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Hemmings Find of the Day – 1963 Ford Thunderbird Sports Roadster

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Restored 1963 Ford Thunderbird Sports Roadster for sale. From the seller’s description:

This spectacular concours example of what serious collectors have called “the Holy Grail of Thunderbirds” is equipped with the rare “M” Code Super 8, 390 C.I. engine featuring three two-barrel Holley carburetors and 10.5:1 high compression heads, producing an impressive 340 horsepower and 430 lb. ft. of head snapping torque. Just 37 M Code Sports Roadsters were produced in the 1963 model year and this is one of only 24 known survivors. A rare Bird indeed!


No expense was spared and no detail overlooked during a comprehensive rotisserie restoration to factory and concours specifications by owner and Vintage Thunderbird Club International 1961-63 Technical Editor Jim Wulf, recognized as one of the country’s foremost 1963 Thunderbird restorers. Absolutely correct factory finishes were used on all refinished OEM parts and many NOS parts were used throughout. Hundreds of hours of research were spent to insure that every aspect of the restoration was absolutely factory correct. In fact, much of that research is being incorporated into the new forthcoming edition of the V.T.C.I. 1961-63 Official Factory Specifications Manual, currently being assembled by renowned Thunderbird expert Alan Tast. As a result, this particular M Code Sports Roadster is the “Gold Standard” by which all other 1963 Thunderbirds will be judged in the future.

Flawless Rangoon Red paint was applied over a rust free body, and factory correct Pearl Beige Metallic vinyl upholstery was installed, as well as new original style loop carpet. All of the interior and exterior stainless steel trim was removed, professionally polished, and reinstalled. The interior ribbed aluminum trim was removed and restored to its original tinted finish. All interior and exterior chrome trim was removed, stripped, and re-chromed. The front and rear bumpers were triple chrome plated. All interior panels and the original dash (which is perfect) were refinished in the original correct factory finishes. The meticulously detailed trunk, with newly installed factory correct Burtex trunk kit, features restored original top and deck cylinders and a new top pump, as well as new hydraulic hoses.

The 390 cubic inch M Code engine was expertly rebuilt and starts instantly, and runs quiet, strong, and cool without issues. The three speed Cruise-O-Matic automatic transmission has been completely rebuilt and shifts smoothly and crisply. The entire engine compartment has undergone a complete concours restoration and detailing, including correctly re-plated & refinished hardware, even new custom made, factory correct, wiring harness labels! All appropriate engine compartment parts including the radiator shroud, cowl braces, shock mounts, hood springs etc., were bead blasted and then powder coated in the correct semi-gloss black finish. The factory style aluminized 2” dual exhaust system produces that familiar and pleasing Ford big block V8 rumble.


This is one of the most fully optioned M Code Roadsters produced by Ford in 1963. Besides the M Code engine package, this Roadster is equipped with nearly every conceivable factory option, including Selectaire conditioning, power driver seat, premium vinyl seat upholstery, power lift windows, tinted windshield and side glass, heavy duty battery, windshield washers (yes, washers were an option in 1963!), and even the extremely rare vacuum assisted power door lock option. Naturally, it is also equipped with the standard Sports Roadster accessory package including 48 spoke chrome Kelsey Hayes wire wheels, fiberglass tonneau cover, special Roadster fender emblems, and passenger grab bar. A real attention getter is the factory chrome dress-up kit, complete with polished aluminum oval air cleaner, available exclusively with the M Code engine package. In order to remain true to the “factory original” concept, the available factory invoice and factory ROT sheet have been strictly adhered to, with nothing added or deleted including the factory installed AM Radio unit.


There have been only four Thunderbirds in the distinguished 42 year history of the Vintage Thunderbird Club International Concours that have ever earned a perfect 300 point score. Two of them are 1963 M Code Sports Roadsters restored by Jim Wulf. This is one of those very special cars. In addition to a perfect 300 point score and Best of Show awards at both the 2012 and 2013 V.T.C.I. International Conventions, this truly exceptional Roadster earned perfect 400 point scores at the 2012 and 2013 AACA Grand National Meets. Now, having unconditionally proven itself without exception, this remarkable Thunderbird is ready to be proudly shown by its new owner on the Concours Show circuit or simply driven for the sheer pleasure of experiencing the legendary Thunderbird driving experience.

There is simply no finer example of this extremely rare and highly desirable car in the entire country, and it is unlikely that a car of this caliber will be offered for sale anytime in the near future. If your are serious about owning the best-of the-best, an iconic Thunderbird that is assured of performing to the highest level in any AACA, VTCI, or Concours event, then this is the car you must have.

1963 Ford Thunderbird Sports Roadster 1963 Ford Thunderbird Sports Roadster 1963 Ford Thunderbird Sports Roadster 1963 Ford Thunderbird Sports Roadster

Location Marker
Doylestown, Pennsylvania
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