Automotive Mileposts  
Production Numbers
1965 Ford Thunderbird Landau
Landau shown at left
with rare Brown Vinyl Roof

63A - Hardtop
63B - Landau
76A - Convertible
63B/D - Special Landau*

42,652 ($4,486)
20,974 ($4,589)
  6,846 ($4,953)
  4,500 ($4,638.60)*
*The first printing of the 1965 Thunderbird Shop Manual listed a 63D Body Style Code and an 81 VIN/Body Serial Code for the Special Landau models, but our research shows that the 1965 Thunderbird Special Landau models were coded at the factory the same as the standard Landau models, using Body Style Code 63B and a VIN/Body Serial Code of 87. The only way to verify authenticity of this model is by the paint code of M - Wimbledon White, T - Navaho Beige, or V - Emberglo, combined with an interior trim code of 7D or XD on the data plate. They are listed separately here for reference purposes only.

Production Started
Production Ended
September 26, 1964

August 3, 1964
July 9, 1965
Did Mustang Steal the Bird's Thunder?

In 1964, Thunderbird had experienced its second highest production total to date. There was no reason to believe that 1965 would be anything other than another record year for the car. After all, with new standard features like reversible keys, keyless door locking, power front disc brakes, and sequential rear turn signals, the Thunderbird was one of the best equipped cars in the world. New options such as power vent windows, power radio antenna, and an automatic deck lid release for hardtop models made the T-Bird more comfortable to drive than ever before. But fate would not allow the Bird to soar as it did the previous year. And this time, the object of attention was coming from within the Bird's very own family.

On Friday, April 17, 1964, Ford dealers across the country unveiled the long-awaited Mustang. Ford had bombarded the public with an unprecedented amount of publicity leading up to the event. People flocked to their local dealer to get a look at the new sensation. Time and Newsweek magazines both carried the Mustang as their cover stories for their issues dated April 17th. Ford also bought out ALL of the advertising on all three networks for the 9:30-10:00 p.m. time slot! Viewers watching their favorite shows (Perry Mason, Hazel, and The Jimmy Dean Show), couldn't escape Ford's clever publicity. Ads also appeared in about 2,600 newspapers, 24 national magazines, virtually every market - coast to coast - was covered.

What impact did this have on the Thunderbird? Reports of new owners, who bought the last Mustang their dealer had, sleeping overnight in their new car at the dealership - waiting for checks to clear their bank the following morning - are just the beginning. A truck driver, apparently staring at a new Mustang in a showroom window, drove his truck straight through the window! Ford salesmen were forced to lock the doors and roll up the windows on new Mustangs on the showroom floor - so many people were crowding into them, the salesmen feared someone would get hurt.

It's a fact that the Mustang would have been more popular than it was, had Ford been able to build them fast enough! Perhaps a few people who would have normally purchased a Thunderbird, got caught up in the Mustang frenzy, and decided they could do without sequential signals - and save a couple thousand dollars, too!

Ford continued to promote the Thunderbird with beautiful advertising, highlighted with gorgeous color photography. Ad copy focused on "The Private World of Thunderbird", and the "extras that you don't pay extra for." The next time you have the opportunity, drive a 1965 Thunderbird, and discover the special feeling that only Thunderbird drivers know.

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