Inviting Interior: 1978 Ford Thunderbird 38K Mile Survivor – SOLD!

by | Jul 2021 | Craigslist ClassiFINDS, Malaise Monday

August 9, 2021 Update – we confirmed the seller of this “Classifind” deleted their listing, so we’re now able to call this one “SOLD!” While this one got away, please reach out either by email or call us directly if you’d like to be informed when we come across something similar.

Despite being produced for only three model years from 1977 through 1979, Ford’s seventh-generation Thunderbird was the best-selling version of the car, with 1978 being the best of the three years. Once quite common on American roads, this white-and-brown themed 38,000 original 1978 example originally listed in July 2021 on Craigslist in Foster, Rhode Island (Providence) is one of the few remaining, especially in such great condition.  Currently offered for $10,000, comparing that price against 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.

Personalization of your personal luxury car was all the rage by the late 1970s as many consumers tried to order their new cars in ways that would look different from their neighbors.  The new Thunderbird for 1977 did not disappoint as it offered over one hundred interior color and material fabric combinations to choose from.  The white over milk chocolate our feature car came equipped with is a very neat combination that has aged well.

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 1978 Ford Thunderbird commercial highlighting all of the standard features included in the $5,808 base price:


White interiors are very difficult to keep looking new, so we’re very impressed with the condition of this Thunderbird’s seats and we really think the milk chocolate-colored accents have aged well in this example.  If you are serious about buying this classic Thunderbird, you can start the conversation by calling the seller at (401) 647-5245 and leaving a message with your contact information.  When you connect, please remember to mention you saw their Thunderbird featured here on Good luck with the purchase!

Here’s the seller’s description:

“1978 Ford Thunderbird Sport Coupe. This car has only 38000 miles and is in excellent condition. It has a 351 Winsor engine with an FMX automatic transmission. PS, PB, PW, and AC The undercarriage is just a clean as the body with no rust or rot. Classic car season is coming real quick and this car is a real head-turner. Asking for 10500 or best offer.
Leave a message and I will call back.

Show or go: what would you do with this preserved Thunderbird?  Comment below and let us know!


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