I was recently at the Bay State Antique Auto Club car show in Dedham, Massachusetts. This is a great annual car show which I have attended many times. This year it was a good car show, not great, as dull weather and the threat of rain significantly reduced the number of cars that showed up. This was in stark contrast to about the last six times I have attended this show, when it has always been brutally hot. Almost everyone there that I talked to mentioned the temperature contrast with past shows.
One car that caught my eye at the show was a 1960 Ford Thunderbird. To many people this is a nice car, but not a special car. However to me it brought back memories of the first time that I had a ride in a fast car.
1960 Ford Thunderbird
When I grew up in Shelburne, Ontario there was a high school teacher that lived a few doors from us. We lived on a farm at the edge of town and over the years some lots along the highway had been sold to someone who would build a house. This high school teacher owned a Ford Thunderbird lived in one of those houses. I am not sure what the exact model year of the Thunderbird was, but it was one of the four-seat Thunderbirds built from 1958 – 1960, commonly known as the “Squarebirds”.
For Obvious Reasons, The 1958 – 1960 Ford Thunderbirds Were Known As The “Squarebirds”
There was a day when somehow, the high school teacher offered my Dad and I a ride in his car. I was just a little boy, maybe 8 or 9 years old. My Dad owned a 1955 Pontiac sedan, which was a very ordinary car. I had no idea that a car could go fast, but the teacher taught me a lesson that day. He showed me what a big V8 engine can do.
The 1960 Ford Thunderbird Is An Impressive Car
I don’t know what engine was in the high school teacher’s Thunderbird, but it was likely the 352 cubic inch V8. I can remember sitting in the car looking at the spectacular interior, which was a startling contrast to the interior of our 1955 Pontiac sedan.
The 1960 Ford Thunderbird Interior Is Quite Opulent
I sat in the back seat of that Thunderbird while the high school teacher worked the gas pedal up and down the road showing my Dad and I how fast the car was. This made quite an impression on me and probably was the start of my interest in cars. I enjoyed that teacher’s lesson immensely.
I Sat In The Back Seat Of A Ford Thunderbird In My First Fast Ride
The high school teacher in our little town went on to become the president of a well-known college, but I don’t know if his interest in cars remained with him. I hope that it did.
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