Welcome to Down On The Street, where we admire old vehicles found parked on the streets of the Island That Rust Forgot: Alameda, California. One car that's been pretty scarce in this series (given the numbers that were manufactured) is the pre-Fox Body Ford Thunderbird. We've seen a seriously mean-looking '61 and a very nice daily-driver '65, but that's been it. I haven't been able to find a great big Malaise Era '75 T-Bird for us, but I have got another clean mid-60s example.
I found this '66 just a few doors down from the minister's '77 Camaro, and it's in very, very nice shape. It had For Sale signs in the windows (with a $6,200 asking price) and now it's gone, so I assume some buyer has spirited it off the island and into the gilded-cage shelter of a garage, with occasional appearances at car shows and cruise nights. Or maybe not- perhaps it's on a crazed Saskatchewan-to-Uruguay road trip at this very moment!
You could get yourself a new '66 Thunderbird hardtop for $4,395, which was $799 more than a Galaxie 500 7 Litre Fastback. However, the T-Bird could be had with a dual-quad, 425-horse 427, and the 7 Litre Galaxie got only 345 horsepower from its 428… but you could get a 4-speed in the Galaxie at no extra cost, and the Thunderbird was a slushbox-only machine. Let's say your time machine has just dropped you off in 1966, you've parlayed 50 bucks into the "luckiest" sports-betting/stock-market/whatever winning streak in history, and you're ready to head to the Ford dealership for a new ride. Do you get the 7 Litre Galaxie with a 4-speed, plus enough left to buy a 3-year-old Beetle as a spare car, or do you get the Thunderbird with 425 horsepower and an automatic? Let's have a poll!