Junkyard Find: 1965 Ford Thunderbird Landau Hardtop Coupe

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin
We’re committed to finding, researching, and recommending the best products. We earn commissions from purchases you make using links in our articles. Learn more here
junkyard find 1965 ford thunderbird landau hardtop coupe

Somewhere in the San Francisco Bay Area, someone must be hoarding a big stash of Thunderbirds from the mid-1960s through early 1970s, because I’ve been seeing disconcerting quantities of these cars in East Bay self-service wrecking yards going back at least five years (not to mention the 35 Thunderbirds from the 1970 and 1971 model years that I saw at auction before that).

Mostly they’re so rough that I don’t photograph them (though I did shoot this ’65 Landau about a year ago), which suggests that the T-Bird Hoarder is purging hopeless parts cars, one at a time. Here’s another ’65 Thunderbird Landau, seen in Oakland back in September.

As with the previous ’65 Landau, this one has lots of usable pieces but would be prohibitively expensive to restore.

Extremely nice restored examples of the ’65 Thunderbird Landau Coupe are going for under $20,000. Getting one like today’s Junkyard Find to pretty decent condition, with a 20-footer body and an interior that doesn’t make your passengers want to don hazmat suits, would be likely to cost five figures. A Mustang or GM A-body or Chrysler B-body has vast aftermarket body and trim parts availability, but not a fourth-gen T-Bird. You’d need to pay top dollar for NOS or restored everything to fix up this car.

Out of the night, a new approach to luxury!

For those who choose to Thunderbird, instead of merely to drive.

Murilee Martin
Murilee Martin

Writer d'Elegance Brougham Landau.

More by Murilee Martin

Join the conversation
2 of 116 comments
  • MaintenanceCosts So there is no Sonata trim without some type of Theta engine.It seems like they've been doing a bit better when attached to a hybrid system, so that's probably the one to get, but they're going to have to go several years without further engine troubles before I'd trust a H/K ICE product again.
  • Lou_BC Full sized sort of autonomous RC's. Cute.
  • Art_Vandelay Autonomous capabilities are being deployed (or planned anyway) in multiple combat vehicles. Should be fun from my perspective
  • Drew8MR Interior is trivial now you can get repro everything in various levels of quality. Getting the top sorted will be a couple grand, but I'd drive it as it. I drove a $1500 67 GTO convertible for 20 years, not every old car needs to be like new.
  • John Not everyone pays that much for power. Mine is 10 cents per kw…..