1961 Ford Thunderbird – “Still in the Barn”

As you can tell from the years of dirt and debris on this car, it has been stored in this barn for a long time. In fact, the seller says it is still in the barn! It can be for sale here on Craigslist with an asking price of $2,000. Located in Hoskins, Nebraska, there isn’t a lot of information in the ad explaining the back story of this car. The seller does say it looks like it’s been sitting since the 1990s. Let us take a look at this car and thanks to Ikey H. for the tip on this bird.

The interior looks complete but very dirty. Obviously sitting for several decades isn’t good for upholstery. Overall though, it looks like a good cleaning will be able to bring this interior back to life. With regard to the power plant, unfortunately, there are only a couple of small photos of the engine in the ad. The seller says it is a 390 FE that features a 4bbl carburetor and original “Thunderbird” valve covers. The engine is in “unknown” mechanical shape, but the odometer shows less than 85,000 miles.

This looks like a really complete project that needs a good cleaning to evaluate exactly what shape it is in. The seller says there is no visible damage except for a small hole in the top of the rear deck lid. Also, there is some rust in the rear wheel well area and a rust hole in the right rear quarter.


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  1. Luke Fitzgerald

    Least it’s the right price – saying that, that’s what was worth prior to it being pushed in a corner to rot

    Like 4
  2. TimM

    The back end of these T-birds looks so cool with the round tail light hanging off the back like that!!!

    Like 14
  3. Bob C.

    Clean her up. Curious to see what’s under all that muck.

    Like 8
  4. Moparman Member

    The windows must have been down for the interior to accumulate that much dirt!

    Like 3
  5. Steve Douglas Member

    I had one of these for 6 or 7 years in the early 80s, with only 17K miles on it, after sitting in an old lady’s carport undriven for years. Honey Beige soybean paint, black interior. I always liked the kooky rocket styling, and yeah, it’s a 390 FE, but it was a parade float, and a parade float was all it could ever be in near-stock shape. I finally shed it when it was at the shop one time, parked inside a chain link fence. A driver in the night hit a horse in the road, went off the road herself, and dragged 100 feet of that chain link fence across my T-Bird. Thrill was gone after that latest offense. Now I’m redoing a ’63 Galaxie with a stroker.

    Like 3
    • Paolo

      Such a cruel fate for horse and bird. This one looks like rats have been inside it.

      Like 2
  6. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    Priced cheap enough that it would make a great father/son project, if there are still kids who would love to roll around in a car like this.

  7. Bob Mck Member

    I own a 73 Roadster. Truly beautiful lines. They drive well and have lots of power. Hopefully someone will save this one.

    Like 1
    • Paolo

      I’m guessing you mean a 63 Roadster.

      Like 5
  8. dogwater

    I thought those cars were always cool, but even a nice one would sell for under 10k ?

    Like 1
  9. Timmyt

    I have a 62 landau runs and drives with new interior all glass and chrome wire wheels and Remington white walls,4500 would own it, completely rust free in primer ready to paint

    Like 3
  10. A.J.

    First car my wife and I ever owned was a ’61. Her and her dad bought it for $800 in ’68 and she drove it to my duty station. Every leave I got we would drive it from Texas to Illinois. Great ride and never a problem. I wonder what it would cost to have this thing trucked to Chicago?

    Like 2
  11. Mike F

    Take a close look at the passenger side shock tower if it’s rotted it could be history for that bird hard to tell from the photo …

  12. Stacey Hagan

    This is by far one of the better iterations for the Tbird line. This generation is a rolling piece of art, if done correctly. My daughter and I are looking for one to have as our father-daughter project. This one is just too far away and what you don’t see underneath is likely going to prevent it from being a good candidate for restoration.

    Like 4
  13. Maverick

    I will bet its pretty soft .

    Like 1
  14. Harriston Richardson

    Good price and i put the money into it to get it looking good again. 2000.00 ?? For an ANTIQUE , thats worth the money I think. Be interesting just to get it to turn ,and if it turns , YOU CAN GET IT RUNNING I would bet.

  15. DayDreamBeliever Member

    Looks like a dirt floor in that barn… My experience tells me that the carpet will be hanging out the bottom, and the frame may well be compromised.

    EVERYTHING will need to be refurbished, but not until you clean and disinfect the stuff many rodents have left behind. Oh, and you just have to be prepared to replace the wires that those critters chewed to bits.

    Great style, but this car will be a ton of work to get to a presentable state.

    Like 1
  16. bone

    I’ll never understand why people who store cars either inside or outside always seem to leave the drivers window down . Its bad enough the way it gets stored is usually poor, but to let more moisture in and larger animals than mice makes no sense to me

    Like 1
  17. Jim B Clark

    These are almost always priced right and a great way to get into the hobby as parts are available.

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