Jade Jewelry: 1976 Ford Thunderbird

So pull that cover back and show this green beauty! By 1976, the Ford Thunderbird had gone from being a sporty personal luxury car to a monstrously large luxury coupe. It was still pretty cool, though, and 52,935 of them found homes in 1976. This particular one is listed for sale here on eBay and is located in Oneonta, Alabama. Bidding is starting under $1.00 but of course there’s a reserve higher than that. 

1976 was the last year of the huge-e-mongous Bird before it was downsized. This one is fitted with the “Jade Luxury Group” which obviously has something to do with the color. Wow, is this car ever green! It’s a little confusing, though, because every reference I could find about that group was for a 1975 model, not a 1976. If you are interested in learning more, here’s a factory brochure that’s listed here on eBay as well.

We’re told in the auction listing that the car is all original. If it is, someone has done a fantastic job of preserving the original paint and vinyl top! Normally I would like thinner white wall tires, but these look pretty good, don’t they? I like those massive-appearing factory aluminum wheels as well. I actually like this car a lot more than I expected when I first looked at the auction listing. It was tempting to throw a ridiculously low bid and not write it up (grin) but I don’t do that. Often, anyway.

The GREEN (yes, it is yelling at me) interior has air conditioning, cruise control, power locks, power windows and power seats. Apart from some stretching of the original upholstery it looks great, and are those factory Ford floor mats? 87,643 miles are believable based on the appearance. We’re also told it has a CD player, which I’m pretty sure wasn’t original for 1976 as the first CD player was introduced in 1982.

Whoa! Or, more correctly, Go-a! That’s the original 460 cubic inch V8 just waiting for you to feed it some gas–and as the ad states, premium gas! So–are you (or your spouse) ready for some Jade jewelry? I’ll be watching this auction closely.

Fast Finds


  1. DrinkinGasoline

    I do like the body color. My only wish for these is that Ford could have offset the body color with a different interior color.
    I do not believe the floor mats are OEM as Kraco produced aftermarket mats in the colors of the period.

    • Carl Kogan

      Those are definitely original floor mats. Cool car!

      • DrinkinGasoline

        Research shows you are correct Carl :)

      • Bill Owens BillO Staff

        Yes they are original mats. My 1978 Thunderbird has the same mats.

    • Grey O'Brien

      “” “” “”
      1975 Thunderbird Jade Luxury Group
      Typically, the new car market slows during the Spring months. Ford was always quite adept at capturing new interest during this time with special promotions, advertising campaigns, and new model introductions. The 1963 Thunderbird Limited Edition Landau was introduced in Spring 1963, so was the 1964 1/2 Ford Mustang in Spring 1964, and the 1969 Continental Mark III in Spring 1968. To offset the sales slump in April 1975, and to commemorate the Thunderbird’s 20th Anniversary, the Jade Luxury Group option was introduced…
      1975 Ford Thunderbird Jade Luxury Group – Jade Starfire Glamour finish, Jade half-vinyl roof, Jade Media Velour interior, White paint stripes
      Shown at left, Jade Luxury Group option with Jade Starfire Glamour finish (code 7F), Jade Normande grain padded half-vinyl roof, and Jade Media Velour (code NR) interior. White paint stripes.

      1975 Thunderbird Jade Luxury Group – Polar White finish, Jade half-vinyl roof, Jade Media Velour interior, Jade paint stripes
      Shown above, Jade Luxury Group option with Polar White finish
      (code 9D), Jade Normande grain padded half-vinyl roof, and Jade Media Velour
      (code NR) interior. Jade paint stripes.

      1975 Ford Thunderbird Jade Luxury Group – Jade Starfire Glamour finish, White half-vinyl roof, Jade Media Velour interior, White paint stripes
      Shown at right, Jade Luxury Group option with Jade Starfire Glamour finish (code 7F), with White Normande grain padded half-vinyl roof, and Jade Media Velour (code NR) interior. White paint stripes.

      The three exterior color combinations shown above could be paired with either of two interior trim combinations, to create a unique Jade Luxury Group look…
      Jade Media Velour interior trim
      Jade Media Velour interior trim (code NR) is paired with Jade Vinyl and features color-keyed components. White Leather Seating Surfaces with Jade vinyl interior trim
      White Leather Seating Surfaces with Jade Vinyl (code P5) is teamed with Jade components for a distinctively rich appearance.

      Other distinctions that are part of the Jade Luxury Group include:
      Normande Grain Padded Half-Vinyl Roof
      Color-keyed Vinyl Clad Rear Window Moldings
      Color-keyed Vinyl Roof Moldings
      Silver Thunderbird Opera Window Insignia
      Color-keyed Wide Bodyside Moldings
      Jade Starfire Glamour or Polar White Finish
      Dual Hood and Bodyside Paint Stripes
      Wire Wheel Covers

      Unfortunately, Ford Motor Company did not keep records of how many 1975 Thunderbirds were equipped with any of the Luxury Group options. Since they were a trim package, which did not require separate body style identification numbers, accurate production numbers are difficult to determine. However, it is believed that Thunderbirds equipped with any of the Luxury Group option packages were quite rare when new, and even more so today.

  2. Superdessucke

    This package needs to be brought back yesterday on Ford’s SUV and CUV lines, along with the Lipstick, Cream, and Lincoln Designer Series. They’re not driver’s cars so Brougham them up!

    • Superdessucke

      And I mean including the padded vinyl roofs also.

  3. jw454

    I never cared for those wheels but, it is a nice car. My brother had one that had the 302 in it. It was a great highway cruiser. His also had a different type of factory sport wheel but, I can’t recall what it looked like. Nice cars.

    • robert w martin

      I had a 74 thunderbird, chocolate brown with a tan interior. I loved that car. Fresh out of the Marine Corps, single and 19 year’s old, all the girl’s would ask “is this your mom’s car “?

      • Carl Kogan

        I had a gold ’74 that I drove in college in the late ’70’s and I’d get the same question! It was a great car and probably why I’ve always been a fan of big of big Fords. To this day I have a ’79 Mark V that I drive almost every weekend!

  4. funrunr

    Nice car, 1979 was the last year for the “huge-e-mongous ” T-birds, although a different body style, they were big!

    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

      Believe it or not, the 77-79 cars were a lot smaller (but still huge) than the 1976 models!

      • txchief

        True, the T-Bird shrunk from something that wouldn’t fit in most garages to something that would barely fit.

  5. txchief

    All I can say is Frank Cannon, private investigator.

    • 86 Vette Convertible

      I thought he drove a Lincoln, but I could be wrong.

      • txchief

        Nope, Frank was a T-Bird guy.

      • Carl Kogan

        Lincoln Mark IV

      • txchief

        Dang! I could have sworn he had a T-Bird.

      • DrinkinGasoline

        Cannon drove a Lincoln.

      • Ford

        Frank Cannon Drove Lincoln Mark III & IV’s
        Only T-Birds were his rental cars, all Ford products.

  6. Jeff V

    1979 was the year GM downsized many luxury cars e.g. Riviera, Eldorado, Toronado & with it the power plants! I think the gas crisis had a lot to do with it.

  7. txchief

    There’s a well-known car flipper in Dallas who’s absolutely queer for green cars. He should be on this like a foul aroma on caca.


    I saw one of these at a car show yesterday in blue. Me thinks they ruin the car when they stick that aftermarket crapeo in there/

  9. Don H

    Is that a bike tire on the steering wheel?

    • CaptShindig

      It certainly is- must be the SureGrip NoSlip Performance Option! LOL! Certainly goes well with the opulent interior motif

  10. GarryO

    jw – if your brother had a ’76 ‘bird with a 302, that motor was a transplant. In ’76 the 460 was standard. That all changed in ’77 (smaller, lighter car).


      400 was std. 460 optional.

      • Carl Kogan

        I think the 460 was the only engine in the T-Bird for 1973 to 1976. The Mark V carried on with the same platform from 1977 to 1979 with the 400 standard and the 460 optional only in 1977 and 1978.

      • GarryO

        Nope – no 400 from ’73 to ’76.

  11. Sam

    Drive in style at your local St. Patricks day parade! More cow-bell

  12. Rustytech Member

    I had a 77 F250 in this same color, I love it! These were built for the guy that wanted a luxury personal car, but couldn’t afford the Lincoln Mark series. This car looks amazing for its age. Currently bid to just over 3 grand, still a bargain, but reserve is un-met.

  13. Bobby p

    Frank Cannon without a doubt drove a Lincolm Mark 111. Then a Mark IV

  14. Jon

    Love the car. I think I’d feel like huggy bear when driving this. Wish I had the green to buy it.

  15. Mike Heath.

    Someone mentioned Dallas brings to mind JR Ewing with the big stetson hat.i know he didn’t drive one in the show don’t think so anyway but I think you need the hat!!!.

  16. Adam T45 Staff

    Look at the size of the thing. I’ve owned houses that were smaller!

  17. Vegas vic

    Gorgeous ride!
    And the green stands out while cruising and at car shows.
    Classic 70s tourer!

  18. Tommy D

    Why would ’76 compression ratio require premium gas?

  19. ICEMAN from Winnipeg

    No, Cannon drove Continental. Continental Mark IV, not Lincoln Mark IV.

  20. Brad Hall

    This is My Thunderbird. Although I am impressed with the knowledge of many of the comments that have been made let me clear some things up.
    1. This is all original with the exception of the bike tire in the steering wheel. To protect the steering wheel. They are only 4-6 hundred dollars to replace.
    2. This is a 76. Ordered in mid 75. You will notice the molding atriums the rear window is chrome. Not green padded Normandy vinyl.
    3. I have 17 of these big birds. From 62-76. The 77 Bird isn’t anything like this car. Lighter smaller and less road manners for a highway cruiser. Although it was time and sales reached an all time high in 78. 4. 72 was the last year that 400 was standard and for only the first quarter of that year. Along with bucket seats and a console. The 400 was a great motor but not in a 5000 lb car. 429 became standard in mid 72 and 460 was optional in 73. 74-76 were standard with the 460.
    5. hallbrad62@gmail.com is my email. I have one of these just for you.
    6. I also collect Mk IV’s and Mark V’s. Though the Thunderbird is a much friendly car to drive and look at.

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