1960 Thunderbird Hardtop - Photographed August 3, 2003

This 1960 Thunderbird Hardtop was bought brand new by an 18-year-old named James Cassidy. He did not come from a rich family. He had belonged to a band called the Chariots who in 1959 recorded a song called "Gloria." This song is available on CD compilation from Ace (ACE CDCHD739
Bar Code: 0 29667 17392 6) called WOP DING A LING, Classic New York Doo Wop from TIME - BRENT - SHAD .He walked into a Ford dealership in Queens, New York in February 1961 and saw that there were three leftover 1960 Thunderbirds there - two black and one platinum. He told a salesman that he wanted the platinum one. The salesman, incredulous that a young kid could afford such a luxury car, asked him how would he pay for the car. The young James Cassidy whipped out a roll of hundred dollar bills out of his pocket and handed $3400 cash to the stunned salesman.

James did not tell his mother that he had bought the car. All the appointed day, he waited at the front window of his house hoping that the car would be delivered soon. His mother asked him why he was lingering at the front window. He did not tell her yet that he bought a car. When the bright silver new Thunderbird finally arrived, it turned out that James had not registered the car nor did he have insurance. He had never bought a car before and had thought that buying a car meant that you could drive it. Miraculously, he was able to convince his mother to register it under her name and insurance.

The first time he drove the car, taking his sister and girlfriend along, he went to Gertz in Queens. As luck would have it, a policeman in a patrol car noticed the young man and his young passengers in the expensive new Thunderbird and became suspicious. He pulled James over and asked him whose car he was driving. Of course, James had forgotten the registration for the car at home. He convinced the patrolman that he owned the car and the patrol car followed him home, so that he could retrieve the registration.

So began James Cassidy’s 42-year-old love affair with this 1960 Thunderbird. (continued on page 2)

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Click the image below for a movie of the car running for the first time in over two years.
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