Image credits: © Ford.

1960 Ford Thunderbird

Marketed as a spacious, luxurious boulevardier, the Thunderbird was introduced in 1955 in response to the Chevrolet Corvette, which had been launched two years earlier. A luxurious car in the day with optional power windows and a removable hardtop, the 1955 T-bird found 16,155 buyers compared to a mere 674 for the Corvette, which was almost discontinued due to poor sales. Available only through the 1957 model year, the two-seat Thunderbird was transformed into a four-seater for 1958 to improve marketability. Temporarily discontinued after 1998, the Thunderbird was reintroduced for 2001 as a two-place personal car that embodied the spirit of the well-remembered original version.

Ford began offering the Thunderbird with a range of motors in 1957 with the introduction of the E-Code dual 4-barrel carburetor on the 312 CID V8 and the F-code supercharged V8. The large V8s were still reserved for the more upmarket Lincolns.

The four-seat 1958 through 1960 Thunderbird was known as the 'Square Bird' and it combined both luxury and sportiness. The styling of the 1960 Thunderbird was similar to the two prior model years, with the addition of a new grille, minor trim changes, and triple taillight clusters. The 352 cubic-inch V8 engine delivering 300 horsepower was standard, and just 377 examples were fitted with the optional J-Code, 430 cubic-inch 'Thunderbird Special' V8 engine. This optional power unit, also known as the 'MEL' engine, was initially a Lincoln option, becoming optional on the Thunderbird in 1959. Its 350 horsepower was certainly impressive but it was the incredible 490 pound-feet of torque that provided startling performance.

For 1960, the Thunderbird was available as a hardtop, a hardtop with an optional sliding sunroof, and the convertible.

Despite the painful recessionary environment of 1958 and 1959, the second-generation Thunderbird was very successful due to its classic good looks, drivability, and comfort. Motor Trend awarded the 1958 Thunderbird its 'Car of the Year' award.

Ford built a total of 92,843 examples of the Square Bird in 1960, with 11,860 being convertibles.


Related Reading : Ford Thunderbird History

The Ford Thunderbird is an American automotive icon first introduced in 1955. During the early 1950s, military men were returning from fighting in World War II. In Europe, the style of the vehicle was very different from the Detroit American car. The graceful but sporty MG, Triumphs, and Jaguars, to name a few, had found their way into the hearts of many of these American soldiers. In the U.S.,....
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1960 Vehicle Profiles

1960 Ford Thunderbird vehicle information

Convertible

Chassis Num: 0Y73Y174102

This 1960 Ford Thunderbird Convertible was offered for sale at the 2007 Sports and Classic Car Auction presented by The Worldwide Group, in Hilton Head Island, SC where it was estimated to sell for $25,000 - $35,000. It was offered without reserve. ....[continue reading]

1960 Ford Thunderbird vehicle information

Convertible

This body style, which was originally designed and built in 1958, 1959, and 1960, was called Square Birds. The reason for this was that in 1958 the car was designed with both front and rear seats which made it a family car capable of seating 4 or 5 ....[continue reading]

1960 Ford Thunderbird vehicle information

Convertible

Chassis Num: 0Y73Y106297

The first year of the four-seat Thunderbird was in 1958. These cars were given then nickname 'Squarebird' because of its boxy lines and wide-pillar roof on coupes. The roofline was styled by stylist Elwood Engel and would become a Ford trademark as i....[continue reading]

1960 Ford Thunderbird vehicle information

Hardtop

Chassis Num: 0Y71Y159621

The 1958 Thunderbirds grew in size, gaining two additional passenger seats. They featured unitary construction and many convenience and luxury touches. Two bodystyles were available, a hardtop coupe and a convertible with a power top. The convertible....[continue reading]

1960 Ford Thunderbird vehicle information

Hardtop

This is one of two stainless steel-bodied 1960 Ford Thunderbirds built to promote what was then a new metal. Its story began in 1935 when Allegheny Ludlum Steel executives proposed creating a stainless-bodied car, and Ford execs agreed. Six stainless....[continue reading]

Convertible
Chassis #: 0Y73Y174102 
Convertible
 
Convertible
Chassis #: 0Y73Y106297 
Hardtop
Chassis #: 0Y71Y159621 
Hardtop
 

Recent Vehicle Additions

Performance and Specification Comparison

Price Comparison

1960 Thunderbird
$4,222-$22,745
1960 Ford Thunderbird Price Range: $3,753 - $4,222

$1,580 - $2,270
$2,550 - $2,970

Model Year Production

#1#2#3Ford
1965Chevrolet (2,375,118)Ford (2,170,795)Volkswagen (1,174,687)2,170,795
1964Chevrolet (2,318,619)Ford (1,594,053)Toyota (1,068,321)1,594,053
1963Chevrolet (2,237,201)Ford (1,525,404)Fiat (957,941)1,525,404
1962Chevrolet (2,061,677)Ford (1,476,031)Fiat (957,941)1,476,031
1961Ford (1,338,790)Chevrolet (1,318,014)Volkswagen (807,488)1,338,790
1960Chevrolet (1,653,168)Ford (1,439,370)Toyota (1,068,321)1,439,370
1959Chevrolet (1,462,140)Ford (1,450,953)Volkswagen (575,407)1,450,953
1958Chevrolet (1,142,460)Ford (987,945)Volkswagen (451,526)987,945
1957Ford (1,676,449)Chevrolet (1,505,910)Plymouth (726,009)1,676,449
1956Chevrolet (1,567,117)Ford (1,408,478)Buick (572,024)1,408,478
1955Chevrolet (1,704,667)Ford (1,451,157)Buick (738,814)1,451,157

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