Rides from the Readers: 1960 Ford Thunderbird

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Frank Barreca

Hagerty readers and Hagerty Drivers Club members share their cherished collector and enthusiast vehicles with us via our contact email, tips@hagerty.com. We’re showcasing some of our favorite stories among these submissions. To have your car featured, send complete photography and your story of ownership to the above email address.

Today’s featured vehicle is a 1960 Ford Thunderbird. Keen-eyed fans of the Squarebird—the second T-bird generation, spanning 1958–60—will know that the 1960 cars can be distinguished from ’58 and ’59 models by their sets of triple taillights. (Other second-gen cars had two double sets.) Engine choices carried over for the 1960 model year: the 352-cubic-inch, 300-hp V-8 and the 430-cu-in, 345-hp V-8. Thanks in part to a bevy of luxurious options—including a sun roof, power brakes and steering, and air conditioning—1960 T-bird sales topped out at 92,843 units. Ford capitalized on this success by advertising the T-bird as “The World’s Most Wanted Car.”

Frank Barreca

This particular 1960 T-bird belongs to Frank Barreca, who has painstakingly restored it to the beautiful condition you see here. When he found the partially restored, mostly forgotten car in an Arizona barn, “nothing worked on it but the paint job.” However, thanks to determination, hard work, “and, of course, deep pockets,” Barreca has resurrected the T-bird.

Though it’s picked up awards at local concours and various shows near Barreca’s home in Palm Beach, Florida, the T-bird is no sunny-day show car. “It sees the rainy summer streets of Florida and you will probably spot it around town, fearlessly parked in a regular parking space,” Barreca writes.

Frank Barreca

Barreca has a special place in his heart for 1960 T-birds: He drove a burgundy model in high school. The car had originally belonged to his father, who relegated it to backyard retirement in 1970 but promised that it would be Frank’s—if he could get it running. A drivers license and $287  later, the T-bird was alive. It didn’t stay that way for long, however; the Ford died shortly after Frank graduated.

Now, almost 45 years later, Barreca has completed the Squarebird circle.

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