Big Bird: 1974 Ford Thunderbird Survivor

There’s nothing special about the sixth generation Thunderbirds, but this one listed on craigslist looks like a really nice original car. The $6,900 asking price might seem kind of high, but the average sale price is listed at $7,100 and this Bird appears way above average. The factory sunroof was an expensive option and is is less common and it works. This Thunderbird is said to have been owned by a little old lady since new and is being sold from her estate. There are no pictures of the 460 V8, but the rest of the car looks like the 66,500 miles might be accurate. They say this Thunderbird is “ready to cruise” so it’s assumed it’s running and driving.

The interior looks really nice in this picture. This could be a very selective view or the interior it might be as nice as it looks.

If someone is looking for a nice 1970s Thunderbird, this appears to be a nice example. All you need to make it complete is a matching hubcap. It could be an inexpensive driver, unless the sellers have been very clever with their pictures it appears pretty much pristine. This isn’t a car most people would choose, but it just might be a really nice find. That 230 HP 460 takes 11 seconds to drag its 5,000 pounds to 60 MPH and at least 18 seconds through the 1/4 mile. 1974 was the first year to require unleaded fuel, so there would be no need to add lead substitute. It will suck a lot of that unleaded fuel and and not provide much performance, but it could still be fun.


  1. Ikey Heyman Member

    It looks nice based on the photos provided, but I can’t figure out what that is on the transmission hump! Can somebody enlighten me?

    • CapNemo

      It looks like it might be a photograph. Perhaps of the lady that owned it? Who knows, just me guessing.

      • Gary Member

        It’s a wedding picture – bride & groom. Maybe it was their honeymoon car.

    • Paul Hudson

      Looks like a wedding photo. These were beautiful well built cars. The perfect car to take on a long trip as long as you have plenty set aside for fuel.

  2. Todd Zuercher

    Looks like a wedding photo to me.

  3. Rich Tague

    did the Taillites seem MELTED or out of sorts to anyone or is is it me??

    • Andrew

      No it appears trees in the background are reflected in the lens making them look warped.

  4. Chebby

    Nice shape, but what a pig.

  5. Mr. TKD

    That’d be a cool weekend cruiser.

  6. Howard A Member

    My old man had a “Big Bird” like this, ’72, I think. After the ’68 Lincoln, but before the Cadillac’s, he bought one of these. It, like the Lincoln, was a tank. (those doors weigh a ton, alone) One of the nicest cruiser’s the old man had, but he didn’t like it.( typical) I did. Very cool car, that hood went on forever. Of course, it wasn’t the fastest car he had owned ( that was the 1970 Ambassador, ex cop car) but this was a road car, but it will cost you ( 7 city/11 highway) This dash looks a little plain, as I remember the old man’s was fancier. Very nice car.

  7. DA

    For less money and equally as nice:
    Couple years newer but I think these were a little more pleasing to the eye.

    • wuzjeepnowsaab

      Nice car, but these were much different by ’78. In that year they were fancy LTD II’s…the ’74 Birds were still big cruising barges. They weren’t fast but they sure floated down the highway

    • Bill Owens BillO Staff

      Hey DA, I really like that 78 Town Landau in the link you added (I’ve had two 78’s, a heavily optioned base and a Diamond Jubilee). I got really excited when I saw Sharpsburg, because that is a small town in NC not too far from me, but shucks, it’s all the way down past Atlanta. But it is really a good looking car. Still might consider it.

    • RS

      Ehh, basically just a Torino. Friend of mine had one of those.

  8. Big Mike

    Never did like this style of T-Bird, back in the day when I worked for Dad in the Body shop a couple of his customer had these and we were always changing the door hinges on them they would wear so bad or just break we did such a good job at it that the local Ford Dealer would send them to us to do the repairs so not to tie their body shop which at the time was not much of a shop!!

  9. Brad

    My ’76 had the same color combination as this one. I bought it from the original little old lady owner with 51,200 miles on it. Garage baby from day 1. Perfect car in all aspects. Even the clock kept accurate time, ice cold A/C, and all of the T Bird goodies, including a spare tire lock (!) A real attention getter at car shows. Yes, it was a pig on handling, power, and fuel consumption, but at the end of the day, none of that mattered. It was a joy to drive, and to be seen driving.

  10. Tom Driscoll

    They look best in Black…

  11. JRATT1956

    By 1974 Ford and others had cut the horsepower so much that these cars were no longer fun to drive. I owned a 71 Mark III 460 with 365 HP now that was a beast that would really move, a classic highway cruiser. It would pass everything but a gas station. The last of the Hot Rod Lincoln’s. I will own one again someday.

    • RS

      The 71 Mark III is actually the slowest of the 69-71 series. The 69’s engines were hand picked from the best of the 460’s. Also they were the strongest of the three years. Continental rated them all the same so they wouldn’t have to keep dropping the HP year by year with emissions encroachments but the 69 was stronger than the 70, and stronger still than the 71. I had a 71 which someone had swapped some desirable HP heads onto.

  12. Ralph Robichaud

    This is a beautiful old car.. I can not help commenting on perceived values-
    First item featured – 65 delapidated Impala- locale Alabama-inoperable sought $7500-
    and some think it is worth it!

    This item- 74 TBird-road ready, clean – locale Vermont- sought $6900 obo.

    and some think this is high!

    Logic- escaped.

    • RS

      This car does look very very clean – but Vermont is typically an extremely risky place from which to buy a car. You never saw an environment any harder on a car than that one. The whole state is loaded with rust buckets.

  13. Rustytech Member

    These were a long way from the original concept, but were a great luxury cruiser. My favorite’s were the 64-66’s. I think any car that reaches this age in this condition deserves to be treated with respect. Again I’d need a bigger garage!

  14. scottymac

    Really just a Lincoln Mark IV with a Ford grill.

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