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1967 Thunderbird 34K Miles! Drive it Home!

  • Make: Ford
  • Model: Thunderbird
  • Type: Coupe
  • Year: 1967
  • Mileage: 34,000
  • VIN: 7Y81Z151848
  • Color: Blue
  • Engine size: 390
  • Number of cylinders: 8
  • Fuel: Gasoline
  • Transmission: Automatic
  • Drive type: RWD
  • Interior color: Blue
  • Vehicle Title: Clear
  • Location: Blairs, Virginia, United States

Description

I have found my dream car, and alas, must sell my almost dream car, a dark blue 1967 Ford Thunderbird. Ford redesigned the Thunderbird for 1967, which resulted in the second highest yearly sales in Thunderbird history. 1967 featured hideaway headlights and a grill styled after the F-100 Voodoo jet fighter’s forward air intake. Thunderbirds all feature hydraulic windshield wipers, which work off of the power steering system, and work like a charm. Thunderbirds also feature sequential tail lights.

They only made 15,567 thunderbirds in 1967. This one was built on Valentine’s Day, 2/14/67. This car has but 33,990 miles on it, and won an Antique Automobile Club of America 2d Junior award its first time at a show. Thunderbird Registry No. 36572, VIN 7Y81Z151848. 7= year; Y =Witon MI assembly plant; 81= Thunderbird Hardtop; Z= 390 4 bbl; 151848= 151,848th car built at Witon plant. I have a clear Virginia title in my name. When I got the car it had 28,999 miles on it, and the title was consistent with that. The overall condition of the car is consistent with that; also, there is no noticeable wear on the right side of the brake pedal, nor on the left side of the driver's seat, as one would expect to find if it had 128k on it.

Exterior

This Thunderbird is dark blue, and is the hardtop model, not the landau. Landaus came with a vinyl top which cracks with age and lets water in to rust out the roof. It NOT being a landau is one of the reasons I bought it. The body is in great shape. I think someone painted it with Imron paint. It is now crazing on the driver’s side behind the front tire and on the driver door. Its cracked or flaked in few spots, which I have painted over to forestall rust. See pics. It has the optional imitation mag wheel hubcaps (Styled Steel Wheel Covers with Chrome Lug Nuts), but a set of the stock ones also comes with it. The tires are almost new bias ply whitewalls, as required by the AACA. The front and rear bumpers have been rechromed. All of the trim is pretty good except for one dent in the front hood trim. That piece was a bit too long from the factory, and if you close the hood with one hand, it catches the passenger side fender and bends in a certain place. I never found and unbent one, though not for lack of looking. Use two hands to close the hood.

Interior

The interior is in excellent condition and is original except for the headliner, which has been professionally replaced. There is one place on the driver’s door where the vinyl is cracked. See pics. It has optional tinted glass. It has an am radio, which works, with an FM converter hidden in the console. It has power windows, and all of the instruments and dash items work except the silly rear deck vents, which I left closed; the car has AC. The government mandated a padded steering wheel hub for 1967, so Ford came up with a giant marshmallow pad that attaches to the wheel with a plastic ring. Unfortunately, the marshmallow is so huge that the driver’s arm hits the thing when turning, breaks the plastic ring, and the marshmallow falls off. I replaced the steering wheel with a cruise control one, which does not have the marshmallow, but the car does NOT have cruise. It has floor mats, and the carpet is in good shape. The power windows work, including the rears. One of the rears stuck open, so I have to replace the motor. It took 4 hours just to get to it, so we stopped and ordered one for the passenger side. It took another 30 minutes to put them both in, and 4 hours to put the back seat and all of the hardware back in. This gave us the opportunity to look at the rear deck vents. Ford put these on Thunderbirds as a sort of half handed air conditioning. I never noticed any difference when they were open versus when closed. They are operated by two vacuum lines that run under the console. They are so small we thought they were electrical wires! I hooked a vacuum pump to the pots and closed them. All of the gauges work. This Thunderbird also features the Tilt-Away steering wheel option, which moved the steering wheel about 3 inches up and the right when you pull the driver’s door latch. THUMP! It’s a surprise until you get used to it. Once in, it just clicks back into place with the touch of a finger! The hi beam indicator is in the shape of a Thunderbird. It has the incredibly hard to find day-nite inside mirror, though it is not perfect. It has color keyed seat belts.

Under the Hood

Most of the car’s features are vacuum operated, and so I painstakingly traced each vacuum line and replaced it with new. The hideaway headlights…hide away. I painted the air cleaner and valve covers. It has a newer aluminum radiator. It has a new Edelbrock 4bbl carburetor, spark plugs, and wires. I ditched the York air conditioning compressor for a Sanden unit, which works fine, though it’s probably low on Freon now. All of the AC hoses under the hood were replaced. It also has a new heater core, and the heat will almost drive you out of the car.

The engine is a 390, and is very strong. On one trip to Charlotte, there was some guy who thought his BMW was fast. All he saw were my sequential tail lights! The heads have been off and checked, and new head gaskets, etc. installed when that was done. The transmission is strong. When I got the car, the gas tank was roached and so it was replaced with a new one, and new gas tank sending unit. The hardest thing about this was getting the gas filler pipe into the tank. The tank has a huge rubber grommet in the hole for it, and the inside diameter of the grommet is smaller than the outside diameter of the pipe. The only way to get the filler pipe in is to tap it in gently through the gas tank door, but at least I found a new use for Vaseline. (To grease the grommet and filler pipe). I also put air shocks on it. The rear bumper has also been re-chromed, and the cardboard inside the trunk replaced. The spare matches the other tires. The jack is stock. It has twin piston front disc brakes. A few extra parts come with the car.

Conclusion

I had a great time in this car, and it never left me stranded. I always thought Don Draper of Mad Men should have driven a 67 Thunderbird instead of a 2 door Cadillac- it fits him to a T. It has a deep throaty exhaust but it’s not too loud. It has a great ride, and everyone looks at it 'cause they are so rare. It’s not too quick off the line, weighing 4200 pounds, but it sure takes off once it’s going!