Video: Selling the 1960 Ford Thunderbird

1960-thunderbird-coupeGlamour is the theme in this original two-minute promotional spot for the 1960 Thunderbird, Ford’s personal luxury coupe. Join the jet set and buy a Thunderbird today. 



In 1960, the Ford Thunderbird was on a minor third-year facelift of the original four-place T-Bird introduced in 1958. Although this rarely happens in the Motor City, sales of the second-generation Thunderbird actually rose substantially over the car’s three-year product cycle: almost 38,000 units in 1958; 67,000 in 1959, and nearly 93,000 in 1960. (More often the opposite occurs, with sales highest in the first full year, then falling as demand is met.) Clearly, the Ford product planners and marketing team were onto something with the Squarebird, as the 1958-1960 Thunderbirds are known today.

As the personal luxury entry in the Ford lineup, the T-Bird is given the lifestyle-glamour treatment in this 1960 commercial: Note the gated mansion, the jet airliner, the hip and cool jazz soundtrack. Changes for 1960 were in fact rather minimal: mainly, a new eight-segment grille up front and six tail lamps out back instead of four. One interesting option available in 1960 and prominently displayed in this spot is the sliding metal sunroof, a rare feature in Detroit iron in these years. Produced by Golde Schiebedächer in Germany, the sunroof added $212.30 to the Thunderbird’s $3,755 list price. Video follows.