'Tis Golden Jubilee time for the Thunderbird. 50 years ago, gleaming and spotless, it rolled off the line and out of Ford plant in Wixom, MI. Over the past five decades has made its way south to Texas. At one time it was registered in Indiana, other than that, its travels are unknown. A lot has happened in the the last half century but aside from safety features and better gas mileage, cars are pretty much the same. The Jetsons car is still on the drawing board. Will the Thunderbird see 75 or 100? Maybe. In the right hands it might outlast all of us.
In honor of the big Five-Oh, I took it for a spin on Sunday to an old-timey gas station in Grapevine. The kind where the gas was first measured into the overhead glass bowl and then pumped by some nice young fellow would would clean your windshield, check the oil... all while you never left your automobile. And this kind of service was all to be had for ten cents a gallon, or so they tell me. Actually, in 1961, gas was 35 cents a gallon and JFK had just taken office. Ironically, the newly re-designed '61 T-Bird was part of his inauguration parade. (Now would be the time for my tasteless JFK-Dallas joke but I will let it slide).
In honor of the milestone, I changed the oil last night. Beats cake and candles any day. Happy Birthday!