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Budget Bird: 1980 Ford Thunderbird

1980 Ford Thunderbird

As classics from the 60s and 70s get more expensive, people will start to look toward cars from the 80s and 90s for bargain drivers. We would all rather have a first generation Thunderbird, but for those of us who want something cheap and unique, this eight generation T-bird might be a better option. There’s a Windsor 5.0 V8 under the hood (the top option in 1980), 77k miles on the clock, and the body is claimed to be rust-free. There is some mouse damage inside though, so you will want to inspect this one in person before sending any money. It’s not for everyone, but I bet there are a few of you out there who would like to cruise this low-budget bird. It’s located in Sudbury, Massachusetts and is listed here on Hemmings for $3k.


  1. jaygryph

    3k is crazytown for that car unless it’s something you’re quite passionate about, particularly if it’s had rodents in it. There are better ways to spend that kind of money while being unique. 80’s were still a terrible time for hoses and early electronics and primitive computers and such under the hood. Any of which might sideline the car if they fail. There’s an 87 Grand Marquis parked in the weeds at my parents place, grandma bought it brand new and one day it was shut off and wouldn’t start. Fuel, spark, power, everything seemed fine and it just failed mysteriously. I think the timing gear might have stripped, actually, as ford was using aluminum gears and nylon teeth to make them run quiet. great idea, till the teeth get brittle with age and strip completely off. Actually, that might be something to double check on this rig because if it’s been sitting the teeth may have gotten weak and will suddenly fail and jump time, and there’s a lot of crap in those engine bays to pull out to get the front of the engine apart. I think at this point after doing a few of them, any ford of that era I bought I’d just plan on doing the timing chin/gear repair as part of it’s tune up.

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  2. MacVaugh

    There is rust showing on the bottom edges of that trunk lid. How can a car have been in Mass for more than a week and not rust?

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  3. bonneville 64

    Many years ago I bought an 80 T-bird for our oldest daughter’s 16th birthday. Actually a pretty nice car, as it did not have a vinyl roof, but a pop up/pop out sunroof, manual windows and seats, but otherwise the standard options. This was about 1987, and I only gave $300.00 for it. The woman I bought it from said her boyfriend told her every time it gets 1 quart low on oil put one in, after doing it 5 times it was the same as an oil change. I did drop the pan and clean it out, along with rebuilding the carb. Car road good and except for the rack hanging up on occasion on turns, was good enough for a kid to drive at low speeds a couple of miles to school. Have looked off an on for another one as most of the mustang speed parts interchange with this platform. in my opinion it seems that all who are selling these early 80’s T-birds think they are collectible, but they are only a daily driver at this time.

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  4. dj

    I think it should be $300. There were two of these sitting behind a local business. You could see them from the road. I stopped and asked about them and he tried to give them to me. He couldn’t give the things away. And I had to agree with him.

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  5. jim s

    if it has damage inside then the seller should post photos showing it. the digital dash would worry me.

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  6. josh h

    I’ve always wanted one of those. Something like a guilty pleasure, I guess.

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  7. Charles

    Back in the day I worked as the used car manager for a very large Ford dealership. These cars had very poor trade in value back than. The cars are not that bad as runners, but are not great either compared to other 80’s machines. The car is not old enough to be a classic, so unless it were a good running, low mileage, rust free, rodent free, cream puff, 3K seems optimistic. If the car is equipped with the digital dash, and it is not working, it could be a nightmare to fix. Rodents and electronics don’t mix well. The car may be just a parts car at best. Since so many parts are interchangeable with the Mustang’s of the day, the parts might be worth a little bit of cash.

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  8. Warren

    Tarted up Fairmont.

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  9. Jim Marshall

    I was a Ford dealer sales manager when these Birds were out and they weren’t good cars. By the time the 82’s arrived Ford had basically tweaked the car and it wasn’t as bad as the earlier models. I remember at a Ford dealer meeting in Orlando the district sales manager actually apologized to us for bringing the car to market and that an all new Bird coming out in 83 that would replace this as he described, turd of a car.

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  10. LynnK.

    Note new lower price: $1500 OBO.

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  11. '59FORDfan

    I’d rather one of these, than any other generation Thunderbird-just, me. I like the looks, the colour and, I’m guessing it will drive as nicely as did my ’80 Fox-body XR7. That Cougar was no slouch, btw. Nice find!

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