From the News Bureau
FORD DIVISION of Ford Motor Company Rotunda Drive at Southfield Road
P. O. Box 608
LOgan 5-7200 FOR RELEASE SUNDAY, SEPT. 27, 1959
Announcing details of the 1960 Thunderbird, Ford said today America's most wanted car in 1960 will offer a completely automatic soft top convertible and an optional sliding sun roof with the hardtop model, while retaining the famous profile that has made the Thunderbird America's new fine car favorite.
In addition to the two major pleasure and convenience innovations, distinctive front and rear changes have been made and every appointment has been refined.
Sales of the four-passenger Thunderbird -- introduced just a year and a half ago -- have totaled about 100,000. The 1960 model will go on display in the showrooms of Ford dealers across the nation on October 8. Prices have not yet been announced.
For those who prefer the Thunderbird's hardtop styling„ yet enjoy the open air feeling, a new sliding roof panel will be an optional feature with the two-door hardtop model. In winter or summer, the sun roof provides improved air circulation for Thunderbird occupants.
With the 1960 model, the Thunderbird convertible introduces added convenience with a completely automatic top that is stowed beneath the flat rear deck. Without infringing on the rear seat passenger space, as in other convertibles, the Thunderbird soft top folds neatly and quietly into the trunk compartment, requiring no snap-on "boot" and showing no trace of the folded top.
Ford Division said the Thunderbird, together with the Ford and recently announced Falcon, give Ford dealers a line of passenger cars that meet the requirements of 90 per cent of all American car buyers.
Ford said the new Thunderbird features the same exciting silhouette that has made this car the most distinctive car on the American Road. The new front-end treatment features a redesigned grille that speaks of modernity and functional elegance. Inside the massive, one-piece bumper, one horizontal and three vertical ribs accent the heavy aluminum screen that spans the front of the car for better cooling.
At the rear, each of the two pods contain a new arrangement of three taillights. The two outboard lights on each side serve as taillights and brake lights, while the inboard lights house the back-up lights.
Among the other external appointments, the Thunderbird emblem has been restyled: front fender ornaments have been streamlined, and the rear fenders arc tastefully ornamented with vertical strips.
The 1960 Thunderbird is available in 19 exterior colors, plus two-tone combinations. All exterior points used on the Thunderbird provide the Diamond Lustre finish that resists chipping and scratching and does not need waxing. More than half the new colors are metallic hues. Convertible tops are available in white, black or blue.
Restyled interiors of the Thunderbird feature six all-vinyl, five vinyl and cloth, and four featuring leather upholstery combinations. Arm rests, door panels and other interior appointments have been redesigned to complement the tasteful exterior changes.
Standard engine for the Thunderbird is the 352 cubic inch, 300-horsepower V-8 with four-barrel carburetor. As an optional power plant, the Thunderbird is available with the 430 cubic inch, 350-horsepower V-8. Either engine can be matched with Ford's Cruise-O-Matic transmission, a dual range automatic transmission for greater highway economy and more responsive city performance. The standard three-speed manual transmission also is available, and with the standard V-8 engine, overdrive is optional.
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The sliding roof option for the 1960 Thunderbird consists of an all-steel panel which slides on aluminum guide rails, and can be locked in any partially opened position. When fully to the rear, the sun roof has an opening of 19 inches by 34 inches. Channels and drain tubes prevent leakage into the passenger compartment. An air deflector above the windshield moulding deflects the air past the opening and creates a vacuum which exhausts air from inside the passenger compartment, thus providing improved air circulation.
The full advantage of the sun roof is apparent on hot days when, after the car has been parked in the sun for some time, opening the roof immediately provides an escape for the trapped hot air.
Operation of the new fully-automatic convertible top is controlled from the driver's seat. After unlocking the two clamps at the top of the windshield, pulling the T-handle switch begins the operation. The rear deck lid rises, permitting the top to fold neatly out of the way into the trunk area. When the top is fully folded, the deck lid lowers and locking screws fasten the deck lid firmly into place.
Raising the top is just as simple; pushing the T-handle starts the electric mechanism that raises the deck lid, lifts the top into place and closes the deck lid.
Available with the 1960 Thunderbird is a full range of power assists -- steering, brakes, seats and windows -- and other optional equipment, including air conditioning.