Suicide Doors: 1969 Ford Thunderbird 4 door Landau

Barnfinds recently features a 1968 Ford Thunderbird 2 door Landau. According to comments, some of you liked it but said you preferred the 4 door model with suicide doors. Well, here it is. This 1969 Ford Thunderbird 4 Door Landau is for sale here on Craigslist in Lake Elsinore, California. Thanks to Barnfinds reader Miguel for finding this car and bringing to our attention us.

And here are the famous suicide doors. The only 4 door postwar cars that I recall having suicide doors are these Thunderbirds, Lincoln Continentals of the sixties, and late forties and early fifties Studebakers. If you know of others please let us know. This is a fully loaded Thunderbird that was special ordered by a Ford executive. One of its rare options is the sliding power sunroof, one of only 435 of the 1969 Thunderbirds to have this options. Unfortunately, the feature needs a power switch replacement but it does work manually. It also needs a headlight switch installed (which comes with the car).

The previous owner, a Thunderbird collector which owned the car from 1972 to 2017, chose to repaint the car from its original Diamond Green to a 1957 Thunderbird color, Springmist Green. Ford redesigned the taillights in 1969 choosing to revert to wide separate taillights instead of using the full-width lights of the past three years. They did this with the Thunderbird again in 1979 after a couple of years of full-width taillights. The 1969 Thunderbird still featured sequential turn signals. The car also has special mag type wheel covers that were unique to Thunderbird.

The interior is the optional Brougham cloth trim. There appears to be some staining on the center of the front seat while the rear seat looks pretty good. The power windows will need some attention and the air conditioning will need recharging. The car has a pad protecting the upper dash. As reader Miguel commented on the 1968 Thunderbird, the four-door model uses a flat back rear seat, losing the wraparound design of the rear seats found on the two-door models.

The engine is a 429 Thunder Jet which was originally a 4 barrel, but was converted to a 2 barrel when rebuilt “to try and save fuel”. Items that have been recently replaced include the water pump, starter solenoid, battery cables, new distributor and new exhaust system. The seller has a Marti report on the car. The car has 113,000 miles. The seller is asking $9,500 for this car and would like to see it go to a Thunderbird collector. So if any of you are looking for a Thunderbird 4 door Landau, here it is!

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Comments

  1. Bob Member

    If I had one more parking space, this car would be headed to my house TODAY! Love those four doors.

    Like 4
  2. Arno

    Four doors and suicide doors: Facel Vega Excellence, built from 1958 to 1964. Only 153 built, rare and beautiful car powered by a Chrysler v8…

    Like 1
    • Johnny J.

      Why, be nice….I’m old, do I have it in my head that the rear doors are actually called ‘Opera Doors’ and not ‘Suicide Doors’? Suicide doors are in the front! I guess it’s a matter of defining ‘suicide!’

      Like 5
    • Robert L Roberge

      1957 and 8 Cadillac Brougham, also.

      Like 2
  3. Beatnik Bedouin

    A buddy of mine back when I was in high school had a then one year-old ’68 Landau four-door. Black on black, it was one very cool cruiser…

    This 1969 version looks pretty damned nice. I guess ‘special orders’ are no longer the norm in the 21st Century, but were pretty common back then when buyers could tick the boxes of a wide variety of optional equipment and colours.

    Like 7
  4. Lroy

    This is a must have if your a collector. Rare color and exceptionally rare factory sun roof. The rocker switch from the rear window will fix the sunroof

    Like 2
  5. J Paul

    Man, sitting in the back of this thing must be like being in a cave. But I can’t deny how much cooler a car becomes when suicide doors are added.

    Like 2
  6. TimS

    What a ride.The “2 doors too many” crowd can collectively [insert rude suggestion here].

    Like 11
  7. Bob C.

    Getting in and out of the back seat must be a breeze.

    Like 3
    • Lil Johnny J.

      ………especially if attempted at 70 mph!

      Like 3
    • Larry B

      My 3 year old daughter got out okay one night when we forgot her in the garage. And she was in a car seat! You’re right; it was very heavy.

  8. Don H

    Nice parking ,had one to many last night🍺🍻🍻🍺

    Like 2
  9. Larry Boring

    Plymouths of the forties had suicide doors I own w 1948 Plymouth Specialdeluxe that has suicide doors.

    Like 3
  10. Bob_in_TN Bob_in_TN Member

    This is a nice car. Would be a super nice cruiser, at a relatively low price. And rarely seen today.

    The color, and color change, got my attention. The original Diamond Green appears to be a similar color. I wonder if the previous owner, a Thunderbird collector, had a 1957 in this color, and wanted a pair of matching color cars (showing them side-to-side at a car show would have been cool).

    So I took a look at the 1969 Thunderbird paint chart….

    It contains 20 (!) paint choices and 6 (!) upholstery color choices. This results in 66 distinct color combinations, though some on the chart I referenced were noted as “special order only.” The colors include such attractive (to me) choices as Black Jade, Midnight Aqua, and Indian Fire. Shades similar to these might occasionally be available today on certain cars, mixed in with the sea of black/white/silver/gray. But also included are colors which are no where close to being seen today, such as Lilac Frost or even Meadowlark Yellow.

    This is not even considering upholstery style choices (if any), vinyl roof choices, and paint stripes.

    Can you imagine Lilac Frost with a Red interior and a Black or White vinyl roof? It was available.

    Like 4
    • Dave

      You can still special order cars and trucks but you’ll have to be patient. Most folks want something they can drive home now. I recall the owners manual for a 71 Fury listing the 440-6 as optional along with 3 on the tree. I wonder if anyone ordered one.

      Like 5
      • r s

        There are no recorded 1971 Fury’s with the 440-6. It was listed as an option with the Sport Fury GT package and I’ve seen artistic drawings showing that lettering on the hood stripe package. I believe there were 11 1970 Fury’s so equipped with the 440-6; I know someone who has nearly completed a rotisserie resto of one and I’m sure it will be amazing.

        I owned one of the 375 1971 Sport Fury GT’s that were built – they came with the 370hp 440. (The 1970’s base engine was the 350hp 440.) I believe the 383 2bbl was the biggest engine you could get with a manual trans in the ’71 – just the three speed on the column. I ordered all that clutch linkage stuff and converted my GT to a 4 speed, wish I hadn’t but whatever… the car still exists.

        Love the T-Bird, the color, the 4 doors, the sunroof, it looks in great shape too.

        Like 1
  11. CanuckCarGuy

    Beautiful car, and in my favourite colour… with just the right number of doors! For what little it needs, the price seems very reasonable. That green is very close to the Seafoam green on my ’71 F100… very sharp, and very appropriate on this car.

    Like 1
  12. Rex Kahrs Member

    Looks like he dropped the price to $8800. I like it, but it’s a long way from Tampa.

    Like 3
  13. Djs

    What were they thinking wrong repaint am a fan of the 4 doors but what a color I’ll pass

    Like 3
  14. Beaver Prince

    I am looking at the 68 and like it MUCH more I will have to pass on this to many ??? why would you rebuild this motor and change to a 2 bbl carb ?? just to many ??

    Like 3
    • leiniedude leiniedude Member
      • David Cassidy

        that Bird is a thing of beauty!!

        Like 3
    • r s

      Drive a 4 bbl carefully and it will get BETTER mileage because the primary barrels are smaller. Just don’t let the secondaries open, drive it nicely.

      • Lroy

        True that, my buddys 1970 454 Chevelle got great highway mileage (relatively speaking) 2000 rpm @ 70 mph.

  15. Tiki

    Had one with suicide doors in high school. Buddy decided to test that feature while doing 45 mph over a bridge. He claims he almost lost his arm, as he did manage to reshut the back door. Was heck of a car.

    Like 1
  16. Miguel

    Here is my Thunderbird story.

    I bought a 1968 2 door. It was the green this was supposed to be.

    Every time I drove it, it felt like somebody was trying to hit me. I mean somebody would come out of a side street and almost hit the car.

    I had an uneasy feeling driving it.

    A friend asked me if I would sell it to him on payments. I listed myself as the lienholder and he was the registered owner.

    I am sure you can guess what happened. Of course he never paid me anything for it.

    2 years later I got a notice that the car was in the impound yard.

    When I got there I saw a car that had damage on almost every panel the car. People had been running into it from every side.

    I think that validated the feeling I always had about the car.

    I got it out of impound and sold it quickly. Even back in 1987 it was a popular, desirable car.

    I am not sure if I would buy another one though.

    Like 3
    • r s

      ‘Never do business with friends or relatives.’
      But then, a real friend isn’t going to ask you to sell him a car on payments like that.

  17. Gay Car Nut

    Awesome looking Ford Thunderbird. This has always been my favourite generation Thunderbird. I’ve only seen two 4 door sedans that I’m aware of. I’ve always found the 1969 Thunderbird the best looking of this generation. :)

    Like 3
  18. Del

    More Ford Bloat.

    Nice car + rare

    Love the color

    Like 1
  19. J.K.

    It’s gone.

  20. BillieBobNorton

    Love it.

    Like 1
  21. Gay Car Nut

    This is the best looking car (IMHO) until the Ninth generation Thunderbird.

    • r s

      9th generation? Ugh. Looks like a bar of soap. In the 80’s it was impressive because it didn’t look like an air conditioner on wheels, but the body style has not held up well over the years IMO.

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