Another Green One! 1970 Thunderbird At No Reserve

I’m not sure exactly what to call this 1970 Ford Thunderbird, as it’s certainly very original but isn’t quite in nice enough shape to call it a survivor, and the work hasn’t been done yet to call it a restovivor. Perhaps “restovivor to be”? Regardless, at a current bid of only $509 here on eBay with no reserve, I’ll be driving it home from Baxter, Minnesota if the bid stays that low (I’m sure it won’t!) 

Let’s get the bad news out of the way. Yes, there’s some rust in the rear quarters, and a ding that might just pop out in the right rear. I appreciate the seller’s clear pictures and description of the issues–even on a sub $1,000 car (so far) there are decisions to be made. Hey, Scotty, you’re up close to this one, aren’t you? Hmmm.

That’s one loooong nose! It’s nice to see that someone viewed it as a collector car and obtained collector plates for it. The seller says they “no longer have space for this car” and I can see why!

The original upholstery looks very attractive, and I can believe the 77,375 miles claimed in the auction listing. I’m not sure I would have installed the modern Pioneer radio under the dash, but at least it should be easy enough to remove if you choose to do so. The big bird was originally fitted with a bunch of luxury features, including power steering & brakes, power windows, power seat (with recline), factory tinted glass, tilt wheel, alligator grain vinyl top and a factory AM/8-track radio that’s still in the dash. The seller does warn us of an inoperative clock, horn, cruise control, and the right rear power window. All of these seem relatively reasonable to spend some weekends diagnosing and replacing parts.

This bird was made to fly! No small block emission-strangled V8 here, this is a big block 429 cubic inch V8 with a four barrel carburetor! I can see me cruising back to North Carolina now, and booking it into the local air conditioning shop for some add-on ac for the summer. What do you think this potential bargain will end up selling for? And what’s your theory about survivor cars being green?

Fast Finds


  1. ShaunD

    Fabulous land yacht! I’d love to have this here in the U.K. It doesn’t appear to need much work to make it a great daily driver. I’ve no idea how much it’s worth, but what a find!

  2. 86 Vette Convertible

    What will it sell for? As the red-haired step child of the Thunderbird line – not much regardless of condition. I’m sure someone will pick it up for cheap just as a conversational driver.

    • CCFisher

      I’m not one to be sensitive about these things, but let’s retire the “red-haired stepchild” phrase. I know first-hand that red-haired kids have enough to deal with without adults diminishing them.

      Like 2
  3. Luke Fitzgerald

    No A/C! – i would have thought that by gen 6 it was standard

    Like 1
    • Don

      This is a gen 5 ,,6 generation is 72 to 76 😁

      • Bill Nagribianko

        Gen 1 = 55-57 Gen 2 = 58-60 Gen 3 = 61-63 Gen 4 = 64-66 Gen 5 = 67-69 Gen 6 = 70-71 Gen 7 = 72-76
        After that, who cares?

    • MrBlueOval 57

      The 1970 Thunderbird was actually Gen #5 and all Thunderbirds had the “Comfort-Stream Ventilation System” which was a really great standard feature that had power vents behind and below the rear back glass that sucked out stale and warm air right out of the car quickly and circulated air in the interior so that air conditioning wasn’t really needed unless it was extremely hot outside and also cars from the northern states and from Canada would not need air cond. as temps rarely get that high so why pay over $350 (a.c. was an expensive option back then) for something you will never or rarely use. I now have breathing problems so air conditioning is a required option that I have to have now but back in the day I could have gone without it and actually did on many of my vehicles by just rolling down the windows. With the T-bird Comfort-Stream Ventilation System you didn’t have to put down any windows but still had great ventilation with the windows up.

      • Mrmark

        Comfort Stream is much better than 2/70 Air. Roll down both windows and drive 70!

  4. sparkster

    As a kid growing up in the Santa Cruz, California I remember when I first saw one of these and thought to myself, ” geez how much bigger can you make these” Then a few years later the Lincoln Mark IV came out Whew knew


    I always liked this body style, and that 429 was a great engine. I too am surprised it doesn’t have ac. But still what a nice cruiser… at 12 mpg

  6. sparkster

    Please correct me if I’m wrong but didn’t these come with two different roof lines ? One being sort of a sedan roof line and the other being a ” Fastback ” type of roof line ? Anybody ever see a four door version ?

    Like 1
    • jackthemailman

      A Thunderbird fastback? Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

      • Snotty

        Ford offered at least two rooflines in these years. SportsRoof and Formal this would be the sportroof. fastback is a generic term like “posi” rearend. I know mopar is the Shur Grip.

    • Blyndgesser

      This is the “fastback” version.

    • RoselandPete

      Didn’t these also come with suicide doors?

      Like 1
      • MrBlueOval 57

        yep,but only the 4 door models with the Formal roof sedan Landau model, not the coupes like this one is. The 4 door models were quite rare with only about 5500 of them being produced. My parents had a slightly used gold metallic 1969 4 door Landau with the suicide doors that my dad got from his brother that passed away suddenly in 1970. I was only 12 or 13 but was fascinated the way the rear doors opened backwards and part of the roof opened with it.

        Like 1
  7. CapNemo

    I’ve never been much of a Thunderbird guy, but I really like this one. If I was closer……..

  8. Lowell Munn

    Here is a four door version. I like the looks of both models!!

    Like 1
  9. glenn

    i liked the 69 better and the 4 door was really great. but this year i cant get to seem to love it. as far as driving it back to NC i wouldnt bet on it making it. Good luck if you do buy it but im sure if he dont get what he wants he will pull the listing before the end

  10. Neil

    Currently sitting at $1500 (£1200) with 6 days to go. Odd thing is the add says ”
    Posts to: United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia” but in the description the seller says “No international sales.”
    A shame as I would have loved this old Ford here in the UK – at the current price could have got it home for about £3,000

  11. Bob C.

    AM/ 8 track, wow! Years ago I bought a 1973 Chevy Impala with one. This was during a time when AM radio was still happening.

  12. sparkster

    I believe” Wolf Man Jack” was on am radio

    Like 1
  13. Stang1968

    The rust actually doesn’t look too bad considering it is in Minnesota. Did anyone else notice it still has snows on it in the pictures?

  14. scottymac

    Some of you really old farts may know a Thunderbird almost won the inaugural Daytona 500 in 1959, using a Lincoln 430 engine, which was a legitimate option. And lots of people know how Bill Elliott made the Thunderbird a dominant force in NASCAR again. How many of you knew this style Thunderbird was ever raced in the Seventies?

    Like 1
    • Smittydog

      Bill Elliot won 11 races in ’85 because Chevy neglected to acknowledge the aerodynamics of the fastback and thus produced 200 (the exact amount NASCAR required to be able to race) of those added on “glass fastbacks” at the end of ’85 called the “Aerocoupe.” Thus , leveling the field and allowing Chevy to compete.

      • scottymac

        Funny how any time Ford gets competitive and starts to dominate, NASCAR decides to “level the field”! What’s the story with Tony Stewart switching to Ford?

    • Mike

      Yes, barely, through research. I was only 3 when this happened but I learned a lot through the late ’60’s and ’70’s. This was the MEL engine. 383, 410 (not to be confused with the 410 FE in 66 & 67 for Mercury, the 430 and then the 462. The 462 was used in the Lincoln, up from 430 until the new 385 series – 429 & 460. I had a ’68 Lincoln with the 462. Not bad. I like this ‘Bird, if only they had left the headlights hidden.

  15. Luke Fitzgerald

    Sorry – not really on top of the later cars – thought they stopped making real birds in 1966

  16. Larry K

    I had a 71 Merc with that 429. Couldn’t kill it.

  17. Smittydog

    Green cars survive because they’re too ugly to drive in public!

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