Welcome to Found Around Town, where we feature cars we find in a city where interesting ones are rare because everyone drives a Prius or rides a bicycle: Austin, Texas.
I stumbled across this reminder of just how stylish cars used to be on South First Street (not far from the G&S Lounge, which is one of the greatest dive bars on the planet. Check it out if you're ever in the ATX.) In a sea of boring, nearly identical sedans and SUVs on the road, a classic Thunderbird is hard to miss. This one is a third-gen T-Bird, the one made from 1961 to 1963.
Where do I begin counting the great styling cues on this car? The wedge-shaped front end, the tiered chrome grille, the rocket booster-shaped rear fenders with ever-so-tiny tailfins, the bird logos front and back... man, the American auto industry really brought its A-game back then.
Then we take a peek inside, and see the column shifter, the adorably antiquated radio and AC controls, and DEAR GOD THAT IS A BIG STEERING WHEEL. I don't even know how this driver fits his or her legs under that thing.
All in all, this black Thunderbird appears to be a great candidate for a restoration. I hope I get to see it cruising down SoCo with the other classic American cars someday.
Also, because of the glossy black paint and the light, you can totally see my reflection in parts of the car — and how insanely handsome I am. Just a little somethin' for the ladies who read weekend Jalopnik.
What do you think of classic Thunderbirds?