READER AD: 1978 Ford Thunderbird Time Capsule

Reader Jesus G is helping the owner of this Thunderbird find it a new home. It’s a very clean T-Bird that has covered just 55k miles and features some cool features, such as T-tops, cruise control, 8-track player and a 400 V8. Jesus wanted to try his hand at putting together a Barn Finds style write-up about the car, so rather than running it in our typical Reader Ad format, we thought we’d run it more or less as he wrote it!

From Jesus G – This 1978 Ford Thunderbird Town Landau has been with the current owner for nearly 20 years. Originally a California car, it was shipped to South Texas to join a collection of full-size products from FoMoCo. The car is a true survivor with original paint, near mint condition interior with no rips in the seats, or cracks on the steering wheel and dashboard. The odometer only reads 55,049 miles.

Even though the car has not worn a valid registration since the early 2000’s the owner routinely turns over the 400ci V8 and drives it around the block to keep the car in shape. The main issue with the car is a small vacuum leak in the pop-up headlights. They work with the car is running, but the owner claims that when parked from one day to the next the headlight lids will pop up. This is sort of an endearing issue if you’re a fan of films like Christine and Herbie.

The owner is parting ways with his beloved ’78 T-bird in favor of dedicating more time (and money) into the other Birds in his collection that include a 1964 Thunderbird and a 1971 Thunderbird sedan with a 429 V8.

You can find the Thunderbird here on eBay right now or you can contact the owner via email here.

Our thanks to Jesus for telling us about this Thunderbird! It looks like a sweet ride that should be fun to have. And, if you have a survivor parked in your barn, garage or shed, please consider listing it for sale here on Barn Finds!


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  1. CapNemo

    I like the way the wheels are color coordinated with the apartment complex. :)

    Like 22
  2. UK Paul 🇬🇧

    Nice one .. I am bidding. It will not be of interest to anyone else here.

    Like 5
    • Bakyrdhero

      These are nice. Big, but nice

      Like 4
      • Sandy Claws

        I agree. Baky, I like you, despite your tender age, you are very respectful. Others here should follow your good example.

        Like 6
    • Chris

      You are very correct! It will be a welcomed trip to see this bastard step child shipped to the U.K. Hope you win the auction!

      Like 3
      • Sandy Claws

        Chris do you kiss your mamma with that foul mouth? I stand by my earlier conclusion, small phallus, big chip on your shoulder. For someone who criticizes others expression of opinions, you do not mind expounding on yours. The term “bully” comes to mind, yes a bully with a small package trying to hide his “short comings”.

        Like 12
      • Chris

        Funny, you seem rather interested in my male endowment Sandy. Do you often find yourself equating anger with phallic fantasies? Maybe worth it for you to explore those impulses with a professional “Sandy.” Were you at one time “Sam?”

        We’ve all endured your blowhard posts over and over on this site and frankly it gets old. But as the old saying goes, “there’s always one A-hole in the group” guess you’ve stepped forward to accept that title. Good day!

        Like 8
      • Sandy Claws

        Chris, have you taken a look at my “likes” vs your “likes”? Seems far more people agree with me here. This shouldn’t come down to a tit for tat situation (though, I do recall you started this with a blatant insult) so how about we all agree to disagree and get on with stating opinions and not personal attacks. Oh yes, I will not mention your small parts again. (only explanation for your anger)

        Like 6
    • Chris

      Well if it comes down to likes then I guess that makes you the man Sandy! Lol I think we know a little more about you now, with that said, I sure hope there won’t be any sort of barn find rockets or missiles located..see what I did there?

      Good day, moving on with things.

      Like 1
  3. David Zornig

    We had those as rentals in the Budget office that rented space in our Texaco.
    Those tan wheels with the blue car colors that Ford offered were just hideous.
    But oddly the first choice by most customers, cause they just screamed “new” compared to all the other bland stuff offered there then.
    Eventually the franchisee burned his bridge with Ford, and AMC was the only automaker that would extend him credit.
    So the Concords came rolling in…

    Like 2
  4. Bryan corey

    My pops had one of these
    1979, white on forest green interior, 351.
    Drove it to the moon and back, sold it with 290,000 miles and still saw it throughout town 5 plus years after. Super ugly, super big, but super good. I’d buy a cream puff just for the sentimental value

    Like 3
  5. Grid Michal Member

    David: ya should been around to help me order 600 cars one night in Baltimore in the very early 70s. I got the first 2 LTDs for my city manager and me in triple black, then had to figure out 598 more color combos. I was pretty good until I got to a chip called “rose,” which was gorgeous. I ordered all types of Fords in Rose with as many different types of interiors as possible. September came, I pulled into the airport at 530AM to see a dozen loads of drop-shipped Fords in PINK, nothing like the chip at all! My penance was to sell the cars when they came due, which I did–and made money, too!

    Like 3
    • Chris

      Well if it comes down to likes then I guess you’re the man Sandy!! Lol I think we know a little more about you now, with that said, I sure hope there won’t any sort barn find rockets or missiles… See what I did there?

      Good day, moving on with things…

  6. Bob C.

    Seems to be a lot of these late 70s Thunderbirds and Cougars popping up lately. This was a good generation IMO. Never cared for the 1980 to 82 gussied up Fairmonts.

    Like 7
    • ICEMAN from Winnipeg

      The Ford Fairmont Futura ironically would have made a better TBird than the 1981 version of the Bird. There was an 82 T-Bird at a local car show in Richmond, BC last summer. Because it so rare now, it drew a lot of admiring attention. Funny how times changes ones perspective.

      Like 3
      • Bakyrdhero

        My Grandparents had an 81 Cougar. Nice looking. It was Red with a white vinyl roof and a red velour interior. That car was DOA to the junkyard by 1989 with less than 100k on it. Amazing when you think how long cars last now. The 80-82’s feel like a design that was keeping the seat warm for the game changing 83’s. Those were handsome and fun cars. My uncle had a black with red sport interior 86 turbo Tbird and it was a fun car to be a passenger in anyway.

        Like 1
  7. Howard A Member

    $1,650??!! While this, and the Cougar were my least favorite renditions of these cars, they were still really nice cars. $1,650 got to be the deal of the century for this here site.

    Like 5
  8. TJ

    In snow weather states in which salt was put on the roads, those polycast wheels would bond themselves to the steel drums and it was extremely difficult to remove the wheels if not impossible when you had a flat or needed new tires. If you rotated the tires regularly, you wouldn’t have that problem. Ford developed a special tool to assist dealerships with removal. I was living in Chicago at that time.

    Like 2
  9. Bakyrdhero

    Chris you just have to take the old fella with a grain of salt right Sandy? There is enough anger and hostility in the real world, Let’s try and get along and treat all cars and people equally here in Barn Finds land.

    Like 2
  10. Freewheelin’

    I’m in as long as the BTO cassette comes with the car……

  11. Emory Long

    Good luck to new owner. This was the worst car I ever owned, and know many more people that say the same.

    Like 1
    • Howard A Member

      Hmm, I’m surprised to hear that. I believe this was on the same platform as the Elite and Montego, and I knew people that had them, and they were the best cars. It filled the gap between a Continental and a Ford LTD ll. I’d say, some of the last great Fords before the dismal 80’s kicked in.

      Like 2
    • ICEMAN from Winnipeg

      I bought my 79 T-Bird 2nd hand, from Dominion Motors at Fort and Graham in Winnipeg, in 1981. Had it for 8 years, just normal oil changes and brake pad replacements. Wish I still had it. Co-workers with 80s Japanese cars more than often than not asked me for boost when their Honda would not start in minus 30 degree Winnipeg winters.

      Like 2
    • railroadtrash

      Count me in, Emory. My parents bought one of these, and it was a piece of disposable junk from the day we drove it off the lot. One thing after another went out on that car, and it was almost undrivable and virtually worthless when we sold it. Good riddance!

  12. ICEMAN from Winnipeg

    Wish I still had my 79 T-Bird

    Like 2

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