My love affair with the Thunderbird started when I was 10 years old and an older cousin from Dearborn came to visit driving my uncle's 1955 Thunderbird. I begged for a ride and he finally agreed and I was hooked on Thunderbirds.
Fast forward to 1967, I was working for a "Ketchup" company and had a brand new company car the ugliest green 1967 4 door Plymouth Fury I with a slant 6 cylinder engine which broke down every week and usually went to the dealer on Friday's to repair whatever malady it suffered from that week leaving me without a car for the weekend. I was a single guy , dating my high school sweetheart and was frustrated that I had no wheels, she wasn't impressed.
On a rainy night in April 1967 I stopped for a red light and saw this gorgeous dark blue 1964 Thunderbird make a left turn and shortly after the intersection turned into the Ford Dealer, so I followed him onto the lot. He was going to trade the Bird in on a brand new Ford Squire station wagon since he had 4 children and the Bird no longer suited his needs. It turns out that the gentleman was a former Canadian Diplomat and purchase the "for export only" car while he lived in New Jersey and commuted to the United Nations daily. He was unhappy with the dealer's trade-in allowance of $1200 and had not yet sold them the car so I offered him $1500 cash and bought the Thunderbird of my dreams. We finalized the deal the next day much to the chagrin of the dealer who protested the deal that was struck on his lot; the car was mine the next afternoon.
I still own my 64' Thunderbird Dream Car and it is still a thrill to get behind the wheel, just as it was for the first time nearly 50 years ago. I have made a few modifications, that include 3 inch wide whitewall radial tires, chrome valve covers with (55) Thunderbird logo, chrome fan shroud, chrome fender struts, electronic ignition, a Holley 670 double pumper carb and a Continental kit. In 2002 I had the car refreshed, the engine and transmission rebuilt, repainted in the entire repainted the original colour in base clear, replaced the original carpets, added an AM/FM/ cassette radio that fit into the dash and looks original Thunderbird logo and all.
In August of 2002, my wife and I stated out on a journey to fulfill another childhood dream and drove Route 66 from Chicago to L.A. finishing up in Costa Mesa Ca. for a Thunderbird convention and show. When the show was over we travelled up the Costal Highway to Napa Valley on the return trip and head through the mountains to Salt Lake City as we headed home via Chicago and Detroit. The trip lasted a month; we put 7800 miles on the Thunderbird and we met many other American Thunderbird enthusiasts in our travels many of whom are still close friends today.
In 2005, I purchased my second Thunderbird, a 2002 model and love it also.