Considering just how gargantuan they really were for a two-door car, the late 1970s Ford Thunderbird somehow nailed the buying public just right. Ford managed to move 352,000 Thunderbirds for 1978 with a very, very mild downsizing program…the nameplate shifted off of the platform that the Lincoln Continental Mark V was on to the Ford LTD II intermediate platform, which was still a giant car. But losing ten inches in length and over 900 pounds of weight isn’t something to ignore, even if it is on a Malaise era-sled that looked more at home being valet parked than a late 1950s two-seater cruising the boulevard. The Thunderbird was a luxury car in this era, plush and stylish with just about no thought given to power or performance.
But that doesn’t mean that after forty years, someone can’t fix that. And that’s what we are really hoping happened with this T-topped example we found on Craigslist. Outside of the Cobra Jet-ish hood scoop, it’s all 1978 Thunderbird visually…turbine wheels, giant bumpers, plush interior that has the full gauge treatment. But the one single line of the ad itself promises the moon:
“Fully built race motor, 460ci motor, Cobra Jet heads, 11.5:1 compression, 9 inch rear end, C6 transmission, will burn rubber into 3rd gear.”
Normally, four grand for a big Bird is pushing luck. But if there is even half a grain of truth to the seller’s write-up, we’d jump on it just for the laughs alone. Anyone can have a fast Mustang, but a Thunderbird that will burn the tires off at a moment’s notice? Now that sounds like a way to kill an afternoon! Disco sucks…rock out with the rear tires melting and the tops off, and spend the leftover thousand dollars on wheels…or maybe fuel. Yeah, probably fuel.