Trim T-Bird: 1977 Ford Thunderbird Lipstick Edition – Sold?
April 4, 2021 Update – We just confirmed the listing for this “Classifind” expired, so with no replacement found we’re assuming this ride “Sold?” While this one got away, please reach out either by email or call Rudy directly if you’d like to be informed when we come across something similar.
Produced for only three model years from 1977 through 1979, Ford’s seventh-generation Thunderbird proved to be the right-sized personal luxury car at the right time as this generation achieved the two highest sales years in the marque’s storied history. During those three years, Ford offered the Thunderbird in a variety of special trim packages, one of which became known as the Lipstick Edition due to its bright red exterior paint. We came across a 62K original mile example originally listed in March 2021 on Craiglist in Carol Stream, Illinois (Chicago) reportedly an unrestored original car with an asking price of $11,000. Comparing this price against the Hagerty Insurance Online Valuation Tool confirms this private seller has their T-Bird priced between the #2 “Excellent” appraisal of $8,100 and the #1 “Concours” estimate of $16,600. Similarly, the Collector Car Market Review indicates the current asking price falls between this guide’s #2 “Very Good” estimate of $7,800 and its #1 “Excellent” appraisal of $11,700.
When Ford launched its seventh-generation Thunderbird, the new car no longer shared the Lincoln Continental’s full-size architecture. Instead, engineers moved the car to the company’s intermediate Ford LTD II and Mercury Cougar platforms. The change in size shed nearly ten inches of length and nine hundred pounds of weight. Designers distinguished Thunderbird from the LTD II and Cougar two-door models with a unique wrap-over “basket handle” roofline with opera windows and large rear side quarter windows separated from the rear window by thin C-pillars. Headlamps hidden with retractable covers and full-width dropped center taillamps made a comeback from the late 1960s.
As a spring sale incentive, Ford introduced two special trim packages. On featured Lipstick Red body-color paint, with a Silver or Lipstick Red Valino grain vinyl roof. A choice of Light Silver Metallic or Light Red accent striping was available to contrast with the paint color. Other than the accent stripes, the two colors could be mixed or matched in any combination desired.
Inside, the Interior Decor Group option was included with Dove Grey vinyl seating in a choice of split-bench or bucket seats, the latter of which the example featured here came equipped with. The seats featured Lipstick Red accent straps and welting. The door panels, quarter panel trim, and headliner were Dove Grey, and the carpeting, seat belts, instrument panel, steering column, and steering wheel were Lipstick Red.
The squarer, sharper styling was popular, as this generation became the best selling in the history of the Ford Thunderbird. Helped by a US$2,700 drop in price from 1976, over 318,000 were sold in 1977 and 352,000 in 1978 (the best single sales year in Thunderbird history), followed by 295,000 in 1979. The styling of its unique wrap-over roofline would carry over in smaller versions of Ford automobiles such as the 1978–1983 Ford Fairmont Futura and the Mercury Zephyr Z-7 coupes which were originally designed as Fairmont-based downsized Thunderbird proposals.
We came across this vintage 1977 Thunderbird commercial highlighting the virtues of the downsized car:
While the seller’s one-sentence description doesn’t provide much information, it’s clear from the pictures this bright red Thunderbird is a great preservation class candidate for the Antique Automobile Club of America (AACA) Events.
Here’s the seller’s one-sentence description:
“1977 “Lipstick Edition” Thunderbird original unrestored“
Show or go: What would you do with this Lipstick Edition Thunderbird? Comment below and let us know!
My brother bought a new 79 in February 1980. The local Ford store had about 20 in stock and were “giving them away”!