A Fine Looking 1966 Ford T-Bird Convertible / Photos, Specs

Ford Thunderbirds have long been know as America's Luxury Cars. The 1966 Ford Thunderbird Convertible featured in this article was part of the fourth generation models that began with the 1964 car.

1966 ford thunderbird

1966 Ford Thunderbird

This new generation of Thunderbirds of course had new styling. The cars had squarer lines and sold well. Convertibles during this generation made up a lower proportion of total production.

The 1964 models also had plenty of other new items. 1964 was the first year for transistorized ignition, “Highway Pilot” speed control and the Silent-Flow through ventilation system. The ventilation system was for hardtops and landaus only. The Safety Convenience Control Panel was also new to the fourth generation Thunderbirds. This included a low fuel warning light, door ajar light, four-way emergency flashers and a second toggle switch to activate a vacuum operated door-lock system. Fourth generation Thunderbirds had these safety and convenience items as standard equipment.

Thunderbird Models for 1966

There were four styles offered in 1966. Thunderbird choices included a Conventional Hardtop, Town Hardtop, Town Landau and Convertible.

The Landau's were offered as a dealer installed option beginning in 1964. There was no Roadster offered that year. The Landau did give the buyer that 1950's two seat sports car feel.

fourth generation thunderbirdsThe full rear tail lights on the 66 model debuted in 1964. Power steering and brakes were standard for the 66 model.

1966 Ford Thunderbird production totals came in at 69,170 units.

1966 Ford Thunderbird Specifications

There were three engines available for the 1966 Ford Thunderbird. These engines included a Thunderbird 390 Special V-8 with a four barrel carburetor.  This engine was rated at 315 HP.

Another was a standard 390 cubic inch V-8 that was rated at 265 HP. The third engine option was a Thunderbird 428 cubic inch V-8 that delivered 345 HP.

Transmissions used in the 66 Thunderbird was a three speed automatic. During the 1966 model run there were two different transmissions used. The first was a Cruise-O-Matic that was used only on the 390 engines and was discontinued in November 65. The other transmission was called the C6 Dual Range Automatic and was used with the 428's and used exclusively put in the Thunderbirds beginning in November 65.

The 1966 Ford Thunderbird had front disc brakes as standard.

Suspension included Helical Coil Springs with hydraulic shock absorbers. Rear suspension was comprised of Longitudinal Semi elliptic Leaf Springs.

Dimensions included a 113.0 inch wheelbase and an overall length of 205.4 inches. Width was 77.3 inches and height varied by exact model. Height ranged from 52.5 to 52.7 inches.

See additional Auto Museum Online articles on the links below...

The New Sporty 1955 Ford Thunderbird

The 1959 Ford Fairlane 500 Skyliner Retractable Hardtop

66 ford thunderbirdFord Thunderbird Collector Cars and Values

The Ford Thunderbird was one of the longest running models in Ford history. The automobile was originally designed to compete against Chevy's new Corvette. Both cars would also compete against the foreign sport car imports of the 50's. The Thunderbird however differed from the Corvette in several respects. The car was first marketed as a personal luxury vehicle possessing more creature comforts than the Corvette.

The Ford Thunderbird went from an original two-seater to a four seater and at one time had a design that made it appear as a mid size car. Highest collector values today of course go back to the first generation beginning in 1955.

When you see a 55 T-Bird on the road today it most likely will be immaculately restored and at an auto show or meet. These pristine first generation Thunderbirds as of today have average values of $40,000 to $70,000 depending on degree of restoration. These figures are from recent price guides.

The second and third generation (58-63) values drop to an average range of $25,000 to $35,000. Fourth generation T-Birds of which the 1966 model shown in this article is a part of appear to have top tier valuations in a range of $15,000 to $35,000 with the Convertible model usually with the higher price. After that year the redesigned Thunderbird values drop precipitously until the model was discontinued in 1997.

66 ford thunderbird dash

66 T-Bird dash

Ford brought back the Thunderbird beginning in 2002 for a a four year run. Those models were all two-seaters with Convertible and Removable Hardtops and sold new in the range of $38,000 to $42,000. Today's average top values are in the range of $18,000 to $24,000.

Reference material included Ford Motor Company Archives...The Book of the Ford Thunderbird from 1954 by Brian Long...1966 Ford Thunderbird Handbook.

(Article and photos copyright 2015 Auto Museum Online)

 

Nicely Restored 1926 Ford Model TT Pickup / Photos, Model History

The vehicle featured in this article is a 1926 Ford Model TT Pickup Truck. Ford sold the Model TT truck for the last ten years of Model T production. Interestingly enough, Ford tried to get a truck version sold twice prior to 1917. Both times the concept failed to catch on. Finally, the aftermarket builders led the way to make these vehicles popular with farmers and haulers.

1926 ford model tt pickup

1926 Ford Model TT Pickup

The Ford Model TT essentially replaced the horse and wagon. In fact, the period of the teens were very interesting culture wise. Many people found themselves having to choose between the automobile and the horse. You may think that this would be an easy decision to make, and for some it probably was, but this era ushered in the most radical change in transportation for millions of people. Some automobile promoters tried to show that the upkeep of an automobile was less than a stable of horses.

It's been said many times that Henry Ford was reluctant to make changes to his automobiles. This was the fact even when Ford's competitors such as GM would make what they believed were positive changes to their line. In this regard, 1926 was a pivotal model year.

Changes During the 1920's

Ford Model T sales were losing steam during the middle of the 1920's. Because of this they announced that their would be an "improved Ford" for the 1926 model year.

Some of the new changes Ford made were a new nickel plated radiator shell, wire wheels, wire wheels and a vacuum operated windshield wiper. Probably the biggest change Ford made in 1926 was the availability of several colors to choose from. For the past twelve years all Ford Model T's were painted black. This was the first major change Ford made since 1917.

The 1917 Model TT chassis was 25 inches longer than the standard Model T.

ford 20 hp engine

Standard Ford 20 HP engine

Chassis Only

Just the same as the Ford Model T, the Model TT Truck was originally sold as a chassis and engine only. The chassis was built heavy duty compared to the regular Model T.

In 1917 this cost the buyer about $600. The buyer would take the chassis and engine to a body builder who would construct the cab and bed. Each one of these trucks were essentially a unique piece of work. There were a variety of standard plans but the fact was that a buyer could have a truck body built to personal specifications. Where the owner resided and for what exact purpose the Model TT was needed might dictate wood body plans.

Many Ford Model T's had bodies built to serve as depot hacks. These were the first taxi cabs and during the 1920's the depot hacks would typically transport people between hotels and train stations, luggage and all.

It would not be until 1924 that Ford would sell the Model TT with a factory manufactured body. They named this model "Express" and it became a popular seller. It's interesting to note that by 1924 the price of the Model TT dropped to about $325.

Modifications were many, some were the result of here you happened to live. In the north some of these were built with skis on the front end. Wreckers were built as well as Model TT's with tandem axles and dual rear wheels.

The Ford Motor Company sold about 13 million Model TT's from 1917 to 1927.

1926 Ford Model TT Specifications

The particular specifications for our featured restored1926 Ford Model TT Pickup is as follows. This truck has a standard Model T 20 HP engine.

The Model TT weighed several hundred pounds more than the regular Model T automobile. The Model TT's were built to haul freight of various weights and had heavy duty chassis'. The Model TT's were rated at one ton. This made the Model TT a slower vehicle with a typical speed of 20 to perhaps 24 MPH.

ford model tt cab

Cab of 1926 Ford Model TT

The gearbox offers high and low drive with no clutch.

The rear axle of Ford's Model TT had a worm drive. This is a screw like gear arrangement that meshed with a worm wheel. The axes are 90 degrees to each other.

This 1926 Model TT has a wood body.

Brakes are rear only cable operated. No front brakes.

Suspension for the Model TT differed from that of the Model T. The Model TT truck was built with twin rear leaf springs. The Model T automobile was typically built with only one set of cross beam leaf springs at both ends of the automobile.

This 1926 Model TT has a wood body and original mechanics.

See the Auto Museum Online articles on the links below...

Restored 1914 Model T Depot Hack

The Taxi Cab / Early Taxi Manufacturers

Model T Serial Numbers and Registering Antique Vehicles

 1922 Buick Five Passenger Sedan

ford model tt one ton pickupFord Model TT Collector Vehicles

Original restored Ford Model TT's are popular with car collectors. There may not be any other vehicle that came in so many different styles, everything from depot hacks to pickups to flat bed haulers.

Because of the different styles and degree of restoration and general condition, asking prices for a Ford Model TT are all over the place. Most antique car and truck price guides give a range of $3,000 to $27,000. The top prices are for fully restored original show quality models.

(Article and photos copyright 2015 Auto Museum Online)