights included an even bigger engine as Dearborn’s FE V-8 was enlarged to 390 cubic inches in ’61. New for 1962 was the optional “M-code” 390, a 340-horsepower V-8 crowned with three Holley two-barrel carburetors. M-code T-birds were rare. Only 145 were sold in 1962, along with a mere 55 in 1963. A Thunderbird convertible paced the Indianapolis 500 in 1961 and two new models debuted the following year. The first, a Landau hardtop, incorporated a standard vinyl roof and simulated walnut interior appointments. The second, the more famous Sports Roadster, helped ease purists’ pains by covering the backseat with a streamlined tonneau cover. Dazzling Kelsey-Hayes wire wheels also were included in the deal. T-birds were priced at a hefty $5,439 in 1962, and $5,563 in 1963. Sports Roadster production was 1,427 in 1962, 455 in 1963.

The 1962 Ford Thunderbird Sports Roadster featured here is finished in the stunning factory color combination of Raven Black over a stunning red leather interior. This desirable factory Sports Roadster underwent an incredible full nut and bolt restoration that was completed in 2004. Since its restoration, this Thunderbird has been in the care of a meticulous owner for over 14 years and it presents as if it was just freshly restored. The impeccable engine compartment displays the correct 390ci V8 with tastefully upgraded tri-power carburation. This M-code specification induction intake was reputedly performed by the dealer when the vehicle was new which only adds to the appeal. We are especially proud to offer this stunning 1962 Thunderbird Sports Roadster to the most astute collector, investor or enthusiast who appreciates rarity and spectacular condition. Classic cars have proven to be among the most resilient and rewarding investments in recent years with the Historic Automobile Group Index (HAGI) jumping 39% in 2013, 16% in 2014 and 17% in 2015 while posting gains of 467% over the last 10 years. Ready to make an investment you can actually enjoy? Please contact John Sherman, one of our expert sales consultants, at johns@schmitt.com or (314)291-7000  for more information. He will be happy to give you a complete walk-around, supply you with a more detailed description, and answer any questions you may have. Buy with confidence.

Ford Motor Company introduced the third-generation Thunderbird in 1961. The new sleek, aerodynamic design was influenced by the fighter jets of the era and gave the Thunderbird a ready-for-takeoff appearance that some found inspiring. President-elect John F. Kennedy used 50 examples of Ford’s new entry-level luxury model in his inaugural parade. The pinnacle of the third-generation Thunderbird was the Sports Roadster package which was introduced in 1962 and only offered through the 1963 model year. The Sports Roadster was accented by special badging, a color-matched passenger dash grab handle, and Kelsey-Hayes chrome wire wheels with “knock off” style hubcaps. However, the primary difference was the removable tonneau cover that sealed off the back seat and didn’t limit the use of the power convertible top when in place. This striking addition transformed the four-seat arrangement into a sporty two-seater that was reminiscent of the first-generation Thunderbirds that were introduced in 1955. Only 1,427 Sports Roadsters were built in 1962; they were desired by many yet purchased by few. Today they have become the most sought-after model of all third-generation Thunderbirds.








Ragoon Red J




428 CI 325 HP V8


3-Speed “Cruise-O-Matic”


Sports Roadster