Automotive Mileposts  
Optional Equipment
1961

Thunderbird - unique in all the world
SelectAire Conditioner ($462.80)
Power-Lift Windows ($106.20)
4-Way Power Driver's Seat ($92.10)
4-Way Power Passenger's Seat ($92.10)
Push Button Radio ($112.80)
MagicAire Heater ($82.90)
Electric Windshield Washer ($13.70) New option for '61
I-Rest Tinted Glass ($43)
Visored Spotlight (Researching Price)
Outside Rearview Mirror ($5.10)
Lifeguard Seat Belts ($22.80)
Leather Seat Inserts and Bolsters ($106.20)
Two Tone Exterior Paint ($25.80)
Rear Fender Shields ($26.60)
Heavy-Duty Battery ($7.60)
Rayon Whitewall Tires ($42.10)*
Nylon or Extra-Ply Rayon Black or Whitewall Tires ($70.40)*
Contour Floor Mats (Researching Price)
Locking Gas Cap (Researching Price)
Ventilated Seat Cushions (Researching Price)
Equa-Lock Differential ($38.60)
Swing-Away Steering Wheel ($25.10) New option for '61

Note: "New option for '61" denotes equipment introduced for 1961, or upgraded from the same item available in 1960.


*Whitewall stripe measured 2 inches wide on all cars built prior to June 1961. After that the newer style 1-inch whitewall stripe was provided on all cars so equipped. OEM tires were provided by Firestone, Goodyear, and BF Goodrich.
SelectAire Conditioner
SelectAire Conditioner provides year-round climate control. New 3-speed fan supplies greater air capacity for faster cool down and improved rear seat cooling. 23,815 1961 Thunderbirds (32.6%) were equipped with SelectAire.
Power-Lift Windows
Power-Lift Windows silently and powerfully raise or lower windows at the touch of a switch. Master control switch is mounted on driver's door for convenience, features lockout switch to disable all other window control switches in car except for master control. 55,227 1961 Thunderbirds (75.6%) were built with Power-Lift Windows.
SWING-AWAY STEERING WHEEL DEMONSTRATION

The Swing-Away Steering Wheel was introduced as a new option in 1961. It was so popular that it became a standard feature early in 1962 production, and would remain standard for the next 4 years.

As the photo below shows, the wheel moves over to the right nearly a foot, leaving generous entrance and exit room. With the wheel pulled to the normal driving position, the transmission selector lever may be moved to "N" (Neutral) to start the car. With engine running and Cruise-O-Matic selector in "DRIVE" (touch photo with cursor), you're cleared for takeoff!

Swing-Away Steering Wheel

...EVEN THE STEERING WHEEL MOVES ASIDE TO WELCOME YOU IN...
Power Seat
Power Seat is available for either driver's side or passenger's seat; 4-way control adjusts seat to an infinite number of positions for personalized comfort and convenience. 34,042 1961 Thunderbirds (46.6%) were equipped with a Power Driver's Seat. Of those, just 1,702 (2.3%) had both a Driver's and Passenger's Power Seat.
Pushbutton Radio
Pushbutton Radio is fully-transistorized for the first time in 1961; outstanding (for 1961) tone quality with eight-watt output and four-coil tuner provides greater fidelity, richer tone. Speaker is located at top center of instrument panel this year, in response to debris damaging the console-mounted speakers of 1958-1960. Radio features automatic volume control. Just 1,461 Thunderbirds in 1961 (2%) were delivered without a radio.
1961 Ford Thunderbird Convertible
Convertible shown above in Monte Carlo Red
MagicAire Heater-Defroster
MagicAire Heater-Defroster was optional in 1961, although most Thunderbirds would be equipped with this feature. Only 511 1961 Thunderbirds were built without MagicAire. Only 511 1961 Thunderbirds (0.7%) were built without the MagicAire Heater-Defroster.


1961 Ford Thunderbird Contents

Production | Specifications | Paint | Trim | Standard Equipment

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