Motor City

30 July 2016

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Lot 117

1960 Ford Thunderbird Convertible

  • Chassis no. 0Y73Y112964

Sold for $55,000

Model 63A. 300 bhp, 352 cu. in. OHV V-8 engine, three-speed Cruise-O-Matic transmission, coil spring independent front suspension, live rear axle with semi-elliptical leaf springs, and four-wheel power hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 119 in.

  • Formerly of the renowned Milton Robson collection
  • Older, high-quality restoration
  • Desirably equipped with factory air conditioning
  • Carefully maintained

Ford did a U-turn with its 1958 Thunderbird. Having already staked out the “personal luxury” segment of the two-seat runabout market, the company completely redesigned the car so that it could take four passengers. Considerably larger than their forebears, the new ’Birds featured unitary construction, performed at Lincoln’s new Wixom, Michigan, plant, and many convenience and luxury touches. There were now two distinct models: a hardtop coupe with a permanently attached roof, and a convertible with a power top. The latter took advantage of the mechanism developed for Ford’s Skyliner retractable hardtop, albeit with a vinyl soft-top. A retractable hardtop had reportedly been under consideration, but experience with the Skyliners apparently deemed it uneconomic.

Purists decried the T-Bird’s move upmarket, but customers validated the company’s wisdom. Sales nearly doubled, and Motor Trend magazine selected it as 1958’s Car of the Year. The 1959 models did better still, with some 67,500 sold. The final year of the second-generation Thunderbird was 1960. It received a new grille and triple taillights, as well as an optional metal sunroof. Sales continued to climb, besting 90,000. In fact, this record for Thunderbird sales stood until the introduction of a less-expensive, down-sized model in 1977.

Formerly in the esteemed Milton Robson collection, this 1960 Thunderbird Convertible Coupe has been driven very sparingly since its restoration by a marque specialist about a decade ago. Painted in Ford’s Raven Black, it has an interior of high-grade tan leather and a tan convertible top. The exterior appearance is heightened by the addition of chrome wire wheels with spinner caps and a continental kit. Other features include tinted glass, power steering and brakes, power windows and seat, an original AM radio, and, most notably, factory air conditioning. Since acquisition by the current owner six years ago, it has been carefully maintained by his full-time mechanic.

The 1960 Thunderbird was the most popular of its generation. Examples with this much originality, however, are very few and far between. This car thus presents a very uncommon opportunity.


Please note that the rear bumper was damaged in transit and will be repaired for the winning bidder.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alexander Weaver

+1 864 313 6844
California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

+44 (0) 74 1511 4179
United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht

+1 203 912 7168
Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

David Swig

+1 415 302 2247
California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose

+1 617 513 0388
United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould

+1 954 566 2209
Florida, United States

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Jake Auerbach

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Kurt Forry

+1 717 623 1638
California, United States

Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut

+1 805 231 6410
California, United States

A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin

+44 (0) 75 0110 7447
United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher

+1 519 784 9300
Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

Shelby Myers

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden

+31 653 84 19 60
United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more