Already Rescued: Q-Code 1966 Ford Thunderbird

Every barn find has a life cycle. We may like to see them when they are still in the barn, but what about a car that has already had the rat’s nests vacuumed out and all the greasy work done? Well, that’s part of the fun for some of us, but others would rather have something like this T-Bird. It sat in storage for about 20 years, but has already been gone through to make it a nice driver. It’s located near Monterey, California and is listed here on craigslist for $20k.

It sure looks luxurious in there! It should considering all the option boxes that were checked when this thing was ordered. Leather reclining seats, power windows, air conditioning, floor mats, 8-track player, headlight dimmer, cruise control, retracting rear seat belts… the list just goes on and on. The seller doesn’t mention if anything has been restored in here, but I suppose it could be original if the 82k miles showing on the odometer were put there by a caring owner.

One of the biggest options here could be the Q-Code 428 V8, but ironically the seller forgot to include any photos of the engine bay. We will just have to admire the unique dash while we discuss the mechanicals. The seller does include a long of list of all the work that has been done to make this car a safe driver. The brake and fuel systems have been gone through and a lot of maintenance items have been addressed. Besides the larger engine, it left the factory with an LSD and a few exterior add-ons.

This could be the best view of a fourth generation Thunderbird. That futuristic taillight panel and landau top really make this car a stunner! This Ford may not get the attention it would if it were covered in dust, but it does look appealing if you want something that can be enjoyed right away. Of course, you will pay a premium for that convenience. This fine example is priced near the top of its market, but if everything checks out it end up being a good buy.


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  1. flmikey

    I really love these cars, but this one is approaching T-Bird convertible territory on the pricing…

  2. Jim B

    We had a 1966 Landau like this in the mid- to late-1970s. It was 10-15 years old then, and it was tough to keep the power window motors from frying continually. Awesome car to drive, great power, and a true aviation-themed interior with slide-away steering wheel.

    • blyndgesser

      Your description of the power windows applies equally well to our ’68 and our ’70, when they were both new.

    • tbird owner

      Windows and power vents work great!

  3. Jeff V

    I learned to drive in a ’66 w/390 4bbl, dad said punch it once, dad turned pale! That was the end of that, we then took moms Vauxhall! lol (mid70’s)

    • boxdin

      I brushed the right rear wheel against the right turn curb and that’s when Dad said, “alright that’s enough..time to go home. I was 11 and crushed, but at least we went for a drive in his new 1963 Galaxie. He died the next year.

  4. Wagon master

    Agreed @flmikey. Pricey even for a Q code that will have sedentary issues for a while until they’re sorted out.

  5. Jim

    It has Pennsylvania plates !!!!!!!!!!!!

    • tbird owner

      Yup, clear PA title but living in Cali. She’s always been a west coast bird (documented).

  6. Coventrycat

    Left the factory with LSD, bet that made some salemen happy on delivery.

    • Tirefriar

      Sounds like a great plot for French Connection 2 “Thunder in paradise” ;-)

  7. Adam T45 Staff

    I really like this. I’d have it in my driveway any day. When I was a kid my father had a ’57 Customline that the previous owner had shoe-horned a 429 T-Bird motor into. It was the car that saw me hooked on Fords!

    • tbird owner

      Make me an offer, and “any day” could be today!

      • Adam T45 Staff

        tbird owner, I’d love it but I simply can’t afford it at the moment. That and the fact that I’d have to ship it to Australia make it hard for me. It must be so hard for you to sell, as it is such an amazingly beautiful car. I wish you the best of luck selling it, and I envy the new owner. Me, jealous? Just a bit!

  8. Terry J

    Awww….last of the great FE engines ( 352, 390, 406, 427, 428 & others). The 429 is the same family as the 460 and is a different engine of course. Beach Boys: She’ll have fun fun fun ’till daddy takes her T Bird away. :-) Terry J

  9. Rod

    I tried to buy one recently. It has been sitting in a garage for maybe 20 years. The car died and he had it towed home and he never fixed it. He has now passed and she won’t let it go but I will keep trying.
    During this time I checked out the values and you can get some in great shape for 12g up to 17 for really good ones. I think this one is priced too high.

  10. Luke Fitzgerald

    Ah well, he can always come down – saying that, these things will jump in the next decade – and this one is the top of the pile in 4 gen cars

  11. Eddie

    Nice Car ,Good Condition, I’ld Love To Own It !

    • tbird owner

      I’d love for you to own it!

  12. 63Comet

    He can be negotiated down, but all it takes are a handful of people paying this or nearly this for values to start trending upward some more. Personally, I think we’re seeing an expanding bubble but we’ll see. Hot rods and customized cars are bringing ever more money too, so we’ll see.

    • tbird owner

      You’re correct. I’m more than happy to negotiate. We both need to be happy with the sale.

  13. Tirefriar

    So, what should this particular car in what appears to be very good condition, appealing color combo and full tilt option list be worth? $15, 16 maybe 17k? Ok, so looks like we are $3k-$5k apart. my question – is there a similar car available for sale for less? Make sure to compare apples to apples. If not, then whatever price you can get the seller to agree to will be the right price for this car. It’s a graceful car that perfectly embodies the era it’s from.

  14. Howard A Member

    The nicest Ford for 1966. Such a beautiful car, although, nasty RR blind spot on these without a mirror. The interior was highly influenced by airplane travel, even had pilots endorsing it. I believe that steering wheel slides to the right too.
    You bought this car to travel, and it did it well. Gonna cost you, with the 428, they got about 8mpg. I think the seller is a bit optimistic, these don’t go for much, relatively speaking, and nice ones can be had for $7,500 all day.

    • Fred W.

      Absolutely right Howard. Not ready to sell mine yet, but if I were, would take $7500 in a heartbeat. And that’s after sorting the interior and mechanicals.

  15. Young Fool

    What is LSD? I’m guessing limited slip diff?

    • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Staff

      You are right!

  16. tbird owner

    Since it was commented upon in the post, here’s some clarification: 1, here’s a picture of her ORIGINAL 428. Never been overhauled. 2, That engine earned every 1 of the 82k miles. The shop I worked with went over it with a fine-toothed comb to ensure it was healthy. 3, the interior has never been restored. That’s the same material that it left the factory with! I’m the 3rd family/4th owner, and I have all the previous owners’ names. Also have all receipts from waking her up along with some from the previous owners.

  17. Achman

    I had a ’66 Q code Town Landau when I lived in Florida. This looks like a good car. The coolant reservoir should be black, it has been painted blue (and the wrong blue) looks like a great car. Great sounds, I remember.

    • tbird owner

      Not according to my research. Here’s what I used in the repainting.

      • Rocco

        Corporate Blue is the dark blue(’60’s), not light blue from the ’70’s. Just info. Very nice car. Wish I could afford it.

  18. dj

    I restored a 63 for a family member. She wanted it done because it was her dad’s. We spent far beyond the asking price for this one.

  19. rustyvet

    cool car, 2 doors and a big block. good luck with sale!

    • tbird owner


      • Howard A Member

        Guaranteed, tbird owner, you going to have “sellers remorse” on this one.( don’t ask how I know about “sellers remorse”, too painful) Beautiful car. Somebody going to get a sweetheart.

  20. ccrvtt

    This is a truly beautiful automobile. It would be perfect for making the round trip from Louisville to Indy up & down I-65. Unfortunately the gas would cost more than the Colts season tickets. Guess we’ll have to keep the C6 – but this is a much classier ride. GLWTS.

  21. Pat

    I saw this car for sale in the great state of Idaho. Way to much money for this car. Sorry but facts are facts. The car is loaded but there is no way this car is 20k. Add another 5-7k and you get a nice 64-66 convertible or a decent 55-57 baby bird and again nice car.

    • Chebby

      I am curious, how is this a lifetime California car with a Pennsylvania title that was for sale in Idaho?

      BTW, it’s a sweet car and the seller has a refreshingly cheerful attitude.

      • tbird owner

        Chebby, I said it was a West coast car, not a CA car. I’m active duty, so I can title in my home state (PA). It’s a lot cheaper.
        And thanks for both compliments!

  22. Mark MacD

    I love this model year. What a beautiful car. I am glad that she was rescued from a 20-year sleep and is again seeing the open road. I hope she will find a forever home but the price may need some negotiation southward for that to happen soon. Still, love this car.

    • tbird owner

      Mark, I fully expect people to haggle with me, and I do have some room. Since this isn’t an auction, I didn’t want to limit myself, since no one would offer more than I’m asking.

  23. Jeff V

    6K$ will get ya a respectable one, add 2K$ for the orig 428! 8K$ would b fair, imo!

  24. Moparman Member

    This is beautiful! I never really cared for the Landau top, but everything thing else lights my fire! Ideally, I’d want a convertible w/ the tonneau! GLWTS!! :-)

  25. tbird owner

    Here’s the gate report for her.

  26. tbird owner

    Price lowered to 17,000

  27. tbird owner

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