Glad you nailed the cause, Rob. Thanks for the kudos as well.
As far as being reliable, these cars are pushing 60 yrs-old and many are still on the road. Everything goes back to the Earth eventually but Thunderbirds are a testament of how well-built these cars were. The materials back then were archaic and low-tech but they outlasted many younger cars. New or used parts are still out there, too.
I love a car with fenders your girl can sit on without the thing denting, etc. I hope you enjoy your Thunderbird for many more decades. - Dave