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The 1964–66 Thunderbird is the ugly duckling of the family

Why hasn’t Haggerty done a feature on the 64-66 tbirds? I have a 66 tbird that does very well in car shows and most of the time, the viewers have no clue has to the year of my car. They usually ask if it’s a 57 or a 63. Probably because they know those were the most popular styles. I would invite Haggerty to take a look at my Tbird and tell me it’s ugly. With more than 15 awards at car shows, I guess a few dozen judges would disagree. Provide me a way to send you some pictures and I’ll gladly do so. I have a 66 convertible (heard there were only 5,049 convertibles made), roadster kit, factory installed radio with 8-track player (Still works), 100% original, Red in color; and did I mention a rare 428 CID engine.

@eserra - Per the article, referring to the '64-'66 T-birds: “It’s a fine-looking car, especially in convertible form, and far less brutal than the 1958–60 models.”

The headline says ugly in it, yes, but we did not call the car ugly. It is a reference to the Ugly Duckling, a story where a bird is made fun of but matures into a beautiful swan, gaining respect and showing those who wronged it they were wrong to act that way. We think this describes your beautiful Thunderbirds–under-appreciated and beautiful in their own way.

It sounds like you have a great example, and I would invite you to share photos of it here on the Hagerty Forum so everyone can appreciate it, rather than just a few!

Absolutely love the refined elegance of my 64 bird. I always feel like I am driving a well appointed club car – the deco dash, the curved back seat. Friends consider it a treat to ride with me. Such a delicious road cruiser that provides all the power I need on the highway and seems to settle in happily at 80 mph. Leave the 0-60 tire burners to the kids… I prefer being a grown up enjoying a grown up, classy ride. I make no mistake in totally understanding the designers’ intent when they fashioned this gorgepus beast. And that alone makes me happy every time I drive. Use mine regularly and while it is a bit weathered, there is never a day I don"t return some thumbs up or happy smile from an onlooker. Love the serious eagle nose front grill that give it a slighrly annoyed, sexy scowl-- telling people it is not to be messed with. Only the 60s Pontiacs had as intense of a look. And those massive taillights are completely unique. Far from ugly by any measurement.

The '64-'66 T’birds are truly fine looking cars.

While the original T-Bird DIDbattle Corvette for American two-seat supremacy, it was NEVER intended to beat the 'vette at it’s own game. Ford insiders in the absolute know like Frank Hershey, Lewis Crusoe and Chase Morsey have always stated that the car was approved and built as one of the first real “personal cars” with underhood room for power steering and brakes. Instead of a bare bones sportscar with no windows and a plain interior, the T-Bird was built from the start to be loaded up with things like power windows and seats, and of course a V8, not a smaller lightweight mill like the Healeys, MGs and other imports. Ford would never have approved the T-Bird in any other form, and though I don’t care much for some of the bloated (IMHO) forms it took on over the years, it was a natural progression for it to become a bigger boulevard cruiser, but never really a sports car.

IMHO- The interior is amazing, the front view with the hood scoop is gorgeous. The back taillights are better in a bullet bird, the side sculpture is cool, and the ratio of hood and trunk length is quirky but unique.
This car ‘64-‘66 should be compared to something in the luxury space. I get the early Bird/Vette comparisons, but once this car got a backseat, then there is zero comparison to a Vette. It is one of the first ‘mid-size luxury sedans’, ie. BMW 6 series of today…

It’s a class in it’s own for 1960’s…my Bird below :slight_smile: