Lee Iacocca is the new general manager of the Ford Motor Company and his mandate is to introduce more models to choose from thereby attracting more customers into the Ford show rooms. Only one body change in ’62 is the grill does not h
The Thunderbird for 1962 has a limited edition Sports Roadster version available; this convertible has special badging, a grab bar mounted on the dash for the passengers comfort when travelling at break-neck speed, and is equipped with 48 spoke wire wheels by Kelsey Hayes, Elvis Presley was involved in an accident while making a quick, sharp turn when one of the wire wheels collapsed on his car but this problem was quickly rectified in all the roadster models. A very unusual item included with this option is a fiber glass tonneau cover that clips over the back seat giving the roadster the appearance of being a two seated sports car. This model has 1,427 units produced with only 120 of those having the “M” code power option. This is a rare engine with only about 300 of them put into Thunderbirds during the year and a half that the engine was available.
The 1962 “M” is marked on the VIN-the engine is a special high compression 390 block mounted with 406 heads the same treatment the high performance Galaxie received but the intake manifold for the “T” bird is unique and allowing air flow under the engine. This power option also has "Tri-Power"-three two barrel carburetors This combination allows the engine to develop 345 hp (257 kW) but it was not a successful one and was discontinued part way through the ’63 model year without any fan-fare. Other things new to ’62 are two trim features on the Landau coupe are the addition of a large chromed “S” shape on the rear pillars which is destined to become a Thunderbird trim feature. The other feature is the Landau also sports a vinyl roof which is a very stylish item during the ‘60’s and ‘70’s so it will be available for the next twenty years.
The last year of the third generation has few body changes but…Oh joy! For 1963 the AM radio is now basic equipment but there is a new AM/FM radio as an option if you prefer that. The another option on the table this year is a vacuum assist door lock with right side drivers mirror as basic equipment on all Ford products. The basic hardtop is the most popular model with the Landau version a close second and it now sports a simulated wood grain interior trim feature the convertible sales are way down as is the sports roadster model. This year the “Principality of Monaco” special edition is released with the production limited to 2,000 units only. This Landau model is a vision of white with the color used inside and out. It is equipped with a full leather interior which also displays the owners name and the vehicles assembly line production number. There is only one power train for the “T” bird in this generation; it the 390 cu in V8 bolted to the Cruise-o-Matic automatic transmission. The rumors were flying around the Thunderbird would take on the new name of “Continental” to coincide with this newly introduced Lincoln model.
A look at the streets of Detroit would probably have you singing Bryan Adam’s Song, “Summer of 69” as rivals Chevrolet and Ford have released revivals of their pony cars from the said year. Seeing a muscle car cruise the streets is certainly bound to bring back memories. But what make it neat are these old models that now have new versions.
Made to compete against rivals in America’s Trans-American Sedan racing series, this car lived up to its Boss name equipped with more adjustable shocks, stiffer springs, bigger, bulkier tires and engine that’s definitely more high-revving - a horsepower rating of 290 from the 302 cubic inch engine backed by a four speed manual transmission. Boss 302 Mustang had 8,641 units sold in its first two years thereby giving it a place in the collectible car versions and fulfilling its mission of bringing Mustangs to showrooms that can come out as the winner on race tracks.
So we go forward to our present time, exactly 42 years later, and we see the old Mustang transformed into the new Boss 302 V8 all set with the new mission of coming out as the racetrack winner when raced with the BMW M3. Just like the previous model, this new muscle car has stiff springs, braced chassis and a revved-up engine that goes faster at a rate of 444 hp. Executives of Ford say approval of this project would only be granted if the said model can lap circuits like that of the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. So far, the new Boss 302 is already faster than its fierce competitor BMW M3.
Chevrolet also released its own track intended model in the form of the muscle car, Camaro ZL1. More of an ingenious work of art than for racing, the ZL1 wasn’t randomly designed to do anything. It was, instead, the output of an innovative Chevrolet dealer from Illinois who wanted 50 Camaros that came with the company’s aluminum block, at 427 cubic inch, racing engine code dubbed as ZL1. Other dealers followed and 69 more cars were produced having the same engine with an official rate of 430 hp.
The new muscle car is set for release early next year. Packed with more power, it employs a supercharger responsible for producing at least 550hp. It’s also equipped with a 6.2 liter V8 and manual transmission at six speeds that are the same as that of the Corvette ZR1 and Cadillac CTS-V. Its magnetic ride shock absorber, like the Corvette, can also be adjusted. This results into the most advanced Camaro just yet. No particular target for performance was released yet but it’s assumed that it would exceed lap time for Boss 302.
These are just two samples of the many revamped muscle cars. You’d notice that while the past features have been retained, they had been added with many innovative improvements as well. Pretty much made to outdo competitors in both showroom and race track, each car is sure to give you joy rides that will give you new memories to treasure well until the next set of new models will come out.
The 410 cu in (7.0 L) can produce 345 hp (257.266 kW) at 4600 rpm and would deliver a walloping 475 ft-lb (644.01 N-m) of torque to the wheels at 2600 RPM. This variation was initially only available for the short lived Edsel in the ’58 and ’59 model year, but the Mercury Parklane is powered by the 410 engine through 1967.
The standard equipment engine for the uptown Lincoln and Continental brands is the 430 cu in (7.4 L) from 1958 through ’65. This large engine could also be ordered optionally for the smaller but still plushy equipped Mercury from ’58 until the end of the 1960 model year. The 1959 and ’60 Thunderbird could also have the 430 engine, with the alternate moniker of the MEL engine “Bulldozer”, justly applied. The 430 has a stroke of 3.7” which it shares with the 410, but the 430 bore is larger at 4.30 inches (109.2 mm). Ford takes top spot again in 1958 with the Super Marauder option for the 430 which includes three two barrel carburetors to produce 400 hp (298. 27 kW) and is the first American made production engine to achieve such a high rating. The carburetors are three Holley 2300 models for the complete three year production run although the engines 10.51:1 compression ratio in ’58 is down to a lower 10.0:1 through the 1959 model year. The horse power ratings also decline from a high point of 400 hp (261 kW) in ’58 to a low of 315hp (235 kW) throughout 1960. A Lincoln Mark III could have been optioned with a Holley 4150 four barrel carb with a 590 flow rating.
Some 1958 Lincoln Continental Mark lll came brand new with the Holly 4150 4 barrel carburetor, list1405 rated at 590 flow rate. The 430 engine has new pistons for 1963 and the new 10.1:1 compression rating kicks the horse power rating of the three two barrels back up to 345 (257 kW) in the same year.
The hot rodding life of the 430 MEL engine is not as long as the TE it is a colorful one. Bertram Yachts made a name for themselves when the twin MEL 430’s powering their ship brought them first place in the first Miami to Nassau race. Johnny Beauchamp took a photo second place in his “T”bird 430-just a hair behind Lee Petty in the 1959 Daytona 500 race. Holman Moody raced a number of Thunderbirds with the 430 under the hood and with at least one of these cars surviving until today. The supercharged Lincoln powered dragster with Rodney Singer piloting and pit crew headed by Karol Miller won the NHRA Nationals top Eliminator class in 1959. The car makes history as the first supercharged winner in NHRA history. There still may be an unknown number of these unique modified race cars still in modestly good condition. The intake manifolds, pistons and heads are major items but still undergo frequent designing changes mean there are few mass produced aftermarket speed equipment items for the 430. The specialized, Edelbrock did make a 6x2 ported manifold plus a water cooled marine manifold called the M4 and Weiand manufacture a 8x2 manifold for drag applications as well. There are/were also oversized pistons for early drag racers with blown 430’s, including the “Forged True” brand made by the now defunct Jahns Pistons. The Forged true piston is precisely 13:1 and .150 inches over standard size and were guaranteed to help make the engine purr-form at high revs. There is also a number of unsubstantiated reports of other unique and interesting ideas, add-ons and adjustments to make your 430 turn in quicker times that have been tried over the years.
In 1966 the 430 is retired and replaced by the MEL 462 cu in (7.6 L) engine which has a longer stroke and a larger bore than its predecessor. The new version has a Carter AFB four barrel carburetor with hydraulic lifters and will produce 340 hp (254 kW) while developing as much as 485 lb-ft (658 N-m) of torque. This engine is factory equipment for the Lincoln Continental and will be replaced by the Ford 385 engine family at the end of 1968.