V.I.S.I.T. – Daily Driver Bullet Bird Edition

"I… I will survive… Just as long as I know how to live, I know I'll — Aw, crap. Road salt."

On a particularly cold day in Edmonton, you don’t expect to find a classic car in the parking garage of a mall. But lo and behold, there it was.
It’s clearly seen better days, but dismissing it as such is doing it a disservice. This car is a survivor in the truest sense of the word. It appears to have had no restoration, and has been treated as if it were just a car. And let’s face it, it is. It’s a pretty one, but it’s still a car. There’s something slightly refreshing about seeing a beautiful old car like this still serving daily-driver duties.
I have to wonder how well the heater does in -45C weather, though. I know my old Rambler didn’t have enough heat to defrost the windshield, never mind keeping you warm!

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  1. BrianTheHoon Avatar

    Awesome caption in the title pic!

  2. muthalovin Avatar

    -45C? Whats that, like 85F? That's not that cold.

  3. Goingincirclez Avatar

    Looks like a '63, one of my favorite years of "classic" T-birds, before they became a cliche of ever fashion statement of the time.
    Incidentally, you could go to a Ford dealer and get a promo that was a 1/24 plastic model of this car (possibly Revell) with a built-in Philco AM radio (Philco was Ford's electronics subsidiary at the time, before it was spun off). I actually had one of this exact model year, in that exact same color. I cleaned it up, spiffed up the details, and gave it to my father-in-law.

  4. CptSevere Avatar

    If this is the guy's winter beater, I'd like so see his fair weather car.

  5. skitter Avatar

    Wow, I'm willing to make compromises to get the right car, but a weak heater is a deal killer.

    1. Tim Odell Avatar
      Tim Odell

      That is such a foreign concept to me, it's not even funny.

      1. Alff Avatar

        Quiet you! (Looks at next week's forecast, calling for a return to the teens and dreams longingly of the day two months down the road when he can drag the convertible back out)

  6. DeadinSideInc Avatar

    1) Historical tags = insurance savings, smart.
    2) Dearthair lives in Edmonton, poor bastard. Not only is it stupid cold your hockey team is 16-27-6!

    1. Deartháir Avatar
      Deartháir

      Who, the Canucks? I might live here, but I'm not FROM here. Big difference.

  7. DeadinSideInc Avatar

    Oh – and for those of you who don't know these things Alberta doesn't salt their roads (generally too cold to be effective) rather it is sand only which would help explain this car's continued existence.

  8. Maymar Avatar

    For what it's worth, my aunt's told me stories about a cup of coffee being a more effective defroster than what came in a used Corvair. In spite of the engine being upwind from the Thunderbird's cockpit, I doubt it fares much better.

    1. AteUpWithMotor Avatar

      In fairness, that's a whole different deal. The Corvair is air cooled, so getting any heat to the passengers, much less the windows, was a big production. Most water-cooled American cars of the period had fairly effective heaters, although defrosting effectiveness was, er, variable, and the domestic automakers didn't start using electric grid-type defrosters until the early seventies.

  9. Froggmann Avatar
    Froggmann

    Never been a fan of the sheetmetal of these but the interior is just gorgeous. For me the perfect mix would be to have the outward styling of the 1963 and the instrumentation of the 64-65-66. Personally I think they would just fit perfectly together.

    1. AteUpWithMotor Avatar

      I love the Flair Bird interior ('64-'66). One gets the feeling someone told John Najjar (the interior stylist), "It should have all the same stuff as a normal dashboard, but try to make it feel like opening the vents will launch a nuclear missile."

  10. salguod Avatar

    For the record, that's not a Bullet Bird, that's called a Flair Bird (I'm not sure why). The Bullet Bird were the '61-'63, this one is a '64-'66.

    1. AteUpWithMotor Avatar

      I always figured "Flair Bird" was intended to be some kind of play on "Square Bird," since it recycled a lot of the styling cues of the '58-'60.

  11. AteUpWithMotor Avatar

    I am a great fan of the Flair Bird, for no particularly good reason. It's hokey as hell, and it handles like a sick whale, but it's so much fun.
    Obligatory plug for my history of the four-seater 'Bird, entitled (with apologies to My Life With the Thrill Kill Kult), "Glamour Is a Rocky Road": http://ateupwithmotor.com/model-histories/luxury-

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