Sunday, December 19, 2010

San Francisco Street Sighting - 1964 Ford Thunderbird

I'll admit it, I have a number of automotive guilty pleasures. One of them is the 1964 Ford Thunderbird, a car whose styling doesn't mesh all that well but for some irrational reason I love it. Take a close look at the design. The grille clashes with the headlights, the roofline seems too formal and square compared to the sculpted body, and it looks like a stylist got confused and nearly put a Chrysler Pentastar upside down on the trunk lid. Had this been a Town Landau model it would have had big silly S-shaped landau bars on the C-pillars, too. The ride is mooshy, handling and braking are terrible (four-wheel drums!) and even with a big 390 V8 I could take it off the line in my Focus.

So why do I like it? The short answer is, I have no clue. It's probably because of exposure to - get this - Maxis/Electronic Arts PC games. That's right, check the cover of Streets of SimCity. There's a '64 T-Bird on it. In SimCity 3000 Unlimited's Building Architect Tool, a powder blue '64 T-Bird was one of the available vehicle props. In The Sims, one of my downloaded objects was a pale green '64 T-Bird. Maybe someone at Maxis had one.
This example itself is questionable, because normally I dislike cars in caramel-gold-brown, and the hubcaps and narrow whitewall tires look as though they came off of a 1980s LTD Crown Victoria. But you know what? I like them. I like this car. All it needs is just a little realignment of the grille. And better brakes. And to pay that parking ticket. And maybe the hot 427 that was rumored to have been dealer-installed in a few of these babies. Now that's cruising.

1 comment:

  1. I hired Thunderbird in 1990 and saw one of these in a CT car park as I drove out I asked the owner if he would like to swap he replied, "Even with that cute accent of yours you'll understand the words 'Not in a million years !'" :-)