Street Feature: The “Dirty Bird,” An All ’60s T-Bird Hotrod

We’re not sure if it was the matte-black paint, blue flames, the pattern on the roof, or the incredibly clean engine compartment that attracted us to this car, but the package deal sure makes one badass ride. This is one awesome 1962 Ford Thunderbird.

The retro, bell-flower style exhaust is an awesome touch!

“I’m a fan of the ‘60s,” explained the owner, Jeremy Pierson of Puyallup, Washington. “I tried to do everything to this car the way they would have done it back then.” He’s worked to setup this build so every aspect fits into the true, 1960s custom culture look. The color combination, flames, and pinstriping are spot on to the style. Jeremy, you nailed it.

Those Holley valve covers really look nice in there. And that color is just stellar, it’s really hard to appreciate without seeing it in person.

He has had the car for about 6 years, and in that time he’s done quite a bit of work to it. “It was one of those deals where it just came to me. It was sanded down and didn’t look pretty,” Jeremy told us. “This is the current end result of the project, but it’ll never really be done. I call it the Dirty Bird.”

He used a sort of lace window curtain from the '60s to paint the pattern on the roof. Creative, period correct, and perfect for the style of this car!

Loaded with original options like all around power windows and a pivoting steering column, this old bird also features the original drivetrain. It’s got a 390 cubic-inch engine, cruise-o-matic 3-speed automatic transmission, and the stock rearend with 3.00:1 gearing. “She’s a freeway flier,” he said, “It’s really a driver, and that’s exactly what I wanted. You can hop in with the whole family and just drive it anywhere.” That’s the thing these Thunderbirds always had over the other sporty cars of the same era—space!

Look at the striping on the center console. Way to keep with the theme and make sure its present throughout.

All of the painting was done in Jeremy’s garage and his friend Jeff Knoblauch did a lot of the pinstriping work. “Jeff was a big help on this project,” said Jeremy. The pinstriping work is very well done and we love how well it sticks to the ‘60s vibe of the rest of the car. It also flows into the door jambs, interior, and the spider webbing on the wing windows.

We also just can’t get over how clean the engine compartment is on this beauty. Jeremy spent a lot of hours working on getting all the welds smoothed out and painting it up to look as nice as it does. You really can’t see it in the pictures, but the matte blue paint that’s under the hood has a lot of depth to it that really makes it pop.

The build was a team effort and Jeremy had a goal in mind while putting the car together. “Someday we want to take it to the Viva Las Vegas car show,” he explained. This would be an ideal car to take to a  show like that. It fits the style of the show, it’s the perfect size for a roadtrip, and it’s built to be a cruiser.

We love Jeremy’s “Dirty Bird,” and we’d love to see what you folks are driving out there. If you love it, odds are good that we will too, so shoot us an email with a couple pictures and a little information on your ride, you might just see it here as one of our Street Features.

About the author

Kyler Lacey

A 2015 Graduate from Whitworth University, Kyler has always loved cars. He grew up with his dad's '67 Camaro convertible in the garage and made it a goal to one day have a classic of his own. When he was 17 he succeeded in buying a dusk pearl 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air four-door sedan and drives it as often as possible, even taking it camping by using it to pull a vintage Apache hard side trailer. When he isn't writing for Power Automedia, he restores antiques, works on his car, and spends time with his family.
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