1964 Ford Thunderbird

Fenton, MO 63026
United States

1964 Ford Thunderbird
Stock Number
VIN Number
Category  Classic Cars

1964 New York Worlds Fair Ford Thunderbird Convertible - "Magic Skyway Thunderbird" �This is the Thunderbird used in the 1964 Worlds Fair Magic Skyway ride in New York �This T-Bird #73 and #70 are the only Magic Skyway Thunderbirds known to still exist �Many celebrities rode the Magic Skyway including Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Jackie Robinson �First model year of the fourth generation, one of the very first "Flair Birds" #73 �Sold new at the "A" lot at Ford .....
in Dearborn, which was a resale lot for company cars �Displayed at the AACA Museum in Hersey, Pennsylvania �Original 390 CID V-8 engine (code FE) that produces 300 hp! �Cruise-O-Matic MX three-speed automatic transmission (code 4) and 3.00 gearing (code 1) �Correct Prairie Tan (code G) and Palomino vinyl (code 59) with white, power-folding canvas top �Select-Aire air-conditioning, power steering, power brakes and power windows �Swing-Away steering wheel �Plenty of originality, original taillights, original trim and T-Bird emblems �Unique factory triple vin stampings on cowl and tow plate mounting holes �A updated factory style radio with USB connectivity Partially used as a salve for a nation still mourning President John Kennedy, the Worlds Fair opened in New York during the spring of 1964. With help from Walt Disney, Ford Motor Corporation produced one of the exhibits, a "Magic Skyway." MotoeXotica Classic Cars is proud to present one of the cars that took visitors through it -- this particular 1964 Ford Thunderbird was built number as 73 off the line for the 1964 World's Fair Magic Skyway exhibit. For their pavilion at the 1964-65 New York World's Fair, Ford Motor Company brought in Walt Disney to design a "unique and memorable entertainment adventure" that would outshine its competitors. This became the Magic Skyway ride, in which guests sat in Ford convertibles through a Disney-designed show. The ride attracted many celebrities, including baseball great Jackie Robinson, Gerald and Betty Ford and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The King family visited the ride during the 1964 New York Worlds Fair. The Civil Rights leader rode the skyway with his children and his wife and two other children followed in the next electronically controlled car behind them. This Magic Skyway Thunderbird was never sold by a dealer; it was shipped from the prototype line at the Wixom plant to Ford's sales office in White Plains, New York where cars were prepared for the Magic Skyway. It still retains evidence of the ride tow plate with two 1 1/4-inch holes in the radiator cross member (3 1/4 inches from the edge of the fenders), and two 1 1/4" by 3/8" holes in the left inner fender and the engine bay is painted factory black, same as the other Magic Skyway cars. One of the "Flair Birds," this example was only the 73rd one off of the production line (73 out of 92,465 produced!) at Fords Wixom, Michigan factory (VIN code Y), made on August 8, 1963 (code 08H). Dressed in correct Prairie Tan (code G), the cars paint and trim are in overall very good condition. The bodywork is straight and solid and the engine bay is very tidy and still retains its correct black engine area. The newer restored contrasting white, power-folding canvas top is in excellent shape. The cars chrome bumpers are in great original shape and NAPA battery looks great. This car rolls on Hankook Optimo whitewall tires in front, size 215/75R15 in front and BFGoodrich whitewall radials, size 21/70R15 in back. Each tire is mounted on a steel wheel with factory wheel covers. The tires are in satisfactory shape while the wheel covers are in very good order. Under the hood is Fords 390 V-8 engine (code FE) with 300 horsepower! The motor is linked to a Cruise-O-Matic MX three-speed automatic transmission (code 4) with 3.00:1 gearing (code 1). Driver convenience features include Select-Aire air-conditioning but is inoperable, power steering, power brakes and power windows. Inside, the cars Palomino vinyl interior (code 59) is in overall original order. The novel, Swing-Away easy ingress/egress steering wheel is present. The front bucket and rear wraparound bucket are part of the same styling motif that graced the Continentals of the same period. The instrument panel and inner door panel are in good original shape, as is the center console and column-mounted shift lever. A updated factory style radio with USB connectivity finishes of the interior. This was used to play the original "Magic Skyway" ride sound track while displayed at previous museums including the AACA Museum in Hersey Pennsylvania. Once loaded by attendants, visitors could tune the cars radios to select one of four languages for narration, music and sounds. The Magic Skyway journey began with a recorded message from Henry Ford II, telling of the upcoming "voyage through time and space, from a dark and distant yesterday to a bright and promising tomorrow," and ended with a message from Walt Disney, who spoke of a world "where tomorrow is being created today." You can listen to the original sound track at the following link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sgna1hj3jvA The Magic Skyway took visitors from the distant past into an imagined future, all while sitting comfy in Ford, Mercury or Lincoln convertibles. Pulled from the production line, selected cars (which were towed on the ride, not driven) required extensive modification by Fords White Plaines office in New York. Engines, transmissions and driveshafts were removed and set aside then holes were drilled in the chassis to accommodate a mounting tow plate, used to affix the car to the belt that pulled it through simulated time and space. The tow plate was arranged in such a way that the pin would be well out in front of the centerline of the wheels, so that the wheels would "track" around curves. This exhibits success, in part, convinced Disney that a new theme park, this one in Orlando, Florida, was possible. Following the conclusion of the Worlds Fair, Ford rejected the idea of dismantling and rebuilding the pavilion in Dearborn and shot down a proposal to sponsor a permanent Magic Skyway ride at Disneyland in Anaheim, California. The cars used in the ride were returned to Fords New York office, where their drivetrains were reinstalled before they were shipped to the "A" lot at Ford in Dearborn, which was a resale lot for company cars, which is where all of the Skyway cars ended up for sale, not on dealers lots. What happened to this T-Bird between Fords A lot and 2013 is unknown but this T-Bird #73 and #70 are the only Magic Skyway Thunderbirds known to still exist. Later on, this Thunderbird was found in a museum in West Virginia in 2013. The collections owner was ready to move it outside because it didnt fit his theme; he collected Corvettes. A British man from the Birmingham, Alabama area made a hasty offer to buy the car and the owner agreed. The car arrived in Birmingham the same day former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher died, so he named the car in her honor. The collector is a diplomat and Vice President of the International Thunderbird Club (www.intl-thunderbirdclub.com). Margaret was acquired by him from a private collection in early 2013. Extensive restoration has been

Fenton MO 63026
United States
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