Live Auctions

One-Family Survivor! 1969 Ford Thunderbird

Original paint, original top, original driveline, original interior, and more! That should answer the typical challenges to the overused claim of “survivor.” This beautiful T-bird earns it! The 1969 Ford Thunderbird in Claremore, Oklahoma enjoyed years of garaged care in the hands of its original owner, a literal old lady from (South) Pasadena, California. Offered for sale by her nephew, this cream-puff has accumulated a mere 60,000 miles and change. Though running condition is not mentioned in the listing, the big Ford never required major work in all those years, and comes with a lifetime of maintenance records. The listing here on craigslist asks $9300. Thanks to reader Pat L. for spotting this one-family survivor.

Years ago I brought a 1966 Thunderbird Town Landau back from the dead. Some parts of this Ford show the evolution from that earlier model, and others demonstrate a clear departure. Personally I favor the ’66 dash with cockpit-style center and overhead consoles. As you may know, the fifth generation T-bird introduced the world to the first four-door Thunderbird, an answer to a question that many Ford fans wish had never been asked. This elegant coupe comes with none of that literal and philosophical baggage. Love hidden headlights? Dig the spaceship front on this ’69.

Original except for maintenance items, the 429 Thunderjet cranked out 360 HP. The velvety 480 lb-ft of torque promises to overpower those original sized tires when you disrupt your bucolic golf club with a completely-inappropriate smoky burnout. I have to confess that about two minutes after urging my Dad’s ’66 back to life, I couldn’t resist burning the low-budget snow tires in my driveway. Don’t try that with your long-idled museum piece, folks.

Faux landau bars and limousine-style roof treatment began in ’66, and carried into this generation as the Thunderbird moved further upscale. Any hint of its origin as an alternative to the Corvette was long-gone by the Summer of Love. Turbine wheel covers are easy to damage with errant parking, but these look great. Check out the shine on that original paint! Name a $10,000 car that will garner more praise at your country club!


  1. Todd Zuercher

    Those exterior photos look like they’re from the original sales brochure. I would imagine not many have survived in this kind of condition.

    Like 6
    • Mike

      Something’s wrong here. This presentation is too nice for a Craig’s List ad.

      Like 8
  2. Jcs

    Thank goodness that one family survived this Thunderbird.

    Like 2
  3. Fred W

    Color looks like the “seafoam” color of my ’68 Fairlane from back in the day. Do any of you experts know what the little finned cooling device is at the bottom right of the engine photo? Don’t recognize it.

    Like 1
    • Todd Zuercher

      power steering cooler

      Like 8
    • Fahrvergnugen Farhvergnugen Member

      I think it’s there to keep the Starbux coffee cup from falling off the engine. Must have been a recall, as the cup is on its side already…

      Like 4
    • AaronC

      It’s a power steering fluid cooler-I had one on my ’69 LTD years ago.

  4. Frank Sumatra

    Looks as if it was carved from a bar of soap. Ford should have gone out of business for what they did to the Thunderbird and Mustang in the 1970’s.

    Like 3
    • Larry McGaw

      Ford left the bankruptcy business to GM and Chrysler (x2).

      Like 13
      • Frank Sumatra

        My point was they destroyed two automotive icons.

        Like 2
    • bone

      Mustangs and Tbirds changed with the times . The bigger Tbirds sold way more than the little coupes .The Mustang grew large like most cars did in the early 70s but the gas crunch had Ford build the Mustang II , which also sold like hotcakes .

      Like 3
  5. Ted Miller

    Growing up as a teen, I detailed my neighbors 4 door 69, talk about power it would move! Burned rubber without trying, wasn’t used to that much power!

    Like 4
  6. DocW

    My brother had a 68 Tbird 4 door with the same 429 engine. He let me take it to school one day, for some reason. The the high school driveway and floored it. Hot 70 before I knew it. Thankfully didn’t hit anything or anybody that day. Nice car but 4 doors on a Tbird never seemed quite right. This one appears to be a nice example. Hope it goes to a good home.

    Like 2
  7. Robert May

    Our family had one. A black jade 4 door with white seats and Magnum 500’s. Had the 429, too. My folks sold it right before I was old enough to drive. I can’t blame them, though. It was a beautiful car.

  8. terry smith

    when 1st married we bought a 2 year old 69 T-bird. Almost Identical to this one. Ours was gold with a very light (I think it was white) color Landau roof. I loved that car and went on to buy 5 more T-Birds. I wish we could still place photo’s here in responses so you all could see my Birds!

    Like 2
  9. Phlathead Phil

    “Original Wear and Tear” & “Original Rust.”

    Please excuse me while I go raid the refrigerator for an “Original Midnight Snack!”

  10. Dunk

    Does it have a/c?

    Like 1
  11. John Guinn

    Bought a 1959 Tbird just like this one except for paint color, best car she ever had. She panicked during ‘74 gas crisis ended up trading for an Audi LS100 which without a doubt was absolutely the worst car we ever owned.

  12. Geoff

    A friends Mom when I was in high drove a 4 door which I actually thought was kind of cool with its suicide doors. I can’t help wonder why this exterior and interior of this car appear well maintained while the engine bay looks so atrocious. Something doesn’t add up?

  13. Mark Evans

    The only change I’d make would be to convert it to suicide doors.\

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