In 1964, the Ford Thunderbird was a powerful personal luxury car, with standard engine displacement that started at 390 cubes. Depending on the carburetor and intake, the Ford FE “Y-Block” motor made either 300 or 330 horsepower – more than up to the task of hauling the freshly redesigned ‘bird with surprising alacrity. For serious leadfooting, the 427 was an option, in either 410 horsepower (single carb) or a dual-quad, 425 horse (wink, wink) “R” code trim.
The lion’s share of the T’bird coupes sold that year – 60, 552, if you’re counting – had the 390, and that’s the motor that Danbury’s neat Burgundy poly sample is equipped with. It’s a great color for the car, with a dead even metallic that plays along the model’s lines under the lights. Foil badges are at the fenders, on the C pillar, and set into the taillights, with the knockout punch being the block-lettered “THUNDERBIRD” across the nose. These trick, locked-down decos have black centered letters which rise above the finish to a scale correct height. Below these, great lensing, including amber “bulbs” in the directional/parking lamps, is set into flawless chrome bezels – an effect that’s played out again at the car’s rear.
The engine is awash in wiring, cabling, and well-set decals. Some of the looms play across inner wheel wells and along the firewall, connecting all manner of vacuum tanks, reservoirs, and such; every now and then, elements jump over to the gold-toned motor to terminate in an accessory, or disappear beneath the air cleaner. The black painted metal chassis is sharp, too, and complete to the brake and fuel lines.
Inside, the seat backs tilt, the console opens, and the steering wheel swivels to the side – a neat replication of the “Swing-Away” mechanism that’s set into a fully detailed, heavily gauged dash. Favorite details here: the thin shift handle and directional stalks on the column, and the aircraft-themed, wraparound center stack; go into the trunk for a multi-piece printed mat and a booted, removable spare.
Overall, the car’s an outstanding piece, with great build quality and so many levels of detail it’s almost too much to take in. The good news is, you can take your time. Highly recommended.