Story and Photos Mike Spicer
When talking about old cars my friend Dale Matthews always says “Understanding Is Not Required!”. Which explains why I started hunting for a Ford Thunderbird immediately after graduating from the University Of Oregon.
One of the best parts of getting an old car is “The Hunt”. Meeting interesting people, going to places you could never imagine just to see a car. After looking at several 1964-66 Thunderbirds I stumbled on a blue 1966 Ford Thunderbird Landau at the Portland swap meet.
I was pretty inexperienced but could sense there was a buzz around this car. People were all around checking it out as I sat alone in the driver seat with the doors closed going through the aircraft inspired interior. When I emerged from the car I walked past the swarm of people up to the owner and in an adrenaline infused state of temporary insanity I said “I’ll take it”.
Filled with a mix of excitement and uncertainty I drove the car out of the swap meet catching smiles along the way and headed home. I was experiencing a very new feeling and I liked it.
Bought new in Portland Oregon the original owner’s son brought the car to the swap meet since his dad couldn’t drive any more. After owning the car for a while I noticed how well it had been cared for. I was pretty lucky stumbling on an incredibly original car in amazing condition with no car buying skill at all.
I enjoyed driving the Bird for years. The rear seat is referred to as “the lounge” and you can see why. I often thought of the original owner as I babied it and made sure it was parked indoors at all times.
After 22 years of enjoyment I decided to let her go. You never forget your first love and every time I see a 1966 Thunderbird I feel like a kid again ready to take the blind plunge into classic car ownership, and it feels good.