1973 Ford Thunderbird 63K Survivor – Seller Keeping

August 8, 2023 Update – After our unsuccessful attempts to find a suitable buyer for this 1973 Ford Thunderbird, the current caretaker elected to take the car off the market and will consider trying to list it next year.  We thank him for the opportunity to market what is a very cool, survivor-quality Big Bird.

July 12, 2023 Update – The high bid did not meet the seller’s reserve price, so we’ve moved this vehicle to our “Rides Still Available Page.”  Click the blue button above or below to navigate to this ride’s bid page, where you can either select the green “Buy Now” button or place a realistic counteroffer in the “Bid” box.

GuysWithRides.com is pleased to offer Lot 223,  a 63K-original mile Emerald Fire Metallic 1973 Ford Thunderbird, on behalf of the current caretaker. This is a reserve-price online auction.

Bidding opens Wednesday, June 28, 2023, and closes at 4:00 PM Eastern on Wednesday, July 12, 2023.

This 1973 Ford Thunderbird is part of the current owner’s collection located in Highland, Michigan.

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The Deets

Year: 1973
Make: Ford
Model: Thunderbird
Location: Highland, Michigan
Mileage: 62,950
VIN: 3J87A22099
Exterior Color: Emerald Fire Metallic
Interior Color: Green Leather
Engine: 212hp 460 cu in V8
Transmission: 3-Speed C6 Automatic
Drivetrain: Rear Wheel Drive
Fuel: Gas

High Bid: $900 (Reserve Not Met)

The 1973 Ford Thunderbird was a stylish and luxurious car produced by Ford Motor Company as part of their Thunderbird line. It was part of the sixth generation of Thunderbirds, which were manufactured from 1972 to 1976. The 1973 Thunderbird was known for its distinctive design, powerful engines, and comfortable interior.

The 1973 Thunderbird featured a large, imposing body characterized by its long, sleek lines and elegant curves. It had a length of approximately 225 inches and a wheelbase of around 120 inches. The car’s front end showcased a prominent chrome grille flanked by quad headlights and integrated turn signals. The rear end featured rectangular taillights and a unique concave rear window, giving it a distinct appearance. The car had a low-slung profile and a wide stance, which added to its commanding presence on the road.

Under the hood, Ford included the 385-series 429 cubic inch V-8 as standard. With a four-barrel carburetor and 8.5:1 compression, the engine produced 211 horsepower and 327 pound-feet of torque. Optional was the same 460 cubic inch V-8 found in the Lincoln Continental Mark IV.  Installed in the Thunderbird, the optional engine featured an 8.0:1 compression ratio and a four-barrel carb. Ford rated the 460 at 219 horsepower and 338 pound-feet of torque. With just over 5,000 pounds to haul around, the 460-powered Thunderbird was no drag-strip demon.

The interior of the 1973 Thunderbird was designed to provide a luxurious and comfortable driving experience. It featured a spacious cabin that could accommodate up to six passengers. The front seats were wide and well-cushioned, offering excellent support during long drives. The dashboard had a clean and organized layout, with easy-to-read gauges and controls within the driver’s reach. The car boasted power windows, power seats, and a power-operated convertible top (available on certain models), adding to the convenience and luxury factor.

The 1973 Thunderbird came well equipped with many standard features, including power steering, power brakes, and front disc brakes, enhancing the car’s handling and stopping power. Air conditioning was also a standard feature, ensuring a comfortable environment regardless of the weather conditions. Additionally, the Thunderbird offered an AM/FM stereo radio with an optional eight-track tape deck allowing occupants to enjoy their favorite music on the road.

The 1973 Ford Thunderbird represented a shift in design and focus for the Thunderbird line. It moved away from the previous generations’ more sporty and compact designs and embraced a larger, more luxurious image. This approach catered to the market’s increasing demand for comfortable, stylish personal luxury cars. The sixth-generation Thunderbirds, including the 1973 model, were successful in terms of sales and left a lasting impact on the automotive industry.

Overall, the 1973 Ford Thunderbird was a grand and elegant car that combined powerful performance, luxurious features, and a distinctive design. It remains popular among collectors and enthusiasts who appreciate its unique style and comfortable driving experience.

The seller reports his 1973 Ford Thunderbird is a 63K-original mile, numbers matching example featuring its original Emerald Fire metallic paint and vinyl-covered roof. This Thunderbird features the optional 460 cubic inch V8 mated to its original C6 3-speed automatic transmission. Featuring a complete rebuild, the seller reports that it “shifts as smooth as the leather on the seats.”

The seller also notes that his 1973 Ford Thunderbird is a nicely equipped example featuring factory air conditioning, power brakes, power steering, power windows, power seats, and a remote trunk release, all in good working condition.

This 1973 Ford Thunderbird spent its first forty years in Tenessee before the current caretaker transferred to Michigan.  Since its relocation north, this Thunderbird has always been garaged. During his ownership, the seller lovingly restored the car mechanically with all-new upgraded suspension parts, springs, shocks, rubber bushings, and ball joints. He also coated the entire underbody and frame coated with POR-15 as part of the process.

Subtle brake upgrades include slotted front disc rotors and a Wilwood rear disc brake conversion. The 460 cubic inch big block features several upgrades as well. These include an Edelbrock AVS Carburetor, an MSD Pro-Billet Distributor, MSD wires, Champion Aluminum Radiator w/Twin Electric Fans, Edelbrock Victor Water Pump, Powermaster XS Torque Starter Motor, and a custom Flowmaster Exhaust System. Putting the upgraded power to the pavement is a set of American Racing Wheels shod with Michelin tires. A nice detail is the bespoke Thunderbird logo center caps.

During the refurbishment, the seller added sound deadening and insulation to the interior. He elected to swap out the factory radio with a Retrosound AM/FM w/Bluetooth Sound System, sending signals to a powered subwoofer and surround sound speakers. The original radio antenna was replaced with Retrosound power retractable unit. Finally, the seller added a Viper Security system with remote keyless entry.  Despite all these upgrades, the seller took care to save all the original parts that will be included in the sale, as well as the complete vehicle history and build sheet.

Additionally, the seller notes that all of the owner history he could find on this Big Bird is now cataloged in a three-ring binder, including the original window sticker, owner’s manual, and owner’s history. Owned by the local Royal Ford dealer in Nashville for a year before being sold to DW Johnson in April of 1974 and held in his family until 2009. Lots of receipts for the auto during this period is in the binder. 

The seller reports their 1973 Ford Thunderbird “runs great, brakes well, and you will get lots of thumbs-up from other folks while cruising in this 50-year-old Big Bird.”

To help you make informed bids, we’re providing access to Classic.com, the analytics and search engine for the Classic Car market, that provides an interactive graph of recent comparable sales in the past six months. By clicking on the green dots, you can navigate to each comparable car sold as a way to help you make an educated bid on the car we are featuring for auction here:

Exterior Gallery

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Interior Gallery

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Underhood And Undercarriage Gallery

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Tires And Wheels Gallery

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Documentation Gallery

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If you have any questions about this Emerald Fire Metallic 1973 Ford Thunderbird, please comment below or call Rudy at 877-468-6497.  Thank you for looking, and happy bidding!


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