16 August 1998
FROM THE ESTATE OF BRANDON TARTIKOFF
CONSIGNOR PROCEEDS TO BE DONATED TO THE REVLON/UCLA WOMEN'S CANCER RESEARCH PROGRAM
1963 FORD THUNDERBIRD CONVERTIBLE ROADSTER
Chassis No. 3Y89Z122884
Mauve with mauve and white interior
Engine: overhead valves, 360CI., 330bhp at 5,000rpm; Gearbox: automatic; Suspension: independent front with coil springs, rear semi-elliptic with springs; Brakes: four wheel drum. Left hand drive. When Thunderbird designer Frank Hershey set out to design a sports car with 'banker appeal', he unknowingly created a legendary automobile that was so popular in its first year, it outsold the Chevrolet Corvette four to one. When Hershey left Ford for General Motors in 1960 the Thunderbird had sold over 90,000 units in the same year. The car had not only survived, but become an overwhelming success in the eyes of the American public. In order to maintain the dignified image of a 'banker's car', the Thunderbird was stripped of much of its chrome. However, the '58-'60 models added not only more chrome, but two extra seats as well. With its designer gone the Thunderbird began to feature styling changes from a variety of sources. George Walker took over at Ford. His first move was to put William Boyer onto the Thunderbird design project. Boyer added significant changes, incorporating sedan-like design qualities with racing and high performance engineering developments. He described his design as the 'projectile look', and the car was meant to give the onlooker the impression of the car flowing by. The 1962 Thunderbirds were overwhelmingly popular. They incorporated Boyer's styling innovations and subtle design touches, and remained distinctive from its competitors as a result.
By far the most exclusive of the 1962 Thunderbirds was the convertible roadster. Only 455 were produced in 1962 and the factory price of $5,500 excluded many potential buyers from even entertaining the thought of purchasing one. Underneath its scooped hood lay a massive 390 cubic inch engine capable of achieving 330bhp at 5,000rpm. The convertible roadster featured a fiberglass deck cover that actually covered the rear seats and reflected the look of the early Thunderbirds.
This 1963 Thunderbird Convertible Roadster is offered by the Estate of the late Brandon Tartikoff. Mr. Tartikoff served as President of NBC Entertainment for over ten years where his creative prowess was viewed by millions nightly on tv programs such as The Cosby Show, Family Ties and L.A. Law.
When Mr. Tartikoff purchased this rare Thunderbird, he immediately saw to its complete restoration beginning in 1991. The frame off, nut and bolt rebuild returned the car to its original pristine condition. It features the fiberglass deck as mentioned earlier, stock wire wheels, air conditioning, as well as a radio and cassette deck.
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