To be OFFERED AT AUCTION at Auctions America’s Fort Lauderdale event, April 1-3, 2016.
Chassis No. J9YJ151749
Estimate: $ 35,000 - $ 45,000 US
For glamour and individuality, in 1959, there were few cars in the United States that could compare to the new Thunderbird convertible; the second year for the “Square Bird” era. After being completely re-conceptualized, redesigned and re-imaged in 1958 the new four-seat Thunderbird was only mildly massaged in styling and specifications in 1959. The cosmetic changes included a new horizontal grille with small matching rear grilles behind the taillights. A chrome arrow along the T-Birds flanks replaced the fussier four bars found previously. Inside the very personalized interior saw white face dials replace the traditional black used on all the earlier Thunderbirds.
When seen in its glory on the open roads, America’s most advanced prestige car displayed the vivid personality of an expensive sports car of the era. An exclusive in Ford achievement and design was the intricate and incredibly stylish power-operated convertible top. The rear-hinged trunk area automatically opens with the push of a button to accept the folding mechanism and fabric and then retracts to a close with the top cover now totally concealed under the rear deck panel. This creates a marvelously long, distinctively sculpted rear deck that becomes flush with the rear seats, forming one long, uninterrupted sweep of pure Thunderbird beauty. In a word, the 1959 Ford Thunderbird was widely accepted as “spectacular.”
The standard engine in the 1959 T-Bird was the respected 352-cid, 225-hp V-8 with a four-barrel Holley carb. This provided power to match the Thunderbird’s style. This special example is one of only a reported 1,168 Ford Thunderbirds that received the powerful 430-cid, 350-hp V-8 J-Code engine, which was the largest engine available in any 1959 car. When one considers that Ford produced 1,450,953 vehicles in 1959 with 10,261 Thunderbird Convertibles and 57,195 Hardtops; the true scope of the rareness of this vehicle becomes glaringly apparent.
This Thunderbird has been cosmetically restored and the engine compartment has been detailed; plus new paint and chromed elements. Other features on this elegant example include the optional Ford-O-Matic transmission, “Swift-Sure” power brakes, “Master Guide” power steering, power windows, a new black soft-top, black interior, chromed wire wheels, whitewall tires, windshield washer, dual sideview mirrors and radio. Bucket seats, center console and the spare with jack are also seen onboard. The interior is comfortable and the advertised four-foot wide doors allow for easy access front or back.
In 1959 Ford remarked that “Performs like a Thunderbird is the highest praise you can give any car.” They must have seen this excellent and rare J-Code example. 1959 Ford Thunderbird Convertible J-Code