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Other fun T-Bird stuff

RMTC Mystery Cruise written up in local Limon newspaper..check it out

Last Saturday, July 26, the Limon Heritage Museum hosted the Thunderbird Club. Its members came from all over the state. From time to time, the club organizes a day trip. This time our museum was the chosen destination. Our museum is well run, and for the size of our community, remarkable.

The club was treated to a full tour, and the museum did a commendable job of keeping the club members comfortable and informed. Kudos go to the museum staff. In exchange, the community was given the opportunity to view some truly exquisite upscale automobiles.

The Ford Thunderbird was a sought after car when introduced in 1955 and still is today.

The first generation of the T-Birds were two-seat convertibles with a removable hardtop as an option. These care were built from 1955 through 1957, and sold well in comparison with the Chevy Corvette. Total production of the first-generation T-Bird was 39,096. The Corvette production for the same period of time was 10,506. The reason was that the T-Bird was more refined, comfortable and offered superior weather protection.

In contrast, the early Vettes were purpose built as a sports car and met this goal admirably. They catered to a specific buyer. The T-Bird had a broader appeal due to their ability to be a more “willing” daily driver. Please see last week’s edition of the Limon Leader for pictures of the “Baby Bird” 1955-57.

In 1958, Robert S. McNamara was Ford’s Division Chief. He would later become President Kennedy’s Defense Secretary. Under his leadership, the decision was made to produce the T-Bird as a four-seat personal luxury car. It also introduced the bucket seat with a center console concept.

This second generation T-Bird was built from 1958 through 1960. This decision proved to be a hit. Production of the second generation was 198,218. The Thunderbird became the benchmark for the personal luxury market. They were formally known as the Square Birds.

The years 1961 through 1963 ushered in the third generation T-Bird, known as the Bullet Bird. Highly stylized, it successfully mimicked the jet aircraft of the time. The next generation from 1964-66 continued the same concept with more subdued but elegant styling and a gorgeous interior.

The Thunderbird would continue to evolve with the personal luxury car market in mind.

The T-Bird Club has some notable cars. One 1966 convertible was a light metallic blue with matching blue interior. It was very similar to the Thelma and Louise movie car, but much more attractive. The restoration was absolutely flawless and utterly beautiful.

Another noteworthy club T-Bird was an early 2000s’ James Bond edition. There were only 700 produced and approximately 300 of these went overseas. It was as close to an instant classic as one can get.

Also present were a seldom seen 1982 T-Bird, a 1989 turbo coupe and a pale yellow 1965 hardtop. There were several last generation cars in attendance. These cars harken back to the first generation being two-seat convertibles with an optional hardtop. There were also some neat modern cars (early 2000s) with a faithful nod to the original 1955-57 models. I myself have owned T-Birds, including a 1959, ’61, ’63, ’66 and 1970, all of which were fun, eye- catching cars.

I wish I would have kept one of them. As they say, hindsight is 20/20. Again, a heartfelt thank you to our museum and the Thunderbird Club!

So just how did that Retro Tbird come to be?

Check out this Facebook link for a cool video!

Don’t ya just love old car commercials??

(click on the blue link)

1961 Thunderbird

1977 Thunderbird

1955 Thunderbird

And if you can’t make up your mind on which tbird…check them all out


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