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Ford Motor Thunderbird
Boyer was the lead designer for the original two-seater Thunderbird, the first personal luxury car to be manufactured in the United States. More than two million models of the Thunderbird have sold since its original launch.
Proud of you dad. What an amazing legacy. Even God drives a silver Thunderbird.
I knew Bill Boyer growing up as a child as he attended our church and was a family friend. His kids were older than us and off at school so he use to take us with him when he flew his Navion http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ryan_Navion which had a back seat and a luggage area. He even had a motorcyle that could be broken down into 2 pieces and fit in this area. As kids we use to look forward to the various test cars he brought to church. He added so much fun and excitement to live, and really spiced up our lives living in Michigan!
The T-Bird was not only an iconic design but my dad bill was an amazing man. I never heard him speak an unkind word. He was humble and was never one to beat his own drum so I’d love to honor his memory by beating it for him. He passed away in 2001 after a life lived with creativity and grace. A great designer, father and husband to my mom. Marc Cohn said that “if there’s a God in Heaven he drives a Silver Thunderbird.” Hope dad got to slide in behind the wheel and take him for a spin. Love you dad!
Bill was not only a great designer, but a great husband and father, plus he didn’t get ahead by climbing over others. He knew everyones name including the janitors and where ever he worked, he raised the moral. He was asked to write a book on the Thunderbird, which he did for Taylor Publishing company with a forward by William Clay Ford. I was touched to find this on the first page of the Thunderbird an Odyssey in automotive Design.“This book is dedicated to my wife Shirley who provided the loving home and children in the sanctuary that was the source of this designer’s stamina throughout the years of efforts in the realm of Thunderbird.” Also the 3 years he was head of design in Australia, he was admired and liked by all and did a great job. A wonderful and dear man that I miss.
That is ONE beautiful car…
classiest car ever!
Lynn, Your dad designed the coolest car ever!!!
I own a 1960 T-Bird and I love it!
Hey Judy, Lea and Alexis,
Thanks guys! You know, I just love it when I see one of the beauties still rolling down the highway!
Lea, mom’s side of the family are Nash’s. My cousin Bill and I were wondering if you might be related!
Oh man, a ‘60 bird. Very sweet. I’d love to own a Bird one day myself. The Bird clubs around the country used to have dad come out and do talks. He loved visiting with Bird owners and appreciated their love and loyalty for the car.
Bill Boyer was my dad, and I remember the ‘57 T-bird with the rear port hole window we had back in the day. That was so cool. He worked many years with the T-bird line, as it morphed into a luxury car. But it was the opportunity to design a personal sports car that first lured him to Ford in those early years after graduating from Pratt. He continued with Ford as an executive designer to his retirement. He was a super kind and humble man, to boot! (Just scrolled down to read comments by my sis and mom. Love!
If I am not mistaken, there were three generations of the early T-Bird; the first, manufactued to compete with the 1953 Chevrolet Corvette, was a simple, pure three-dimensional form, which like the Mustang will live forever. I know I could never afford one at Barrett-Jackson.
Love ford and the t-bird.
I credit my soft spoken yet very skilled and creative Uncle Bill for inspiring me to follow through with my own dream of a life as an artist. As an automotive designer his influence went far beyond the original two seat Thunderbird. He had a big impact on many Ford designs. As a six year old I fondly recall sitting next to him on the couch at Christmas begging “draw me (the brand new) 57 Ford Uncle Bill”, which he promptly and cheerfully did. He was a hero to me and he is missed.
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