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1986 Ford Thunderbird: Gullwing Conversion


A few months ago, we featured a Mazda RX-7 similar to the Thunderbird listed here: a low-mileage, nearly stock example with a gullwing door conversion completed. The Thunderbird here on eBay has only 600 original miles with a $40,000 Buy-It-Now price and comes with plenty of intrigue.


Like the RX-7 listing, photos are few and don’t tell us much about the vehicle’s condition. You might be asking why this seller has so many gullwinged vehicles. Well, another listing confirms he was a majority stockholder in Automotive-Gullwing, Inc., a company that emerged in the ’80s when features like custom gullwing doors were what was needed to truly impress the patrons of an upscale nightclub as you rolled up to the curb. The seller says in another listing that when the company CEO passed away, he owned the cars free and clear.


All of them are low mileage examples like this one. It makes me wonder if the cars were used as demonstrators of the quality of the conversion package. Like the Thunderbird, there is also a low-mileage Mitsubishi Starion Turbo here on eBay and a kit-car converted 1986 Trans-Am, also here on eBay.


As mentioned earlier, not many photos are included. In the Mitsubishi listing, the seller alludes to the fact that despite their low mileage, the cars have been sitting for many years and will need new hoses, gaskets and other maintenance to address the obvious stagnation. With that in mind, the asking price seems high for vehicles that are otherwise standard-issue cars with a gullwing door conversion. But if you’re a child of the ’80s, that may be all you need.


  1. Avatar photo Jim

    Interesting, but I doubt if any Common Man is fantasizing about a T-Bird unless it has portholes!

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  2. Avatar photo Gary I

    I can’t see this Thunderbird taking off at $40,000 any time soon. I see these cars go for less than ten grand in mint condition, how can extremely low miles and gullwing doors be worth 4x that? If a gullwing conversion adds $30,000 to a cars value, then I can’t understand why everyone doesn’t run out and get one (sarcasm). Someone looking for a low mile survivor might frown on the custom work. I think more often than not the value is decreased by such things. It will take the right buyer for this car at this price.

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  3. Avatar photo Gary

    I don’t know if any one has noticed – including the seller – that the odometer show’s 60.6 miles, not 600.0. I just have to wonder how a seller can miss something like that. What else has been “missed” with this car? Odometers weren’t 6 digit, plus tenths, in the mid 80’s. Ford’s first ‘6 wheel’ odometer was 1992, and it was digital.

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    • Avatar photo Turbocoupe40

      I actually own a 86 tbird with 88,888 miles and these guys are correct. this one does have 600. These cars got the 6 wheel odometer.

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    • Avatar photo Michael Member

      The tenths are on the bottom the miles are listed correctly.

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  4. Avatar photo krash

    ….maybe a strong gust of wind will carry it off my computer screen

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  5. Avatar photo Gary

    I just looked at the other 87 Ford Thunderbird this yoyo’s got listed, and same thing, he’s listing it as 1,053 miles, when in fact, it’s 105.3 miles!

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  6. Avatar photo Al8apex

    a huge thing it has going for it is the clutch pedal …

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  7. Avatar photo fred

    The T Bird looks like 606 miles to me. The trip odometer (with the white dial) shows tenths, the main one doesn’t. Some car lines got 6 digits earlier than others.

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    • Avatar photo Alan (Michigan)


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  8. Avatar photo OA5599

    Not a common man’s fantasy, it’s a $40k nightmare.

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  9. Avatar photo Jason Houston

    The seller is another typical eBay fraudster. He has no feedback, can’t read his own tampered odometer, provides no provenance for what he wants everyone to believe is a 600-original mile car, and thinks of himself as some grandiose Mega Charmer with all his phony artwork junk and other B.S. As for $40G’s for a $1,200 car, he’s smoking some new brand of opium. I’d love to be the fly on the wall when the boot of reality kicks this jerk in the face full throttle.

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  10. Avatar photo MacVaugh

    I note that there are never any up close and personal exterior photos of this car in any of these ads. There are promo shots from long ago, but never anything recent. I smell foreign prince scam all over some of these listings of this type.

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    • Avatar photo Jason Houston

      Possible, but unlikely. I’m more convinced this is just a plain old, workaday jerk who has never tried to sell anything from his Vast Empire of Riches.

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      • Avatar photo Jeff Staff


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      • Avatar photo RBTempe

        but he states in the copy he “Is a large collector”…sarcasm

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  11. Avatar photo bowtiecarguy

    Pictures of engine compartment tend not to support the low mileage claim.
    I bought a 1984 T bird new and sold it 10 years later with 120k miles and under the hood looked better than this.

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  12. Avatar photo Gary

    All GM cars had 6-digit odometers by 1991. The 1990 Chevy Cavalier, Celebrity and Caprice were the last 5-digit cars.

    All Chrysler cars had 6-digit odometers by 1991. The 1990 Dodge Omni and Plymouth Horizon were the last 5-digit cars.

    All Ford cars had 6-digit odometers by 1995. The 1994 Ford Escort, Tempo, Explorer, Ranger and Mercury Topaz and Tracer were the last 5-digit cars.

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  13. Avatar photo OKCPhil

    $40,000 for this or a driver 308? Really I think people need to look at what they are asking for some of these cars. I could also buy a nice new Mustang or all kinds of vehicles for $40,000. Is there anyone out there that considers this a reasonable ask?

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    • Avatar photo Jason Houston

      Come to think of it I can’t think, right off, of any 6-cylinder car that’s worth 40 grand.

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      • Avatar photo Gary L

        Jaguar XKE or an Austin Healey 3000 for starters. I’m sure there are other 6 cyl cars in the $40k range

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      • Avatar photo Bobsmyuncle

        I assume you mean figuratively…

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  14. Avatar photo Mark

    Drive it for a year or so and it’s worth $2500, doors and all.

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  15. Avatar photo George

    For all of his cars, even with the delivery miles only, I think he’s been doing meth when he was pricing them.

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  16. Avatar photo George

    28 year old promotional photos to try to sell it? What does it look like now?

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  17. Avatar photo Bobsmyuncle

    I read years ago that;

    “there was a painfully simple trick you could do from inside the car with one finger that would stop & start the odometer at will.”

    Not sure of the validity of that nor if it applies here but thought I’d share it.

    Price is so unrealistic I’m sorta embarrassed for the seller.

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  18. Avatar photo ImpalaGuy

    The asking price, like the mileage claim, are off by one “0”.

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  19. Avatar photo Dolphin Member

    The possibility of gullwing doors sometimes leads people to make bad decisions. The odd thing about that is that Mercedes had to use doors that opened upward on the 300SL because of the large space frame of tubes that ran along the sides of the car. There was no room for conventional doors. Gullwing doors on these No American cars are purely cosmetic.

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    • Avatar photo Bobsmyuncle

      Indeed and aside from perhaps the powered doors of the Delorean, are agreed to be a huge PITA!

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  20. Avatar photo MountainMan

    Gary, look closer at the odometer. The trip shows tenths of a mile and its in white. The odo does not read tenths. Its 605 turning 606

    As for the Tbird, It is very clean and I believe the mileage claim however the $40,000 price has one too many zeros in my opinion

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  21. Avatar photo Rodney

    Not sure what this person is trying to pull. Does this get traffic for his sports stuff and model cars he sells?

    I have seen the red mis-labeled Thunderbird he also has listed for sale many times.


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  22. Avatar photo Mike

    I would use the money and buy a new Truck before this crazy thing, but I was never big into crap like this. My son had buddy that did this gull wing crap to a Ford Ranger, and it never did look right, but this kid would spend more money on matching outfits and shoe than I ever did.

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  23. Avatar photo Ranco Racing

    A Bird should show it’s wings.

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  24. Avatar photo RBTempe

    This is humerous. Really nice clean engine bay, not. Not a collectable car to begin with gullwing doors do not help.

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  25. Avatar photo kman

    It’s all very well ’til someone Parks beside you while you’re in the super or when trying to get out next to a gas pump. That’s why manufacturers who still want to build up opening doors have them rise up flat against the body and forward towards the hood.

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