The Thunderbird fourth generation was restyled in favor of a more squared-off, "formal" look for 1964 . The Thunderbird’s sporty image had by that time become only an image. The standard 390 cu. in. 315 bhp engine needed nearly 11 seconds to push the heavy T-bird to 60 mph (96 km/h), although with enough room a top speed of about 120 mph (200 km/h) was obtainable. The softly sprung suspension allowed considerable body lean, wallow, and float except on smoothly surfaced highways; there was an export suspension package available as special order. Contemporary testers felt that the Buick Riviera and Pontiac Grand Prix were substantially more roadable cars, but the Thunderbird remained the leader of the market segment.
The revised ’bird was initially offered as a hardtop, a convertible, or Landau, with vinyl roof and simulated landau irons. The tonneau cover and wire wheels of the Sports Roadster remained available as a dealer-installed option, although only 50 were sold. Total 1964 sales were excellent: 92,465, up nearly 50% from the previous year.
Both coupe and convertible models continued with the 1964 Thunderbird and the separate Landau model also carried forward. However, the Sports Roadster was gone. Two versions of Ford’s 390-cubic-inch V8 were available both topped by Holley four-barrel carburetors. The base 390 used one Holley and a 10.0-to-1 compression ratio to make 300 hp while the optional high-performance version ran 10.5-to-1 compression and two Holleys and was rated at 330 hp. Both were backed by a three-speed automatic transmission.