STEVE SCHEIL 

HISTORY OF 1964 THUNDERBIRD

This 1964 Thunderbird is Ford Motor Co. color Peacock Green. The trim is Light Turquoise. It was built on March 24 th of 1964, which makes it 164,689 th car assembled at the Wixom, Michigan Ford plant that year. The Vehicle ID Code indicates that the car was ordered through the Ford Los Angeles district.

The car was purchased by Ben Smittle of Long Beach, California at Mel Brower Ford also in Long Beach. The next owner of record was Robert Osborne, also of Long Beach, per the ownership certificate dated August 18, 1985. The car was restored and eventually put in the Scottsdale, Arizona auction. It was purchased by Southgate Ford in Milwaukee and put on their South 27 th Street sales lot. The car was in Milwaukee for about two years without being driven.

WQFM, an "oldies "radio station in Milwaukee, now off the air, used the car as a contest prize in early 1990. The contest entailed listening each week, for ten weeks, for a recording of an "oldies" song from the 1950’s or 1960’s that was to be played at a certain time during the week. The listener was to write the name of the each recording on a card and send it to the station. The people who had correctly identified all ten recordings were invited to a party. At the party, there was a big fish bowl filled with automobile keys, one of which was the key to the Thunderbird. The man, from whom I purchased the car in August, 1990, won the car by picking the correct key out of the fish bowl.

The man who won the car identified himself as a "Corvette Man" and did not want the car. He put an ad in the Milwaukee Journal to sell it. The car was in a friend’s garage in Whitefish Bay and the friend wanted the car out of the garage before winter. I purchased the car in September. When the owner parted with the car, he told me that he got more looks and comments about the Thunderbird than he did his Corvette. He told me that he couldn’t understand people wanting a Thunderbird rather than a Corvette.

It is not known if the power train is original. The 390 cubic inch engine was used on many Ford and Mercury models at that time. Therefore, it is quite possible that a different powertrain was put into this car. It has an aftermarket Holley 600 carburetor.

I have driven the car about 2500 miles per year within 200 miles of Milwaukee to places such as Madison, Wisconsin Dells, Lake Geneva, Chicago, Iola, Door County, etc. It has been in many shows and received some trophies.

All in all, the car has given my wife and me many hours of fun and enjoyment.

Steve Scheil

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