14k-Mile T-Bird: 1988 Ford Thunderbird Turbo Coupe

I’m a big fan of Ford’s 9th-generation Thunderbird, especially the Turbo Coupe variation. Perhaps I’m biased, because one of my best friends owns a pristine Turbo Coupe, but I love how it combines performance and luxury into a distinctive package. This 1988 Ford Thunderbird Turbo Coupe is available here on eBay, and it’s an incredibly clean and original example of the grand touring coupe.


This Turbo Coupe is available in Reading, Pennsylvania with a clean title. While the use of road salt in my home state often creates a rusty vehicle, that’s not the case here – this T-Bird is a one-owner, garage kept specimen with only 14,519 miles on the odometer.

The exterior features a clean Oxford White paint color, and despite the somewhat pixelated and poor quality photos of the outside, it seems like there are no imperfections whatsoever. All four tires were recently replaced, as well as the mufflers, and the timing belt was also redone in 2011.

Inside the cabin, you’ll find a beautiful Scarlet Red leather interior, which nicely complements the exterior and is in similarly fantastic shape. There are plenty of creature comforts, such as suspension dampening, a 6-way power driver seat with power lumbar support, AM/FM cassette stereo with premium sound system, and an air conditioning system retrofitted to use R-134a. Additionally, there are plenty of power features, such as the windows, door locks, side-view mirrors, and antenna.

There’s a turbocharged and fuel-injected 2.3-liter 4-cylinder engine under the hood, which pairs to a 5-speed manual transmission to drive the rear wheels. This example also features a limited-slip differential and disc brakes at all four corners.

The seller is asking $18,000 for this Turbo Coupe, though they will consider reasonable offers. Would you add this showroom quality T-Bird to your collection?


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  1. Bob_in_TN Bob_in_TN Member

    What a nice example. In my opinion the Turbo Coupes were a highlight of their era. Clean aero styling, could be well-equipped, sporty without being boy-racer-ish, decent performance for their day, bucket seats, full instrumentation, available manual transmission. I often cite them as an example of 80’s styling which has aged well.

    One of the best of the multitude of Fox Bodies. Along with similar low mileage Mustangs, the prices are now quite solid.

    Like 10
  2. JOHN Member

    I’m not generally a Ford guy but the Turbo Coupe has always been in my Ford list! Lower it just a little, a nice wheel/tire package and I think you have a really nice car!

    Like 6
  3. Grandpa Lou

    Have always liked these.

    Like 1
  4. Arthell64 Member

    I had a turbo coupe like this one back in the early 90’s. It was a fun car to drive. Miss that car:

    Like 3
  5. Doc

    Like a hell of a deal compared to the one listed at Vanguard in Michigan.That one has 5k on it for $30,000

    Like 3
  6. Rosko

    Wow. Loved them then, love em more now. The color combo tugs at my heart. Love the clean lines on these. I thought the taillights were such a cool tip off that the car ahead was something special, and it was.

    Like 5
  7. Kevin

    I worked for Hertz in the late 80s and we had a number of these. They held up well as rental cars and were nice cruisers. I don’t know why Ford only kept this body style for two years. When the 89s came out they were a let down in the styling department. Agree with the comment above that these have aged well. I missed on one of these near me with 20K on the clock about a month ago. It was listed in an estate sale for $6.5K. It was gone in hours.

    Like 1
    • Superdessucke

      This was actually just a refresh of the 1983 Fox-platform Thunderbird.

      Like 1
      • Kevin

        Thanks. I meant to state the ’87 & 88′ body style.

      • Superdessucke

        I think it was one of those hold-me-over deals until the MN12 1989 model was ready but it worked. I think it looks nice. Like you, I don’t think the 1989-97 aged very well.

    • JBD

      Great example of a beautiful car when new. I believe this was Car of the Year! I thought the turbos held up well compared to other brands. Maint issues and coking of the oil on the exhaust side of the turbo destroyed these. Thank God we have better oils today.

  8. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    Nice car, but it’s going to be a hard sell at $18K.

    Like 5
  9. Comet

    Beautiful car.

    Like 2
  10. bruce

    This is the car that saved Ford at the time and some would say the American car factory industry. Maryland State Police used these as their unmarked car of choice.

  11. BR

    I had a ’83 and a ’88. Loved them both, but I learned why you never saw them with a ski rack. Horrible on snow and ice. I loved the suspension on the ’88 – four shocks on the rear axle. The electric shocks were pretty expensive to replace iirc, around $750 just for the shocks

  12. CanuckCarGuy

    Beautiful car and worth every penny IMHO…I had an ’87 TurboTbird and loved everythingabout that car; one of the few cars I’ve owned that would be a definite do-over for me.

  13. JimmyJ

    Price seems a little steep but it looks like it’s on the short list of nicest one in the world!

  14. Bakyrdhero

    @BR, funny you mention these being horrible on snow and Ice. I remember my uncles brand new 86 turbo bird. It was the original fox body bird. Black/burgundy interior. Beautiful car. He had it about a year before it came home on a flat bed in the winter after a trip to North Conway NH. He lost it in a snow bank and it seemed like every inch of that car was damaged.

    • PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

      I have a similar North Conway / Ford story, but a different car. Mine got stranded with a roasted manual transmission. It was an ’85 Merkur XR4Ti – same engine as the Turbo Bird, different body.

      It got towed to the local Ford dealership where they proceeded to tear apart the transmission just to tell me that it would need to be replaced. I tow-dolled it back home and bought a tranny from a junkyard.

      Like 2

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