Here’s the story... way back in 1985 I bought this nice new fully loaded Ford Thunderbird. It had been a demo unit used by the CFO of Ford Canada. This was a special edition called “Fila” after the Italian sport wear manufacturer. Some marketing hype to give the car a cache. So in Oct 1985 I’m the proud owner of the new car. When I took delivery of the car back in 1985 I remember the sales rep at Ford telling me what a beautiful car it was and that I should keep it for as long as possible. It would be a very rare car someday. Well I kept that car for 5 years and sold it to the automotive teacher at Nelson HS in Burlington. It was in good shape but time to move on to other cars. Shouldn’t have done that! The newer cars were getting better, more high tech, more reliable. Bought one more T-Bird and then switched to Lexus. Lexus has been a really good car. My ‘96 has 482,000km on it and now my daughter drives it daily. I'm still driving Lexus.
Well many years later (2007), I saw a “FILA” Thunderbird for sale in Calgary. It was an ’84 model, but I thought it would be nice to own that one if I could not find an ’85. So off to Calgary I went on business and came back with a very original one owner 1984 Thunderbird Fila (5.0Litre V8) . Almost like my original '85. I had it shipped to Ontario, appraised, licenced and still drive it as a recreational car in the summer and take it to the occasional Cruise Night. It is very clean with just a bit of rust starting on the lower doors. Well that’s normal for our damp Ontario weather. Still a very nice car.
While showing my old ’84 TBird at the Wednesday night cruise night at the Burlington Mall, a man approached me and remarked what a nice car I had, “you do not see many of these” he said. He then told me he had an ’85 Fila version at home. I then told him I used to own an ’85 as well but sold it. Then for some reason I added “sold it to the automotive teacher at Nelson High School”. He replied “that was me!”. I could not believe it, I was talking to the man who I had sold my original Fila editon TBird to way back in 1989. I was astounded. I asked if I could see it. He gave me his number. I asked if he would sell it back to me. Yes he would! So there you have it. My car found me after 21 years. Not quite as good a shape however. It needed some major work. Rusted frame rails, and engine mounts, usual rusty wheel wells, and around the windshield. Fortunately I had had the car rust proofed way back when so most of it was good. The interior just needed a good clean, since it had been sitting in a barn for 10 years. Well with car in tow, it was off to find a suitable repair shop to do the major work. As luck would have it I found not only a very good body shop (Globeltech) but also one great Ford mechanic Brent Lovell here in Burlington. They were all up to the challenge. The cheque book restoration took 11 months. It was completed just in time for Christmas 2012. My wife and love driving it and going to shows. We get lots of questions about why "Fila" and from the younger ones, what kind of car is it?
Thanks for looking at my story. If you are interested in the restoration steps check out my blog at http://home.cogeco.ca/~dmc1/Tbird/Blog/Blog.html
David and Karen
and now it’s back home with me again full restored.