1966 Ford Thunderbird Town Hardtop 390 cubic inch V8 from North America


They don't make them like this any more


I had the transmission rebuilt.

The fuel pump failed at 94,000 miles.

The starter failed at 98,000 miles.

The heater core failed at about 97,000 miles. I bypassed the core, and haven't fixed it yet.

The radiator surge tank had to be brazed to stop a nasty leak.

The valves are starting to wear, but compression and vacuum readings are still quite good.

I replaced the exhaust, but this was to replace a poor repair job (by previous owner). The new system looks and sounds much better.

The seats are worn, but even in this sorry state they are surprisingly comfortable.

General Comments:

I find myself thinking twice before hitting the roads in this machine, even though it's quite reliable and a joy to drive. The car still needs work in many places, and with an older car you're never quite certain that you're not going to need a tow truck before the day is done.

This is one of Ford's best-styled cars. Boxy, but much more attractive than the standard "box cars" of the period. The chrome is tasteful and limited.

Driving is a blast. The engine delivers plenty of power- not enough for the drag strip, perhaps, but enough that you really need to keep an eye on the speedometer to make sure you're not doing 90 by accident. Even at high speeds the car drives smoothly and quietly.

The interior is nicely made up with comfy front and back seats. Storage is rather limited, if you're into maps and other such things.

Working on the car is also a joy. In most cases there's plenty of room under the hood for hands, arms, and tools. There's very little in the way of electronics or complicated mechanical controls. The only mechanical headache, really, is the extensive system of vacuum hoses. The vacuum system powers everything from the door locks to the brakes- having a leak can be hard to track and hard to fix.

The window motors are unique to this make and model, so when they fail, they are very hard to replace.

Overall, I love driving it, and I'm a very proud owner.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 19th May, 2004

26th Apr 2008, 23:27

Wow I have a 428Cubic inch motor in my Thunderbird but it's far from being road ready. The motor could be used, but the body is junk so I'm selling it.