1963 Ford Thunderbird

Baji J. Ram Rao
19:05 Fri. 24-Jan-2014

I recently identified a Patrician Green (medium Turquoise metallic) 1963 Ford Thunderbird type 76A convertible in the movie, “Jai Ho(2014)”.
The movie released today, Fri. 24-Jan-2014.

'63 Tbird in Hungary

Old "Butchers Hall" dating from 1370. The building on the right is the "Emil Sigerus" Museum of Saxon Ethnography and Folk Art. Presents the role of the Transylvanian Saxons ethnic group in Transylvanian culture.

[Location info: 45.798327N, 24.151406E]

Some of the footage of the Salman Khan, Daisy Shah movie, “Jai Ho”(2014) was shot at the Piaţa Mică in Sibiu, România in November 2013.
One can see this beautiful 1963 Thunderbird convertible in it. The movie is a remake of a Telugu film “Stalin” starring Chiranjeevi in the lead role

Bucharest regd. 63 T-bird

Bucharest regd. 63 T-bird

Salman Khan and Daisy Shah in the 1963 Thunderbird, by the side of a pond in Romania.

The first generation Thunderbirds a.k.a. Baby birds (1955, 1956 and 1957) were small, sporty two-seaters. They were Ford’s answer to the Corvette, with four-way powered seats, pushbutton interior door handles and telescoping steering wheel. The next generation, was larger and a four-seater. It had no separate chassis and used a monocoque construction. Second Generation (1958-1960) “Square Birds” were produced at Ford's new plant at Wixom, Michigan.

The third generation Thunderbird, also produced at Wixom(Novi), was bigger, longer, wider, lower and one of the great signature designs of the 1960s. Its grille, headlights and cowl looked similar to that of the 1961 Lincoln Continental.

It had a unibody structure with A-arm and coil spring front suspension and Hotchkiss solid axle on leaf springs in the rear. Its nose came to a sharp point, giving it the moniker “Bullet Bird”.

Bucharest regd. 63 T-bird

The 1963 “Bullet Bird”, had a new grille texture and had the hood-release latch concealed in it -- a departure from the old cable release.
Note how the stainless-steel trim was made strong enough to also function as a door handle.

The styling theme paid tribute to the jet turbine.
Styling motifs included turbine style tail lights and three groupings of forward-slanting chrome hash marks on the doors, with five strips in each group. These were supposed to remind one of turbine waste-gates. So said Motor Trend (October 1962).

Bucharest regd. 63 T-bird


The Thunderbird’s dashboard curved at its ends to flow into the door panels.

63 T-bird wrap-around-dash


  1. The steering column would swing sideways 10” away from the driver-door when the transmission selector was moved to "Park".
    This increased driver comfort in entry and exit
  2. How the ridged aluminum veneered wrap-around dashboard surface extends to form the sides of the doors
  3. The new-for-1963 metal-clad brake and accelerator pedals
  4. The Select-Aire Airconditioner vents in the center console
  5. The four chrome switches in the center console, for the four side-window winders
  6. Lockable glove box in the center console
  7. The Thunderbird emblem factory deep-pile carpeting

The 1963 Thunderbird, used hydraulic windshield wipers powered by the power-steering pump.
1963 was the year, the Thunderbird got an AM/FM radio, albeit as an extra-cost option.


45 kg. of sound deadener material was used to make the Thunderbird whisper quiet.
This included aluminium insulation, fibre or mastic felt, undercoating and fibreglass
applied to the hood, wheel-well housings, dashboard, passenger and trunk floors, roof panels, package tray and quarter panels.

Sports Roadster model

There was a “Sports Roadster” package, with a stylish moulded fiberglass tonneau with raised padded vinyl headrests for both the front seats.
Designed by Bud Kaufman, this tonneau cover, effectively hid the rear seats, presenting the car as a sporty two-seat roadster.

The 1963 Thunderbird Sports Roadster had five-bolt Kelsey-Hayes chrome wire-wheels with hubcaps that faked the look of knock-off spinners.


All Bullet Birds had a 390-cubic-inch [ 6,384cc ] 4-bbl. Ford V8 coupled to a 3-speed Select-Shift Cruise-O-Matic automatic transmission.
The vanilla variety of this engine put out 300 bhp.

63 T-bird triple Holley 2-bbl carbs

Three double-barrel Holley carburettors on a fuel inlet manifold.
Note: the progressively linked throttle-butterflies.

However, 37 sports roadsters came with a special carburetor option consisting of three progressively linked Holley 2-bbl carburetors.

That gave the 390 V8, 340 bhp. It was called the M-code option.
Besides the triple carburetor set up, the M-code engine also had special heads, special cam and larger dual exhausts and chrome underhood dress-up kit to add to the sizzle of the 340 horsepower engine.

63 T-bird triple Holley 2-bbl carbs

Don't miss the spread-eagled Thunderbird logo on the air-cleaner and the "THUNDERBIRD" embossed chromium-plated valve covers.

The M-Code Sports Roadster is generally considered the most collectible Thunderbird made since the original 1955 to 1957 baby-birds. M-Code Sports Roadsters today, are worth over 10 times their original sticker price of $5,463.

Turbine Tail lights

The glowing jet turbine afterburner design tail lights of the 1959 Ford Galaxie were celebrated on the “Bullet bird” Thunderbirds.
Though a clean and nice design they were also a great safety feature as these are big tail lights, highly visible from a great distance away.

63 T-bird jet turbine afterburner tail-lights

Convertible Top Automation

Erecting or lowering the convertible top was automatic.
It was controlled by a switch on the door. Both retract and erect cycles could be interrupted by releasing the switch and could be reversed at any time during the process.

The convertible top was lowered into and erected out of the luggage compartment.
The operation cycles were automatic with the exception of manually locking or unlocking the windshield header clamps and opening or closing the rear window.

A reversible electric motor produced hydraulic pressure to actuate the linkages to lift the trunk lid, as well as to lift the top.
Hydraulic fluid under pressure was channelled to the actuators by electric-solenoid valves.

Locking and unlocking of the trunk lid was controlled by jack screws operated by electric motors.
Extending and folding of the package tray was also controlled by a motor coupled to a tray pivot arm.