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Silver Auctions to Auction "Royal" Thunderbird

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One of the featured cars that will appear at the Fort McDowell Hotel & Casino in Fountain Hills has a tie-in to royalty. Offered for sale at Silver Auctions' annual Arizona season opener will be a 1963 Ford Thunderbird Limited-Edition Landau.

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On Feb. 7, 1963, a special Limited-Edition Thunderbird Landau made its debut in the Principality of Monaco. Princess Grace (former Hollywood screen legend Grace Kelly) of Monaco was given the number one car. This car was then dubbed the "Princess Grace" model by Ford salesmen. Only 2,000 were built, and all were painted white. They all had white leather upholstery, and a white steering wheel. The interior trim was accented with simulated Rosewood, instead of walnut. The vinyl top was finished in a maroon color called Rose Beige.

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On the dashboard of each car was a special gold-toned nameplate with the car's unique serial number, 1 to 2,000. The car's price of $4,748 included special wheel covers with simulated knock-off hubs.

The 1963 Thunderbird is considered by many to be the best-looking of the three-year (1961-'63) third-generation group. The total output for regular Landau models (not including the 2,000 Limited-Edition versions) was 12,139. The following year, 1964, was the launch of the all-new styled fourth-generation Thunderbird.

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