"The third generation of the Ford Thunderbird is a personal luxury car produced by Ford for the 1961 to 1963 model years. It featured new and much sleeker styling than the second generation models. Sales were strong, if not quite up to record-breaking 1960, at 73,051 including 10,516 convertibles. A new, larger 390 cu in (6.4 L) FE-series V8 was the only engine available (in 1961). The Thunderbird was 1961's Indianapolis 500 pace car, and featured prominently in US President John F. Kennedy's inaugural parade, probably aided by the appointment of Ford executive Robert McNamara as Secretary of Defense."