1962 Ford Thunderbird Sports Roadster
Lot 851 | Passion for the Drive: The Cars of Jim Taylor | Estimate: $60,000 - $80,000
Chassis No. 2Y89Z142638
While the enlargement of the Thunderbird into a four-passenger car proved excellent for sales, buyers continued to pester Ford for the return of a two-passenger model. In response, for 1962 the third-generation 'Bullet Bird' became available as a limited-production Sports Roadster. This car featured a sleek fiberglass tonneau that fit over the rear seat, a passenger-side grab handle on the dashboard, unique chrome badging, Kelsey-Hayes chrome wire wheels, and no rear fender skirts. The Sports Roadster would be produced for two seasons, 1962 and 1963, with 1,427 built in 1962. While it was differentiated by unique serial numbering, its special trim components could be bought separately from a Ford dealer for one's 'normal' Thunderbird, and thus it is very important to ensure the authenticity of one's example.
The Sports Roadster offered here was originally delivered by the famed major dealer Tasca Ford of Providence, Rhode Island, best-remembered as a sponsor of drag-racers in the Ford Total Performance Era. Donnie Gould acquired it in Connecticut as what he recalls to have been a solid and rust-free original car, and restored it for Mercer and Jo Moncrief of Coral Springs, Florida, in whose ownership it was an AACA National Senior First Prize winner in 2000. A selection of restoration photos remains in the file, as does an original Lois Eminger gate release, a reproduction of the original invoice, and a certificate noting that the car is indeed Certified to be a genuine example by the Thunderbird Sports Roadster Society. After its award-winning appearances, the Thunderbird was acquired by Jim Taylor.
Well-preserved since its restoration, the car is finished in Raven Black with red interior, and equipped with power steering, power brakes, power windows, engine dress-up kit, AM radio, day/night mirror, and air conditioning. The original tonneau is still in place and in fine shape. At the time of cataloging the Sports Roadster had recorded 62,294 original miles.
The Sports Roadster is among the most important Thunderbird models, and this is a superb specimen in every regard, with airtight authenticity.