Los Angeles, CA
Ford 390 ci OHV V8
Accuair Air Ride Suspension
Front Wheel Disc Brakes--Rear Wheel Drums
1963 Ford Thunderbird
No place has ever been so synonymous with custom car culture and hot rodding as Southern California. By the mid 50s, the Los Angeles area played host to a long list of famous car customizers including Dean Jeffries, Von Dutch, Ed "Big Daddy" Roth, Junior Conway, Dick Jackson, and Larry Watson. They provided the perfect forum for the car owner who wanted to stand apart from the others.
The owner of this California custom found this car in stock configuration in Perris, California, purchasing the car from its second owner who had cared for the car since 1965. Attracted to the sleek, low slung design of the 1963 Thunderbird with an elegant body line that runs from the headlights all the way through the car to finish at the rear tail fin and taillights, today’s seller was confident this was the right car to begin a custom build. A quick confirmation that the car was equipped with all of the right accessories, such as factory power windows, power seats, and air conditioning and the car was on its way to its new home.
Starlite Rod and Kustom out of Harbor City, CA was commissioned to build the car. Well known for their mild custom builds, finishing their cars with exceptional style and quality, Starlite would spend 4 years meticulously turning this Thunderbird into the beautifully stylized and iconic custom ride it is today.
The Thunderbird frame and Ford 390 ci engine would remain in stock configuration throughout the build while nearly everything else on the car was treated to tasteful modifications.
The body was given a complete repaint with design reminiscent of a Larry Watson creation. Kiwi Green paint paired with dark green Freeway Scallops would have a heavy portion of metal flake added to it before Malex Pinstriping would finish off the exterior with fine brush lines.
Looking inside the Thunderbird, a custom interior was designed and installed by Chuy’s Auto Interior in Carson, CA. Trimmed with retro dark green seats and carpeting, hints of Kiwi Green and metal flake are found throughout the interior to perfectly compliment the exterior styling.
To give this T-Bird a smooth ride while also being able to lay out as low as possible while cruising, Accuair air ride suspension was installed at every corner of the car for endless adjustability in ride height options from front to rear.
Unlike many cars that receive the level of care and finish given to this T-Bird, this car was not built for the purposes of display. Having been driven to car events all over the US as well as having the honor of displaying at the Mooneyes Hot Rod Custom show in Japan, the owner of this T-Bird has given this car regular use and exposure.
Finished in Kiwi Green with Freeway Scallops and a heavy dose of metal flake throughout, this Thunderbird presents beautifully. There are no notable cosmetic flaws in the paint, body, or chrome exterior accessories.
Inside the Thunderbird, a custom interior designed and installed by Chuy’s Auto Interior in Carson, CA. is rimmed with retro dark green seats and carpeting. Hints of Kiwi Green and metal flake are found throughout the interior to perfectly compliment the exterior styling.
Engine and Drivetrain
The stock Ford 390 ci engine powers this 1963 Thunderbird. The engine runs strong and shifts nicely, delivering smooth power to the wheels. Combined with the smooth ride of the air suspension, this car can be used for weekend cruising or cross-country travel with ease.
Trunk and Storage Compartment
A look into the trunk shows a beautifully trimmed and thoughtful completion of this car’s interior. Trunk panels and carpeting offer a beautiful solution to hiding the air compressors and accumulator tanks for the air ride suspension mounted in the rear of the car.
This custom rides on Accuair air ride suspension providing endless adjustability in ride height options from front to rear. A four-link triangulated rear end and stock front control arms allow for the regular adjustment in ride height required by the air ride system.