Low Mile Limited: 1985 Ford Thunderbird Fila Edition

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In order to promote enhancements made to the 9th generation of the Thunderbird, Ford came out with a special edition for 1985. They forged a partnership with the Fila clothing brand to prepare a top-of-the-line T-Bird with white leather bucket seats and selected power accessories. To ensure it’s exclusivity, the Fila edition was priced a lot higher than the Turbo Coupe. Over two model years, just 2,532 of these cars were built. This two-owner edition from 1985 is available through a dealer and here on Motor Vault in Indianapolis, Indiana for $8,700. Thanks, jonny C, for bringing this tip our way!

Beginning as a 2-seat personal luxury car in 1955, the Thunderbird evolved over the rest of the 20th Century (and even into 2002-05). It would be small, then large, and then smaller again from one generation of the car to the next. When the T-Bird was redesigned for 1983, Ford was determined to add better performance and handling to the luxury automobile. While more than one engine choice would be available, the 5.0-liter, EFI V8 motor with a 4-speed automatic was chosen to propel the Fila edition (as well as other T-Birds). It produced 140 SAE net horsepower and 250 lb.-ft. of torque.

To help pitch the Fila edition, tennis star Bjorn Borg was hired by Ford and Fila to help promote the automobile in its advertising. It didn’t hurry that at the same time this was going on, Bill Elliott was winning everything in NASCAR in a 9th-gen T-Bird. Most of the nuances of the Fila edition were found inside the passenger compartment, which looks far more stylish that the standard Thunderbird. After two years and more than 2,500 copies, Ford moved on to other marketing endeavors and the Fila edition was put to rest.

This well-cared for ’85 Fila T-Bird has seen only 52,500 miles of use across two sets of family owners. Other than a few scratches here and there of the white and grey paint and a bit of surface rust on the undercarriage, the automobile looks to be in stunning condition. The car is original and unrestored, but a few things have been done to keep the car in good running order. These include:

  • Transmission rebuilt (2013)
  • Fuel pump, filter and tires (2014)
  • Ignition control module (2016))
  • Battery, oil change and vehicle inspection (2019)

But a few things will need attending to by the next owner, namely sluggish power windows, a non-working trunk release button and some curling of front fender trim. None of this sounds like anything major to have to deal with. But the buyer will be treated to the original window sticker, owner’s manual and delivery documents, a car cover and an official Fila tote bag! A video of the car is provided for further scrutiny of this low-production automobile.

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  1. Bob_in_TN Bob_in_TNMember

    Nice T-Bird. I think this Fox Body-based generation of T-Birds was particularly well-executed, and to me they still look today. Amazing what a restyling did compared to the 1980-82 models. I never really warmed up to the Fila version, but this one does look good, and you could have a seldom-seen, low-stress cruiser for not a lot of money.

    Like 8
  2. Bakyrdhero Bakyrdhero

    I forgot about the Fila edition. I’d still prefer the Turbo coupe with the ten slot alloys (these white rims let the car down in my opinion) but that white leather looks real sharp. Not a fan of the column shift on this generation bird either. Overall a great looking throwback to the mid eighties.

    Like 7
    • Howard Kerr

      Well, this one has the ” right ” engine, right number of doors, but I will never understand why Ford built these with column shifters. For that matter, why Ford built the vast majority of Thunderbirds with column shifters, but bucket seats and consoles.
      If I hadn’t recently bought a used car, I would really consider this as the price versus mileage/condition is quite reasonable. I do think that I would have to update the wheels, however, with something from a late model Mustang but with white powdercoating to maintain the styling theme.

      Like 2
  3. Keith Olsen

    I rented one (back in the day). It was a reddish orange color… It drove beautifully. Right over The Tappan Zee Bridge…. Very nice car

    Like 4
  4. wifewontlikeit

    Owned a 1983 Turbo Coupe with a 5-speed new from Swanson Ford. I loved that car! It was equipped with TRX low-profile tires and was black with a grey interior. I had the windows tinted and removes a few extraneous logos.

    That car held its own when I pulled up among the European cars. It saved my life when I was hit head-on by a garbage truck on a mountain road. It was a shame to lose the car, but it did its job. Best of the Birds IMHO.

    Like 10
  5. Bobby

    I just pick up a 94 tbird 4.6 with only 52 on it one owner

    Like 1
  6. Car Nut Tacoma

    Sweet looking car. I remember when the Ford Thunderbird looked like this. I used to know someone who owned one. It was a fun car to ride in. Since I was too young at the time to drive, I have no way of knowing how reliable it was, or how it was to service the car.

    Like 1
  7. ace10


    Like 1
  8. Bart

    Bought an 86 Thunderbird. Never made it home from the dealership in 4 attempts. It’s amazing, Ford trucks are damn near indestructible, their cars not so much.

    Like 2
  9. Bob Ch

    Actually the first year was 1984 because I had one what was nice about these everyone was a just a little different. Mine had aero kit and the trunk lid looking like a MK VII some did come with a 6 and grey cloth interior. Mine also had the analog dash instead of digital. It was underpowered but fine for the time. Car cornered great even kept up with corvettes. Loved this car my first new one. would love to have this one.

    Like 0
  10. Troy s

    Both in NASCAR and NHRA, Bob Glidden’s pro stock terror Motorcraft T’bird I remember, high schooler at the time and I thought these were the best looking new cars out there. These ‘birds put Ford right back in the thick of things when it came to big time racing.
    To me they looked best in full race trim, ha ha, but they look good in general. A few have popped up at local car shows sporting 5.0 injected engines out of the fox Mustangs, with all the go fast hardware, suspension mods, wheels and so forth.

    Like 1

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