1963 Thunderbird Custom - Scorpion

Check out this very custom 1963 Ford Thunderbird

A tweet caught my eye today with a very odd-looking vehicle: long lines, a Corvette badge on the front, wheel covers, and a custom interior.

After talking it over with the other writers here, Jeff pointed us in the correct direction.

The Beginning

Eddie Leon, Los Angeles furniture store owner, commissioned this Ford Thunderbird. He purchased the car in the late 60s. The engine was built in the mid-70s. It was painted in the late-70s. It appears to be precisely what Mr. Leon wanted. 

Vini Bergeman is reported to have been the one who customized the TBird at Kolor Me Customs. This shop is known for its van customizations and, eventually, limousines. They were the first to put a bar on the side of a limo in the 80s. His 1997 36-passenger, 66-1/2 foot long white Lincoln limousine made it into the Guinness Book of World Records.

1963 Thunderbird Custom - Scorpion

The Interior

It is tough to describe the inside of this custom Thunderbird. The 1960s science-fiction themed interior is fascinating, and according to the current owner of the vehicle, everything still works. Even the voice control. I can’t imagine what voice control from the 70s is like, but I would love to find out. The interior is described as Eygptian, but with so many switches, lights, and knobs, how could you tell?

1963 Thunderbird Custom - Scorpion

The Present

The Scorpion, as the car came to be known, is currently in Australia. The current owner was able to track down the Leon family. It spent most of its life in Southern California before an auto collector in Australia purchased it, and then the current owner purchased it from him. The car has been credited to George Barris in the past. More likely, George Barris talked about it once and then claimed he built it as he has with numerous other customs from the 1960s.

It is an unusual looking vehicle, and we hope the Australian owner returns it to its full period-correct glory.

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4 responses to “Check out this very custom 1963 Ford Thunderbird”

  1. Batshitbox Avatar

    I like the Eddie & Norma detail on the dash, with what must be their birthdates. The trip computer is a trip! I’m not sure what “Consual Lights” are, though.

    The pics in the link show a column shifter, so I wonder what the pimp cane handle on the console and red lever to the right of it are?

    1. Wayne Moyer Avatar
      Wayne Moyer

      There is also a “Tunner” knob. This reminds me a lot of the “Tenperature” gauge in the Fugitive Episode of MST3k.

  2. salguod Avatar

    I’m torn on this one. I appreciate someone who is willing to build something all their own, but some of the details on this are terrible. Setting aside the particular aesthetic here, that rounded windshield and the resulting wonky A pillars is particularly bad and the fit on the deck lid is poor.

    On the other hand, that it’s survived ~50 years and hasn’t completely disintegrated is a testament to the quality of the custom work here. Many customs start coming apart after just 5 years, let alone 50.

  3. ConstantReader Avatar

    Needs more cowbell!

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