Collector Classics: 1976 Ford Thunderbird

first_img He recalls really enjoying the car for a year and then trading it in for a new car. He can’t remember what that car was, but he definitely remembers the big T-Bird.In 1977, Vera Hall had just retired from 40 years’ service in the New Westminster land registry. She and her sister Joyce were having a meal at the White Spot drive-in restaurant when a couple with two children arrived in the most beautiful car she had ever seen.“What is that car?” Vera inquired of the driver. It’s a 1976 Thunderbird, was the response. Within days, Vera heard a CJOR radio ad from Eagle Ford in Burnaby that they were selling Red Robinson’s Thunderbird. It was only a year old and had all available options.“Do you want to go for a car ride?” she said to Joyce when she returned home from work.She knew the all-white Thunderbird was the car for her when they arrived at the car lot. The salesman took them for a ride to Deep Cove and, as Vera sat in the rear seat, she thought: this is heaven.She recalls paying $12,000 for the car and drove it home that night.For the next three decades, the white Thunderbird was a New Westminster icon, transporting the four sisters who live in a heritage house in the Queens Park district to and from shopping and appointments in the area.Greg Seidel grew up in New Westminster and knew about the sisters with their white T-Bird. He would periodically see Vera or Joyce driving the distinctive, big car.Greg is a certified car nut who still owns the 1969 Dodge Charger R/T that he bought 35 years ago. It features a 440 engine complete with the ‘six pack’ triple carburetion option and four-speed transmission, and has been stored away for 30 years.Greg’s son Chris was in the Centennial High School Ace-it automotive program, loved old cars and couldn’t wait to get to school every day to work on them. He wanted an old car of his own.Greg knew a relative of the ‘girls,’ who told him the Thunderbird had been stored in the garage since Vera, who will 100 years old in December, stopped driving.A deal was made and young Chris Seidel became the third owner of the Thunderbird with the promise the sisters would see it again once he got it running. Because it had been sitting so long, the car needed some tuning and tweaking. Revered Centennial High School auto program teacher Terry Ruger helped Chris put the T-Bird back into perfect running condition.And so it was that a reunion was arranged with the T-Bird once again parked outside Vera Hall’s home. Present were Vera and her three sisters who used to ride in the car, current owner Chris Seidel with his father Greg, and Red Robinson who was the first owner 40 years ago.“I don’t remember the car being this big,” Red declared after sliding behind the wheel for the first time in nearly four decades. “I don’t know how I parked it.”It was an emotional reunion for all – particularly for Red Robinson who has been an on air disc jockey for more than 60 years and continues hosting his weekly Sunday afternoon show on AM650 radio.“It’s a funny thing,” says 18-year-old Chris Seidel. “Everything works well on the car but the radio. It only plays one station – AM650.” PlayThe Rolls-Royce Boat Tail may be the most expensive new car everPlay3 common new car problems (and how to prevent them) | Maintenance Advice | Driving.caPlayFinal 5 Minivan Contenders | Driving.caPlay2021 Volvo XC90 Recharge | Ministry of Interior Affairs | Driving.caPlayThe 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning is a new take on Canada’s fave truck | Driving.caPlayBuying a used Toyota Tundra? Check these 5 things first | Used Truck Advice | Driving.caPlayCanada’s most efficient trucks in 2021 | Driving.caPlay3 ways to make night driving safer and more comfortable | Advice | Driving.caPlayDriving into the Future: Sustainability and Innovation in tomorrow’s cars | Driving.ca virtual panelPlayThese spy shots get us an early glimpse of some future models | Driving.ca Rock and Roll Hall of Fame disc jockey Red Robinson was flying high in 1976.He’d been on-air in Vancouver since the age of 16, beginning in 1954, and by 1976 he was a top-rated host on CKNW radio and a partner in the Vrlak-Robinson advertising agency.He was trading cars every year or so, and that year he was driving an all-white 1976 Ford Thunderbird with a leather interior, padded landau roof and 460-cubic-inch V8 engine under its expansive hood. ‹ Previous Next › Trending in Canada We encourage all readers to share their views on our articles using Facebook commenting Visit our FAQ page for more information. The Rolls-Royce Boat Tail may be the most expensive new car ever COMMENTSSHARE YOUR THOUGHTS advertisement Alyn Edwards is a classic car enthusiast and partner in Peak Communicators, a Vancouver-based public relations company. [email protected] Trending Videos Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Red Robinson back in the driver’s seat 40 years after he bought this 1976 Thunderbird new.Alyn Edwards, Driving Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Chris Seidel now owns the 1976 Thunderbird Vancouver DJ Red Robinson bought new 40 years ago.Alyn Edwards, Driving Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Red Robinson meets Vera Hall who bought his year-old 1976 Thunderbird and kept it for nearly 40 years.Alyn Edwards, Driving Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Chris and Red check out the 460-cubic-inch engine.Alyn Edwards, Driving Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Created with Raphaël 2.1.2The original white leather interior is like new.Alyn Edwards, Driving Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Vera Hallís sister Joyce accompanied her to the dealership where she bought Red Robinsonís year-old 1976 Thunderbird.Submitted, Driving Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Created with Raphaël 2.1.2The imposing front end of the ’76 T-Bird.Alyn Edwards, Driving RELATED TAGSFordThunderbirdSedanVintage / ClassicClassic CarsClassic Cars & TrucksNew VehiclesVancouverVintage & CollectibleAlyn Edwardsand MediaArtsBurnabyCentennial High SchoolChris SeidelDodge ChargerEntertainmentFord ThunderbirdGreg SeidelMediaNew WestminsterRadioRed RobinsonRock and Roll Hall of Fame and MuseumVancouverVera Hall Buy It! 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