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Weekend Edition – A 1979 Ford Thunderbird with only 946 Original Miles

Jim Brennan September 15, 2013 For Sale, Weekend Edition 37 Comments

Ford  Thunderbird ONLY 946 ORIGINAL MILES in Ford  eBay Motors - Google Chrome 9142013 90950 PM.bmp

Welcome to the Sunday Edition of the Redusernab Weekend, and by the time you read this, I will be out on my boat for what looks like the last time this year (unless we get a warm weekend in October that is!) While looking through the revamped eBay listings (see me rant here) I found what is possibly the lowest mileage 1979 Ford Thunderbird in existence. But, it that really anything to brag about?

Ford  Thunderbird ONLY 946 ORIGINAL MILES in Ford  eBay Motors - Google Chrome 9142013 90929 PM.bmp

According to the listing:

AS FAR AS I AM AWARE, THERE IS NOT ANOTHER OUT THERE IN THIS AS NEW CONDITION WITH 964 MILES, SO NOT MUCH MORE TO SAY. PERSONALLY HAVE NEVER BEEN CRAZY ABOUT VELOUR INTERIOR – THANK GOODNESS THIS PRISTINE EXAMPLE DOES NOT HAVE VELOUR INTERIOR.

Ford  Thunderbird ONLY 946 ORIGINAL MILES in Ford  eBay Motors - Google Chrome 9142013 90959 PM.bmp

IF YOU ARE SERIOUS ABOUT PRISTINE LOW,LOW MILEAGE ICONS THIS IS THE ONE, ESPECIALLY THAT HAS BEEN DRIVEN TO KEEP EVERYTHING MOVING AND IN CORRECT MECHANICAL CONDITION, HAS THE REAL DEAL CONTINENTAL KIT AND LAST YEAR OF THE REAL THUNDERBIRD.

Disclosures: I drive the car from time to time to keep everything operating smoothly so mileage may be a tad higher at delivery. Couple of minor paint chips and 1/2″ scratch top of fender.

Ford  Thunderbird ONLY 946 ORIGINAL MILES in Ford  eBay Motors - Google Chrome 9142013 91006 PM.bmp

With only four images, it is really hard to take in all of the Malaise Glory of this ‘Bird. The real problem is with the asking price, which is an astonishing $29,700! That my friends is a boatload of Crack… but what do you think about it? See the listing here:

  • cruisintime

    Sweet car,although the continental kit looks out of place. The price is where I lose interest. Even if the miles are true that is about twice what it is worth.

  • Van_Sarockin

    Nice Fairmont. I have to say, I bit my tongue when I saw that photo, showing what it took to slap that Continental kit on the trunk.

    • Didn't you read the ad? This is the last REAL Thunderbird! The Fairmont based cars came in 1980. The Futura does pretty much look like a smaller version of these cars. I have often wondered why Ford felt the need for 2 personal luxury coupes on the Fox chassis.

      • Van_Sarockin

        Read the ad? The only reason I looked at all was to make sure it wasn't going to run into me. Little danger of that.

        • dukeisduke

          It's based on the LTD II. I like it for the most part, but the Continental kit has got to go, or it has to come with a double knit suit, Qiana shirt, and white belt and loafers.

          • Rene

            I would disagree, in 1979 the T-Bird and Cougar had a full frame platform that also included the Lincoln Continental Mark V.

      • tonyola

        It's not a "real" T-bird. This is merely a spiffed-up 1972-vintage Torino platform. The last "real" T-bird was 1976, which had more in commom with the Continental Mark IV.

  • $kaycog

    It's sad that this Thunderbird is a garage queen, but she probably doesn't want to be seen with that continental kit on her back end.

    • Van_Sarockin

      Does this spare tire make my butt look big?

      • $kaycog

        It makes your butt look big and weird.

      • FЯeeMan

        It's not the tire, honey…

  • Are those dash gauges OEM? Lot kind of aftermarket and thus could be concealing actual mileage, although it appears to be in very nice condition. But I agree UDMan. CP. Have fun on the boat.

    • OA5599

      Yes, OEM. Plastic wood trimmed in plastic chrome.

      • BlackIce_GTS

        Yeesh, my K-car had better fake wood then that.
        Progress! I suppose.

    • They are stock gauges. Notice that the speedo only goes to 85mph? Thanks Jimmy Carter!

      Something I noticed on a Google search to answer your question is that the '79 T-Bird seemed to have two entirely different dashboards. One with hooded, full gauges…..and another one with a flat panel. Both of these pictures are of 1979 Thunderbird Town Landau Edition cars, but one is optioned more than the other. I guess it makes sense though. I had a '75 Laguna S-3 that had an entirely different dash from a Chevelle. The Chevelle had a rectangular speedo and mine had round gauges from the Monte Carlo.

      Base model: …
      <img src="; width="600">

      Heritage Edition: …
      <img src="; width="600">

      • The Heritage dash is what I expected to see on this car.

        • OA5599

          The Heritage was the fully loaded one, with a padded roof replacing the rear quarter windows, leather-covered dash, upgraded seating, etc. This was a hack by a dealership to take a base model and add some profit margin. I doubt that it has many optional features, other than the ones that made it too embarassing to drive.

        • tonyola

          The gauge-filled dash was also optional on all T-birds, Cougars, Montegos, Torinos, LTD IIs, etc.

    • dukeisduke

      Yeah, that's the original dash. My first boss had a dove grey '77 with grey interior, and a 400 2-barrel. It was a nice car for being Malaise era.

  • OA5599

    The description and pictures are a bit sparse for someone wanting nearly $30K for a Malaise era car. The same owner is listing a sub-1000-mile 78 Corvette Pace Car for $37.5. It's modified, has an automatic, and doesn't say which engine or show the window sticker, but I would assume that if this car was an L-82, that fact would be mentioned. That seems like a steep price, especially vonsidering the bids on a couple of similar cars with fewer miles.

    "PERSONALLY HAVE NEVER BEEN CRAZY ABOUT VELOUR INTERIOR – THANK GOODNESS THIS PRISTINE EXAMPLE DOES NOT HAVE VELOUR INTERIOR."

    Then how about a picture of the vinyl? I had an identical car, minus the continental kit and in a different color. I can't tell you how many times I got into the car on a summer afternoon and scalded myself on the seat and wondered why the original owner didn't order velour.

  • Rene

    I purchased a 1979 Mercury Cougar XR7 (basically the same as this car) with 13,000 original miles from an estate sale. I believe I paid $4500 for it and I thought I over-paid! I then performed all the maintenance required from it's slumber and used it as my daily work commuter car.
    Link: …
    I drove the Cougar 110 MILES a day going to and from work throught the terrible pot holed and heavily salted Detroit freeway system. Only maintenance over 160,000 miles. Sold it after rust made wrenching a pain and gas prices shot up.

    • zaddikim

      A friend had an XR-7, and not only was it a gas pig, but there was ALWAYS something messed up with the electrics.

      Great cruiser though, and the hood could be rented out as an airfield for light aircraft.

      • Rene

        Yep, before I de-smogged the Cougar 302 it really sucked gas. After no CATS, dual exhaust, rejet carb, and a distributor change it would get 18~20 on the highway. Not so good around town. The engine was only 140 horse-power in stock form!

        I never had any electrical problems. For a short while I had some size rims and low profile tires. It really handled good and I could surprise some people that this boat could be on their tail on freeway ramp. (It could make a good lemons car!) Awh, but I went back to the stock rims and white walls after Detroit pot-holes kept taking their toll on the aftermarket rims.

        • zaddikim

          Heh, she had the one with the 400ci. No getting around that, really. Road-tripping was only possible with a healthy bank balance.

  • Mr Smee

    Would be a great "Ironic" hipster car in Portland.

  • Guest

    I miss the heck out of my old 1979 LTD II and this isn't helping!

  • skitter

    Find a harpoon and call Neko Case, stat.

    • Dean Bigglesworth

      She's feeling a bit sleepy at the moment.
      <img src="; </img> <a href="” target=”_blank”>

  • Ah, the rare but not sought after category. What future collectible could be hiding in there? Not this one. Late '70s Ford build quality? Retreaded retreaded model that was later retreaded once or twice? Bleh. (Dad had a '78. Bleh.)

  • Devin

    You mock the continental kit, but it's probably great protection if you're trying to push your T-Bird into the garage with a pickup truck but are also not paying close attention.

    Did I know someone who did this? Yes. Theirs did not have a Continental kit, however, so the rear end was slightly smashed.

  • boxdin

    These, and others of the era, represent the wretched excess period of detroit design. Ugly then and Ugly now, I don't see much value at all.

  • PushrodRWD

    A buddy had a faded blue one with white interior; it was dubbed the Thunder-Pigeon. I have had two Cougars from the same time period (77 & 79). The 302, when uncorked, had some get up and go, the steering and suspension were decent for the “mid-sized” cars from the era. I put heavy duty springs and shocks as well as some stickier tires on my second Cougar and it handled a lot better than most folks would think. It wasn’t a go cart. It was comfortable, had nice low end grunt but with the tall rear end it was not quick off the line. It was best on long runs at the upper end of highway speeds. With a limited slip differential and a couple of bags of quickcrete in the trunk, it did OK in the snow. It was also good for pushing little foreign cars out of the way when they boxed you in a parking spot or were put in the middle of a space where you could fit a late 70’s Impala and a late 70’s Cordoba.

  • chrystlubitshi

    I've always wanted one of these birds so that I could make it a full time convertible with a wing– essentially cut out everything that the vinyl roof touches (except the windshield) and go cruising (this idea came from a levi's jeans commercial from the mid to late 90s)

    • PushrodRWD

      They had t-tops….
      <img src=";

      • chrystlubitshi

        I would still want to cut the back section of the roof off (the part over the rear seat/rear deck, get rid of the back windows and rear windshield– I know this would probably affect the structural rigidity of the car in negative ways, as well as making the car only usable in nice weather; but that's the idea.

  • PushrodRWD

    As you can tell the general sentiment towards the late 70's FoMoCo coupes is not that positive. You should be able to get one cheap and try. With the wide b-pillar it might not look that bad with it open. Getting it to look right with a 1/4 convertable up would be a bit of a task. It would have to store in the parcel shelf area and have a clean storage cover. The big problem is making sure the body stays rigid. With a body on frame car you can get to things, if you put the time and effort in.
    Buick did something like that for a pacecar Regal. Note they kept the t-tops. The T-bird would pull it off better with the body color b-pillar strip.
    <img src=";

  • tomcat630

    " Notice that the speedo only goes to 85mph? Thanks Jimmy Carter! "

    Can blame the Ford Admin for that, these started showing up in fall 1976, new for 1977 MY.

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