Vintage vehicles, Automotive history and stories from motoring's past. 

1963 Thunderbird - My First Car

Patrick Killary submitted this story about his first car - a 1963 Ford Thunderbird


It was long ago that I first peered through a dusty, cobwebbed window into her world of slumber. Silently, she stood in the corner of the room on four flat tires and covered with a thick blanket of red dust. The early morning sun cast its golden rays upon her lines, long and low, revealing what inspiration played a part in her design. For the curves in her body lines brought to mind days long past when America launched her rockets into space for the very first time. American car design soon followed not far behind. There, before my eyes, stood a red convertible of what kind I did not know. Her origins a mystery, her date of manufacture long before my time. I was then a boy. She, the most beautiful car I had ever seen.

In the days that followed she held me captive, her image always on my mind. With the passage of time and through the kindness of a widow, she became mine. For the car had been her husbands and not a dollar of mine would she take. Only the love for that old car that she saw in me, would be payment enough. She would live again to spread her wings and fly once more across the surface of the earth.

During the months that followed, the work I performed was truly a labor of love. Long and many were the hours. Weekends, after school, and into summer vacation, did I work on her.

Then the day arrived when I slipped behind the wheel and turned the key for the first time. The big 390 came to life. In an instant, through her dual pipes came the sounds of her internal combustion driven power. It was voice of her soul, the sound not heard in a decade or so. The lights and gauges on her dash, instruments that had slept for years, suddenly sprang to life. The radio soon followed with music strange and foreign to her speakers.

With a rush of excitement racing through me, I sat for just a moment listening to the sounds while feeling the vibrations coursing through her. Red, that was her name in times past, was awakening and coming to life in a time far removed from her date of manufacture. My feelings I could not express, I could only say that she was my car and I knew no other like her.

Many are the years that have passed since that wondrous day of youthful excitement and joy. More than a memory she is to me, for in my garage you will still find her. Red, a 1963 Ford Thunderbird, my first car. 

My thanks to Patrick Killary for submitting this story about his first car. You can submit a story as well - just contact us