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One-Owner Cruiser: 1972 Ford Thunderbird

1972 Ford Thunderbird

From David W – This belongs to a friend of mine. His dad bought it new back in 1972 for his mom, but his mom passed away several years ago and his dad never drove it much after that. This truly is nice original one-owner car with 77,718 miles on it. It’s located in Garfield, Arkansas and is listed here on craigslist for $5,500.

460-4V Engine

I have gotten it running and put a new master cylinder in it so the brakes work. It is a 460-4V motor that likes to run and needs someone to do just that. The more it runs the better it sounds. It’s not perfect, but really wouldn’t take much to make even better.

Comfy Interior

It was originally a Colorado car and his dad moved here to Arkansas when his mom passed. His dad passed about 6 years ago and he never has had much time to do anything with it.

T-Bird Taillights

Dennis has COPD now and needs to down size and get ready to retire. I personally remember his parents driving it here to visit back in the 80s.

Thanks for sharing David. Hopefully this one finds a good home!


  1. Bob S

    That looks like a great car for the money or by the pound.

  2. andrew m

    The poor-man’s Lincoln that looked like a Mercury. As 70’s baroque as you can get for a Ford. Awesome car.

  3. Rock On Member

    Nice car. Only thing I would add is dual exhaust.

  4. wagon master Member

    Sure is a Purdy 7mpg stump pulling torque machine. Nicely preserved!

  5. Gerry

    Nice ford, good lines easy to look at , probably a great ride.

    Like 1
  6. Mitch

    My Dad still drives a ’72 as a daily driver. He bought it in 1993, & it was originally a California car from the Simi Valley. Unfortunately he’s never been much on car upkeep, & just wipes them off to “clean” them. (here in Ohio a thorough wash is a must in the winter, but I never got that through to him) Now it looks terrible, rotted out in places, & gaudied up with smaller wheels & Kmart hubcaps.

  7. Vegas vic

    These are great cars
    Big fine ford fun

    Like 1
  8. Mark S

    Still has the small bumpers and pre emission control engine. I’d say it is more likely a 12 to 15 mpg car. These 460 CID engines were used by Ford in there trucks up to 1 ton I believe and had plent of torgue so there should be no problem for that big engine to move this car around. I actually like the lines on this body style. If I had it, it would only come out on nice days for cruising.

    Like 1
    • Ed P

      Mark, any car sold in the U.S. had emission control beginning in 1968. My ’68 Valiant had a epa sticker under the hood and adjustment limiters on the idle jets.

      • John Newell

        Not true. No Automatic Transmission 1970 Rebel Machines were equipped with emission controls. Only the four speeds. The rest of the AMC cars were the same. It wasn’t until the 1971 model year that all cars had emission controls.

      • Ed P

        John; PCV valves were required by California in 1962 and became standard by 1964. Many 1968 cars had retarded timing, a 190 deg thermostat (previous standard was 180 deg), easily removed idle mixture screw limiters, plus a 14.2 to 1 air-fuel mixture (previously, the mixture was 12 to 1). Many GM and Ford vehicles had air pumps, Chrysler did not, AMC I don’t know.

        Like 2
      • John Newell

        Okay Ed. I was only thinking of the smog pumps. Only standard transmission AMC cars had them until 1971. My 65 Ford had a PCV. And since I’m not a mechanic, it didn’t occur to me that the 192 thermostat in my Rebel had an emissions function. So thanks for clearing that up.

  9. Les jones

    I can tell you I had two of these. They ride absolutely great but a killer on gas. Love the conefy ride.

  10. M B

    This era of T-birds were on the same platform as the Lincoln Marks, which means it has all of the premium stuff in it. It has all of the Ford emissions controls of the time, including the timing chain retarded 4 degrees for emissions purposes. A little “re-tuning” can help. The car should have factory dual exhausts, as I recall.

    Comfort is king in these cars. Just need a good set of HD shocks to keep them from bouncing like the GM cars would. A great car to go cross country in cold air conditioned comfort with the stereo playing in the background. Only stress would be at fuel stops, but as long as fuel is relatively inexpensive, have fun!

    Later versions got those gaudy side moldings done in vinyl top fabric texture. These earlier versions looked much cleaner and more tasteful.

    These cars are in direct conflict with what is now termed “luxury”! Luxury was about comfort, ease of operation, road isolation, size, and styling so that you KNEW what it was a block away. No “aero beans” where you couldn’t see where the front corners of the car are from the driver’s seat. In these cars, put the cell phone in the cup holder and enjoy the ride!

    Like 2
  11. ClassicCarFan

    According to my reference books by 1972 this engine had 8.5:1 compression and was rated at 224 bhp (though it must be remembered that the change over to “net” horse-power ratings had just taken place so you can’t compare apples to apples with gross bhp they used to quote) but still, a prior year 429 version had 10.5:1 compression and nominally 360 bhp… This 1972 version was significantly tamer, even allowing for the gross/net adjustment.

  12. Roselandpete

    Nice but if I were to buy one from this era, I’d go for one with the suicide doors.

    • Ed P

      I prefer the two door models, but the suicide door models are more rare.

  13. Garage Maven

    My girlfriend had one of these back in the late 70s. Plenty of space for “working on our night moves”…

  14. Mike Williams

    what a beautiful car and my favorite color, if only it was on the west coast.

    Like 1
  15. Bill

    My very first car was a ’72 T-bird. Since built on the Lincoln Mark III platform, not a real sports car. Mine had the triple brown package, Brown paint, brown landau roof and brown interior. Rocking the 429 engine with the double barrel carb. Too heavy to be a rocket off the line, but once moving, damn! Yes, awful mpg. But the car had luxury, and had a factory “quadraphonic” stereo system. Detroit salt took its toll, rotted out fairly quickly. I LOVED this car!

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