VIN Decoded

1964 Ford Thunderbird Hardtop

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4Year1964
YAssemblyWixom, MI
83BodyThunderbird 2-Door Hardtop
ZEngine8 Cyl. 390 CID
Horsepower: 300
Carbs: 1-4BBL
Compression: 10.1:1
180876Serial180876

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Description

History

The Ford Thunderbird is a car manufactured in the United States by the Ford Motor Company. It entered production for the 1955 model year as a two-seater sporty car; unlike the superficially similar (and slightly earlier) Chevrolet Corvette, the Thunderbird was never sold as a full-blown sports car. Ford described it as a personal luxury car, a description which named a new market segment. In 1958, the Thunderbird gained a second row of seats for greater practicality. Succeeding generations became larger and more luxurious, until the line was downsized in 1977 and again in 1980.

Source: Wikipedia

Notes

Assembly: Wixom, MI

The Wixom, Michigan auto plant is one of Ford's largest and oldest manufacturing sites. The Wixom plant was built in 1958 and currently encompasses 4.7 million ft², employing 1,600 workers.

During its long and continuing history, the plant has been mainly used for the manufacture of Lincolns and the Ford Thunderbird. Currently, the Lincoln Town Car and the Ford GT are produced there. Production of the Lincoln LS ended in the first week of April, 2006.

Wixom was the most profitable plant in the industry during the 1980s when Cadillac downsized its lineup and lost ground to Lincoln. Recently however, Lincoln has not kept up with changing tastes among luxury car consumers, who now prefer sportier, more performance-focused luxury cars instead of ostentatious "luxury yachts."

Due to Lincoln's falling sales, Ford announced on January 23, 2006 that the Wixom plant would be idled in 2007, as part of The Way Forward. Some analyists however argue that the plant might not be closed. A report in the Oakland Press stated, "The fate of the Wixom plant, however, will depend on the shape of Ford's future product plan, which seems to be currently in flux." Michigan governor, Jennifer Granholm, reportedly offered $115 million in tax cuts to keep the plant open.

Body: Thunderbird

For 1964 the Thunderbird was restyled yet again, discarding some of the rocket-ship styling cues of the previous generation in favor of a more squared-off, "formal" look. Dimensions changed only fractionally, and the suspension, engine, and transmission remained as before, but continued efforts to minimize noise and vibration from the unit body led to a weight increase of some 244 lb (110 kg).

The Thunderbird's sporty image had by that time become only an image. The standard 390 cu. in. 315 bhp engine needed nearly 11 seconds to push the heavy T-bird to 60 mph (96 km/h), although with enough room a top speed of about 120 mph (200 km/h) was obtainable. The softly sprung suspension allowed considerable body lean, wallow, and float except on smoothly surfaced highways; there was an export suspension package available as special order. Contemporary testers felt that the Buick Riviera and Pontiac Grand Prix were substantially more roadable cars, but the Thunderbird remained the leader of the market segment.

The revised 'bird was initially offered as a hardtop, a convertible, or Landau, with vinyl roof and simulated landau irons. The tonneau cover and wire wheels of the Sports Roadster remained available as a dealer-installed option, although only 50 were sold. Total 1964 sales were excellent: 92,465, up nearly 50% from the previous year.

Engine: 8 Cyl. 390 CID

The 390 CID (of 389.6 CID or 6.4 L true displacement) engine, with a bore of 4.05 in (103 mm) and stroke of 3.78 in (96 mm), was the most common FE engine in later application. It was used in many Ford cars as the standard engine, as well as many trucks.

It was a popular high-performance engine too; although not as powerful as the 427 and 428 models, it provided good performance, particularly in the lighter weight vehicles, and was in much greater supply.the 390cid 2v is rated at 265 bhp @ 4,100 rpm.

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