Gary M 1969 Ford Thunderbird 2dr Landau Coupe

Why I Fell In Love With Big Bird

When I was a kid, my friends dad always bought a new Thunderbird nearly every year. As I grew up, I got to enjoy Thunderbirds from 1959, 1961, 1962, 1964,1966, 1967 and 1969. The '67 and '69 models were even the then new 4 door versions with the really strange but cool suicide doors. My friends dad would take us in his Thunderbird on summer evenings to the local "Dog & Suds" for burgers and root beer and it was always a really big deal because we got to go in the Thunderbird! Those sequential turn signals, build in 8 track tape player, spongy overstuffed seats, tilt away steering wheel, overhead console with lights for "Door Ajar" and "Low Fuel" were all things from out of the future. The car could easily squeal it's tires and pin you to the back of your seat and this collectively made for some car memories that have stuck with me for a life time. On a trip back from an area lake, I still vividly recall viewing the speedometer from the back seat go well beyond the 100 mph mark in the '67 'Bird and I was absolutely ecstatic. I'm sure my folks wouldn't have been so happy about it, but the speed limit on the Kansas Turnpike was 80 mph back then and that car glided down the four lane well over 100 as if it were on glass. I was 13 and this was the pinnacle of automotive delight! At that time, I made a decision that one day I would have to own one of these magnificent big Thunderbirds! It took a very long time but approximately 15 years ago, I stumbled across a really nice '69 2 Door Landau in Springtime Yellow as indicated in the attached pictures. The big 429 still runs as smooth as anything today (albeit with a bit more rumble) and I enjoy driving it on summer evenings to the local ice cream joints just as my buddy's dad did back in the sixties, I even took my own kids and their friends along for the ride when they were younger, sans the 100 mph experience. These 'Birds are too big and heavy to win drag races, but when it comes to style and elegance from a bygone era, the "Big Bird" is hard to beat!

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