429 Thunderjet! 1969 Ford Thunderbird

Introducing a luxury car with a beak so long it doesn’t even fit in the picture! Highly original and ready to drive, this 1969 Ford Thunderbird in Lynnwood, Washington features the powerful 429 cid Thunderjet V8, Vintage Air conditioning, and a host of replacement parts. The listing here on Craigslist says the big green bird runs “excellent,” and the shiny well-kept classic can be yours for $15,900. Thanks to reader T.J. for spotting this Evergreen State T-bird.

Though more conventional and less cockpit-like than the prior generation Thunderbird, this 1969 model certainly appeals to upscale buyers with rich-looking wood grain and shiny trim. The sturdy C6 three-speed automatic transmission and positraction rear differential translate the standard 429’s power into thrust. AutomotiveMileposts reports rear axle options of 2.80 or 3.00, both of which favor relaxed highway cruising.

Hidden headlights? Yes indeed! This common luxury car feature of the time looks uncommonly good on this Thunderbird. The black top and interior nicely compliment the Lime Gold Poly paint.

Despite mentioning the standard 429 cid (7.0L) V8 six times in the listing, this is the best engine picture included. Enjoy! The 360 HP (gross) monster reportedly moves these big ‘birds well despite their more than two-ton heft, according to Wikipedia. For perspective, a 2006 BMW 750Li also produces 360 HP (net) and weighs 4400 lb. New in 1968, the “385” series 429 shares little with the FE-based 428 CobraJet despite their nearly identical displacement.

Twin rocket-thruster tail lights join a center trim panel to span the width of the T-bird’s rear. The Town Landau roof design, introduced in 1966, stood as one of three greenhouse designs available in 1969. Thanks to lov2xlr8 for some details. Earlier this century I revived a $1200 1966 Thunderbird Town Landau from the dead, and its then-standard 390 V8 had plenty of torque to roast the tires. I wouldn’t mind taking a turn behind the wheel of this handsome 429-powered personal luxury coupe. I promise to burn rubber no more than two or three times a day, and would be happy to enjoy the rest of the miles in the slow lane, the hum of the Thunderjet and the simple elegant interior providing all the entertainment required to reach one’s destination in comfort and satisfaction. Can you picture yourself in this shiny, excellent-running classic?


  1. BA

    I love these T-birds, absolutely gorgeous, stylish, powerful & refined that I think the price point is oh so good for one of these in my future!

    Like 16
  2. jwzg

    Doesn’t take many mods on that 429 to get to 360 net horsepower, and you could probably double the fuel economy.

    Like 7
  3. Sam Shive

    Nice Bird. These were even good looking as a four door.

    Like 3
    • Stevieg Member

      Yeah, I actually prefer the 4 door, but I definitely like this one too!

  4. S

    Wow. This is a nice car! You really don’t see these very much. They really did a nice job on these when they were built at the factory. This generation isn’t as popular as some other generation T-birds. I’m not sure why.

    Like 12
    • Geof

      Much agreed. These were stylish, powerful, and well put together. A true classic.

      Like 2
  5. Tom Crum

    There is a good chance this 1969 Thunderbird has a very rare factory option, anti-lock brakes. The cost was around $1,200.00 and it would pulsate the brake pressure to the rear wheels. This was supplied by Kelsey Hayes. I had it on two of my cars in Michigan and it added safety in the cold climate areas of the US. A black plastic box was attached to the bottom of the glove box, 8 x4x1 inch will be there. This is the best way to tell if the car is equipped.

    Like 3
  6. Patrick M Anderson

    One of the fw cars where I prefer the 4 door version, which were suicide doors on these Thunderchickens.

    Like 12
  7. Steve Clinton

    I’ll take the silver ’65.

    Like 5
  8. John Klintz

    Steve Clinton’s comment makes me start humming “Silver Thunderbird” by Mark Cohn; great song!

    Like 4
    • piston poney

      never knew there was a song about Thunderbird, just listened to it, great song.

      Like 2
      • Sam Shive

        FUN FUN FUN Till he daddy takes the T-Bird away. Beach Boys …… Making Thunderbirds Bob Seger ……… Jaguar an Thunderbird Chuck Berry…… The Blonde In the Blue T-Bird Walter Egan ……Black And White Thunderbird The Delicates.

        Like 2
  9. jwh14580

    For many years, this was my least favorite Thunderbird. As I have mellowed in my old age, they are starting to look better!!!

    • bill tebbutt

      Driving behind one at night, the rear tailights just look so awesome. Love these cars…..


      Like 3
  10. Jerry Arendse

    I had a 69 T-Bird exactly like this only a different color. Probably the only car I’ve ever owned I regret selling and I’ve owned a lot of cars. I loved that car !

    Like 3
  11. John Klintz

    WAY cool Sam Shive; thanks!

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