1960 Ford Thunderbird Convertible

Debuting in October 1954 to rival Chevrolet’s Corvette, the Thunderbird quickly became an automotive icon. Initially offered as a two-seater “personal car,” it targeted younger, style-conscious buyers and outperformed the Corvette due to its superior V8 engine and refined characteristics. However, in 1958, Ford expanded the Thunderbird lineup with the introduction of the larger, four-seat “Square Bird,” marking the series’ transition to unitary construction.

The innovative monocoque design of the Square Bird allowed for a remarkably low profile, standing at only 52.5 inches tall with just 5.3 inches of ground clearance. While the Thunderbird evolved from a two-seater into a more luxurious four-seater, its performance remained impressive.

The 1958 model year introduced a wider range of engine options, including the standard X-code 352ci producing 235bhp, with the option for the more potent 300bhp W-code variant. In 1959, Ford introduced the substantial 430ci J-code engine, sourced directly from Lincoln.

The Square Bird’s versatility, showcased through the introduction of a coupe variant and additional seating, contributed to its commercial success, with 92,843 units produced in 1960 alone. Despite its popularity, convertible models were relatively scarce, with only 11,860 units manufactured, and even fewer featured the high-performance J-code engine option, with just 250 units produced.

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