: Look What I Ended-Up With.....It's a Ford, Now What?



themadwacker1
07-19-10, 08:01 PM
Ok I won't get in to the whole story as to why I have ended up with this thing but I can tell you that it is an all original 1979 Ford Thunderbird with a 302 engine & just 26,400 miles on it......I am still not sure what to make of this strange bird in my Cadillac barn. Its going to be for sale once I can get more info on it.

http://i788.photobucket.com/albums/yy162/themadwacker_1/T-Bird/001_T-Bird.jpg
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http://i788.photobucket.com/albums/yy162/themadwacker_1/T-Bird/006_T-Bird.jpg
http://i788.photobucket.com/albums/yy162/themadwacker_1/T-Bird/008_T-Bird.jpg
http://i788.photobucket.com/albums/yy162/themadwacker_1/T-Bird/011_T-Bird.jpg
http://i788.photobucket.com/albums/yy162/themadwacker_1/T-Bird/015_T-Bird.jpg
http://i788.photobucket.com/albums/yy162/themadwacker_1/T-Bird/017_T-Bird.jpg

orconn
07-19-10, 08:14 PM
My recolection of driving one of those back in the late seventies was "Gee, they made a relatively smaller and more compact car handle just like a big, wallowy, no feel Lincoln Town sedan! What an accomplishment! No wonder it only has 23,000. miles on it!

But as they say "there is an ass for every seat!"

Submariner409
07-19-10, 08:14 PM
Karen had a very similar "LTD", same package (no Flipper headlight doors.....); came down from an aunt in FL. We nicknamed it the Aircraft Carrier after the hood length. She drove that thing until over 200,000 miles and the only thing it got was oil, brakes, tires, and a water pump. It was a true pig of a car. Her son-in-law called it "The Cruisemobile".

Now, if you build a 500+ something and drop it in there.........but the suspension work would cost more than the engine, by a long shot.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
07-19-10, 09:10 PM
The amount of faux wood trim on the interior is ridiculous. I like that. Drive it, see what you think of it. If you don't like it, you could always sell it to turn a profit. It's in great shape and I'm sure someone would enjoy it.

Only a 302 though? Did they offer a 400?

ga_etc
07-19-10, 09:50 PM
My dad had one very similar to that when I was a kid. It was that color combo only no vinyl top and had "leather" and a power sunroof. I don't remember much about it except that the metal handle on the sunroof shade burnt the piss out of my hand one day, and it seemed huge to me at 10 or so.

I don't think it's a bad looking old car. Depending on what you've got in it there's probably a little money to be made on it.

themadwacker1
07-19-10, 09:57 PM
The amount of faux wood trim on the interior is ridiculous. I like that. Drive it, see what you think of it. If you don't like it, you could always sell it to turn a profit. It's in great shape and I'm sure someone would enjoy it.

Only a 302 though? Did they offer a 400?

Already drove it. It wallow’s like a water bed, & forget about turns at speeds of over 25km.....the ass feels like it going to get there before you do! Looks nice but the fit & finish is really terrible, is that a trait of Ford's quality from the 70's? It's a real gas-guzzler too. As for the 302, well I feel no kick-down when I floor it into second or third, but the transmission is shifting but no kick-down. Yes a 400 was offered as well as a 351. To turn a profit with this one I will need $6000.00 for it......not sure if this car has that kind of classic value? :(

ga_etc
07-19-10, 10:04 PM
Please tell us you don't have nearly $6,000 in a '79 Thunderbird...

themadwacker1
07-19-10, 10:30 PM
Please tell us you don't have nearly $6,000 in a '79 Thunderbird...

No Way.....it really a long story, but no I did not put $6000.00 of my cash in this car!

I~LUV~Caddys8792
07-19-10, 11:27 PM
I'm sure somebody out there would take it off your hands. Even if they just wanna trash it.

orconn
07-19-10, 11:36 PM
While there was some improvemnet in Ford's assembly quality as the 70's progressed. Ford products were not leaders in the "well put together" competition of the era. I do remember looking closely at one of these Thunderbirds, a friend was considering buying one a the time. To be honest it really wastn't up to Thunderbird standards of the past ... it just seemed like a shrunken cheap rendition of Thunderbirds of the past (which cheaper renditions of Continentals). At the price they wanted for them, despite the inflation of the time ($7-8000. Sevilles had stickers of around $15,000. in 1979) they seemed pretty shoddy even before you drove the thing. You have already apparently experienced the driving dynamics of these Moby-mobiles!

themadwacker1
07-19-10, 11:43 PM
I'm sure somebody out there would take it off your hands. Even if they just wanna trash it.

If I replace all the emblems with ones from a Lincoln will you buy it.....:cynic:

I~LUV~Caddys8792
07-19-10, 11:44 PM
I really like the 67-69 Thunderbirds, now those were a real looker inside and out, whether it be a coupe or sedan. The 72-76's are another T-bird I really like, probably because they were SO close to the Mark IV's. Are these T-Birds based off the Mark V or are they based off a smaller platform?

themadwacker1
07-19-10, 11:48 PM
Are these T-Birds based off the Mark V or are they based off a smaller platform?

I have no idea, what I know about Ford’s would not fill a thimble. :hmm:

ben.gators
07-19-10, 11:50 PM
Nice car. Hope you enjoy it, looks almost clean inside and outside except that heavily worn steering wheel. Please do something for it, it looks very abused and ugly now!

orconn
07-20-10, 12:00 AM
The Thunderbird in question was not based on the Mark V chassis. These were about 2/3's the size of the Mark V and with much cheaper paint and interior materials.

The 1967-69 Thunderbirds were rather interesting. I peronnally really like the way they looked. I had a 1967 coupe, white with black vinyl roof and black vinyl interior it was a great looking car .... until you actually drove the thing. Talk about wanting to proceed in a straight line regardless of imput from the steering wheel. Even on a straight freeway it was like driving a brick that was very softly suspended on wheels. I drove the car for business and courted my wife in it (I also had a Lambo 350 GT). I sold it to a Thunderbird loving friend and bought an '72 XJ6. Had the Jag till it came time to buy a house and we economised with a Chrysler Cordoba (kept the Lamborghini for several more years).

The 72-76 Thunderbirds shared the same chassis with the Marks, but again the paint and quality of interior materials were far inferior to the Marks. Probably why you see a few Marks still around and practically none of that vintage Thunderbird.

Bro-Ham
07-20-10, 12:44 AM
The 77-79 T-bird was a fancy LTD II - remember those? The 77-79 LTD II and T-bird were basically the re-skinned Torino from 76, the fancier version was known as the "Elite". Ford made the T-bird on this smaller and cheaper platform so they could sell more T-birds and also make and sell them cheaper than the previous generation.

themadwacker1
07-20-10, 01:48 AM
Nice car. Hope you enjoy it, looks almost clean inside and outside except that heavily worn steering wheel. Please do something for it, it looks very abused and ugly now!

That's some cheap-ass leather wrapping your seeing, other than that she just needs a good Spray-9 cleaning.

Jesda
07-20-10, 02:21 AM
How's the AC?

themadwacker1
07-20-10, 02:48 AM
How's the AC?

No a/c, No cruise, No power seats, No intermittent wipers, No passenger side mirror! :wtf: No center seat belts.... & yes I checked under the seats. I am sure there is more $hit this car is missing but I just don't know enough about Ford’s to tell you.

gdwriter
07-20-10, 01:59 PM
The amount of faux wood trim on the interior is ridiculous. I like that.That pathetic little square of faux wood under the rear window looks ridiculous, however. Why did Ford even bother?


Already drove it. It wallow’s like a water bed, & forget about turns at speeds of over 25km.....the ass feels like it going to get there before you do! Looks nice but the fit & finish is really terrible, is that a trait of Ford's quality from the 70's? It's a real gas-guzzler too. As for the 302, well I feel no kick-down when I floor it into second or third, but the transmission is shifting but no kick-down. Yes a 400 was offered as well as a 351. To turn a profit with this one I will need $6000.00 for it......not sure if this car has that kind of classic value? :(For some reason, I kind of like the looks of these compared to the bloated whales that came before it and the horribly chopped off boxes that came immediately after. However, I would take a 1973-77 Monte Carlo, Cutlass Supreme, Grand Prix or Regal over this T-bird any day. My college girlfriend had a '76 Monte with a 350, and I loved driving it. Despite the six-foot-long hood, it was very response and handled very well for its size.

This generation of T-birds was the most successful ever in terms of sales with nearly 1 million sold over the three model years.

The NADA Guide (http://www.nadaguides.com/default.aspx?LI=1-22-1-5013-0-0-0&l=1&w=22&p=1&f=5014&y=1979&m=1065&d=477&c=14&o=34632&vi=72413&z=97351&da=-1) puts its value at between $2,475 and $5,390 US. Even in Canada, I would think the lack of A/C would be a liability. A '77 Monte Carlo is up to $2,000 more valuable; a Cutlass Supreme is up to a whopping $7,000 more valuable.

themadwacker1
07-20-10, 06:22 PM
That pathetic little square of faux wood under the rear window looks ridiculous, however. Why did Ford even bother?

For some reason, I kind of like the looks of these compared to the bloated whales that came before it and the horribly chopped off boxes that came immediately after. However, I would take a 1973-77 Monte Carlo, Cutlass Supreme, Grand Prix or Regal over this T-bird any day. My college girlfriend had a '76 Monte with a 350, and I loved driving it. Despite the six-foot-long hood, it was very response and handled very well for its size.

This generation of T-birds was the most successful ever in terms of sales with nearly 1 million sold over the three model years.

The NADA Guide (http://www.nadaguides.com/default.aspx?LI=1-22-1-5013-0-0-0&l=1&w=22&p=1&f=5014&y=1979&m=1065&d=477&c=14&o=34632&vi=72413&z=97351&da=-1) puts its value at between $2,475 and $5,390 US. Even in Canada, I would think the lack of A/C would be a liability. A '77 Monte Carlo is up to $2,000 more valuable; a Cutlass Supreme is up to a whopping $7,000 more valuable.

Yup! Looks nice but I think I have a dog of a car here.:banghead:

I~LUV~Caddys8792
07-20-10, 06:27 PM
I still see a lot of those '73-77 Monte Carlos around at car shows and stuff. The styling is growing on me, I used to really not like them, but now I think they're pretty handsome, especially when viewed in profile or from a rear 3/4 view. The weird thing is that when they had the round headlights from 73-75, they could be had with the big block and had a better looking ass end. But when they went to the stacked headlights in '76, they lost the big block and they made the angular tail lamps flush with the trunklid, which didn't make it look as cool to me.

I understand that the Cutlass Supreme was one of the top selling cars back then, but I don't see as many at car shows. Is there any particular reason why I wonder? Same with the Regals and Grand Prixes.

77CDV
07-20-10, 06:32 PM
The Cutlass was a very popular car of the time, but it was just a car then, and treated accordingly, which means the vast majority of them were driven to death ages ago.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
07-20-10, 06:34 PM
My dad bought a white '78 Monte Carlo in 1981 and really enjoyed it, even with it's smog-choked 305. I guess that was the car for all the cool young bachelors to have back then?

77CDV
07-20-10, 06:41 PM
Oh, yeah, the MC was a real winner. It was called "The Poor Man's Eldorado" for a reason. It was stylish, comfortable, you could get loads of options, and performance was acceptable for the era. Plus, you could modify the hell out of them if you wanted something hotter than factory spec.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
07-20-10, 06:49 PM
Neat! I don't imagine those big Monte Carlo's would perform well with the 2bbl 305. This was a car that originally had a 4bbl 454 as an option, and considering it's weight, even the big block had a steep hill to climb.

How's the 77-79 T-Bird stack up to the 78+ G-bodies for size?

77CDV
07-20-10, 07:02 PM
The T-bird was a bit longer, wider, and taller IIRC, but not by much. It tended to look much bigger than it was due to it's angular styling. The MC had the more flowing bodywork and, to me, was the more attractive car, though I prefer the earlier models with the round headlights to the later stacked square lights.

Remember that in the 1970s, with the gas crunch still fresh in everyone's mind, fire-breathing performance was not a selling point. The engines were tuned to deliver high amounts of low end torque for good off-the-line performance and hp adequate to maintain highway speed in the age of the double nickel.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
07-20-10, 07:23 PM
After doing a little research on eBay motors, I've decided that from 1973-75 I like the Monte Carlos more, but from 1976-77 the Grand Prixs. The early GP's looked really weird, but they always had the cockpit interior with the bucket seats, center console & floor shifter. Most Monte Carlos that I see were your typical bench setup. And you could get a HO 400 up through '77 in the GP, which was 200-210 hp, the top 350 in the MC was 170hp in '77.

orconn
07-20-10, 07:50 PM
I was very surprised to hear that this vintage Thunderbird was such a big seller. In Southern California it seemed you saw Grand Prixs, Monte Carlos and Cordobas well represented on the scene, but I don't remember seeing very many Thunderbirds around. Nobody I knew had one, which was not true when it came to the previous model which shared its' chassis with the Mark IV. Ofcourse, Olds Cutlass Supremes were ubiquitous as thery were issued as company cars to outside sales people by the literal hundreds of thousands, if not millions. Buicks had gotten rather stodgy again and were not as prevalent on the West Coast.

The three personal luxury cars already mentioned were more popular privately owned personal cars. The foreign makes, European among young execs, and the Japanese makes among families and new drivers, were really beginning to eat into market share, The VW Beetle was a has been in the seventies, and there other models didn't really catch on.

The other big seller for Ford in the late seventies were the Mercury Monarchs and Ford Granadas. Does anyone remember the Lincoln Versailles (pronounced Verre-sales) now there was one for ford to be proud of!

77CDV
07-20-10, 07:51 PM
Which still isn't too bad. My '77 CDV is about the same size and weight as that '77 MC and only has 10 more hp. So, she'll move off the line smartly enough, and there's plenty of power for highway cruising, but she'll never win any quarter mile runs.

My personal fav MC is the '70-'72 version, based on the Chevelle. I think they look really classy, esp the long vertical taillights. The GP of the era is also a winner, with it's tall, narrow LaSalle-like grille.

77CDV
07-20-10, 07:53 PM
Does anyone remember the Lincoln Versailles (pronounced Verre-sales) now there was one for ford to be proud of!

Oh, god, the Granada with the Mark trunk hump! What a freakin' embarassment to Lincoln! Although, the Cimarron made it look like a masterstroke, and that's saying something.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
07-20-10, 07:57 PM
Yeah, I'll agree with you on that Craig, the 70-72 Monte Carlo and Grand Prix were WAY better than their later '70s counterparts. I'd actually go so far as to say that the 70-72 Monte Carlo set a high water mark for the MC's and it was never touched as a whole.

gdwriter
07-20-10, 08:04 PM
I think what I prefer about the '73-'77 Monte Carlo was the significant improvement in handling at John Z. DeLorean's behest. I prefer the classier styling of the first-generation Monte, but unless it's an SS454 (rare), I think the second generation is going to drive better. Now the '69-'70 Grand Prix not only looks great, but is a superb road car. That would probably be my first choice. 428 or 455, please.

orconn
07-20-10, 08:10 PM
I agree the '70-'72 MCs and GPs were really cool. I had afriend who had a '70 MC but I never drove it. I also never drove the later seventies GPs but several friends had them. I did drive the MC and remember they drove very well for An American car of that period. A far as fit and finish and quality of materials my Cordoba was about the same as GMs MC and GP, except the Cordoba could be had with "Corintian Leather." The cordoba was the better handler of the three, but didn't come across as refined or well damped as the GM cars. The original 1975 Cordoba with round headlights and no side bump rail trim and the high line wheels was a good looking personal coupe. But Chrysler managed to screw it up with embellishments as it was revamped year to year.

Destroyer
07-20-10, 11:06 PM
I like it! I had a '79 T bird. It was silver w/gray interior. This was back in '88 or so. Drove it around awhile then flipped it for a small profit. Still, I liked the body style and the drive. Much like my '74 Fleetwood which once ran out of gas and me and my buds had to push to the gas station uphill........ it's all about the memories. Growing up I remember my dad wanting one of those body style T birds. He never did get one, he became "well off" and went with Mercedes. Today he is piss poor and drives an Altima. Still, there are some cars that take you back, this body style T-bird is one of them for me. Oldsmobiles are another..........

hueterm
07-20-10, 11:59 PM
The '77GP was a more comfortable ride and car overall. However, the '70 drives much better. And the 400 is still no slouch.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
07-21-10, 12:04 AM
So I was doing a little research on the 77-79 T-Birds and then the 80-82 T-Birds. The 77-79 is 215 inches long, which puts it at the same length as a Roadmaster or 91+ Caprice, but it's also the same length as the 68-71 Mark III Lincoln. It's 15 inches shorter than a contemporary Mark V! The 80-82 was the smallest & lightest T-Bird ever, which is surprising considering how big it looks, but it only weighs 3200 lbs and stands in at 200 inches long. The 83+ was actually longer and heavier, and then they only got bigger in '89-97.

orconn
07-21-10, 12:14 AM
I didn't really like any of T-birds after '67-68 till the bean Birds came out in the mid-eighties, the 89-97 Thunderbirds were really great looking IMO.