Suicide Sedan! 1967 Ford Thunderbird Find

s2

Yes, that’s the unusual “suicide” door configuration found on the 1967 to 1971 Thunderbirds. In researching this article, I read a couple of times that it was added to the lineup in an attempt to mitigate the loss of a convertible model. Personally, I don’t see how the two equate, but hey, there’s a reason I’m not in FoMoCo product planning! This very green and original paint example of the Ford “four-door personal luxury car” is currently looking pretty smart in sunny Yuma, Arizona and can be found for sale here on eBay. The buy it now price is $7,200, however the seller is willing to consider lower offers.

s7

Ford used the suicide doors to highlight advertising of the new for 1967 Thunderbird design–it’s pretty obvious they thought of the configuration as an asset rather than a liability.

s8

However, as you can see from this 1967 ad, Ford was prepared to deal with some backlash similar to what they received when they moved from two to four seat Thunderbirds in 1958. Given the fact that 77,956 1967 Thunderbirds were produced, compared to 69,176 in 1966, I suppose you could call the redesign a success, but probably not as big a one as Ford was hoping for. By the way, 24,967 of those 1967s were the four door Landau version.

s1

As you can see from this shot, there are some body issues to deal with in the driver’s side front corner. I’m hoping that bumper can be straightened, because it certainly needs it, and I couldn’t find one currently for sale…anywhere! But the idea of a rust free car that “runs and operates great” seems like a terrific starting point for a hobby car–agreed? Just as a side note, I sure like these wheel covers better than the ones shown in the ad above!

s6

Here’s Ford’s definition of personal luxury for 1967. Pretty neat if you ask me. The air conditioning is non-operational at the moment, but it does exist, which is great. You also have power windows and seats to play with.

s5

Under the hood we have the smaller V8 engine, only 390 cubic inches (!) and rated at 315 horsepower. Things actually look pretty good here, and it’s also good to note that the core support doesn’t look damaged from the front corner body issue. Remember that the $7,200 is only the buy it now price. What price would make this suicide ‘Bird look good to you?

Like This? Get Our Daily Email

Comments

  1. Mr. Bond

    Funny to see bucket seats and the really nice console, yet a column shift! A bit of detail and some TLC with new door rubbers, repair the front bumper and fender fit, and you’ll have a great car!

    • Tony L

      Not unusual for the day. My ’62 T-Bird had the same configuration. Looks like there could be some issues with the alignment of the engine hood, but otherwise, not a bad car!

    • Yoda

      Heck, the early Falcon Futuras had buckets and console with a three-on-the-tree, not just automatics!

  2. Anthony

    My father in law had one of these in the early 70s… traded it in for a brand new 74 Pinto when the gas crisis hit…..

  3. JW

    We have one in a beautiful blue show up at some of our local car shows. They are nicely done with the suicide doors. Still a big boat to maneuver around in close quarters. I bet you could offer 6K and drive it home.

  4. Rustytech Member

    Suiside doors were not new to Ford as they had had great success with them on the Lincoln since 1961. I was one of those that felt they made a mistake moving away from the previous generation birds, they quickly proved me wrong. Great execution. Problem with this one is the damage, parts support for these is very limited. I love the bucket seat console in a 4 door, that is common today but rare in 1967. I hope someone saves this one. P/s. I love green, and it seems to be making a comeback.

    • Ikey Heyman

      And FoMoCo had experience with suicide-door cars since the 1938 Mercury.

      • Dennis M

        First Mercury was ’39 – with suicide doors in rear. Actually Ford had suicide doors all through the thirties. The ’32 and ’33 had them front and rear.

  5. Mepo

    Always liked these. When I was a kid my Dr. drove one. new…and he’s still my Dr.

  6. M B

    I never really looked at the 4drs when they were newer, but I found one in a local salvage yard in the later 1980s. The body was perfect, but the rh cyl head was off it. Had all of the wheel covers, too! Not sure why it was there! I got inside and looked around. The interior styling and execution, plus quality of materials was outstanding . . . probably the best that Ford or others did back then! Neat cars! I like the darker green Ford had then, too. There’s a national club and the needed parts probably can be located. These cars have a HUGE “WOW!!” factor, especially in a darker metallic color.

  7. Bryan

    I have always liked these unusual cars as well….not beautiful, but very distinctive styling in both coupe or with suicide doors. The big block engine option for 67 was still the 428 (as in 66); the new 429 option would replace it starting in 1968.

    The 67 has arguably the nicer instrument panel versus 1968- 1971. Do these have sequential tail lights?

    • Clint Stiles

      Yes – the ’67’s had sequential tail lights.

  8. angliagt

    I’ve always loved the styling on these.
    I got to ride in the back of a ’69 (or ’70) one,
    while visiting Vancouver,BC.One of the quietest
    cars I’ve ever been in.

  9. TVC15

    My understanding is ” Suicide Doors ” got there name from the fact that if someone opened one at speed and failed to let go of the handle it would pull them out of the car anyone know another reason for the name ?

    • Timothy

      I can only go with what my 90 year old father told me…

      The term “suicide door” was attached to a rear hinged front door. (Or if all four doors were hinged at the rear.) It got the nickname from a driver opening the door into traffic without first looking to see if it was clear. You can imagine the carnage if a car struck the open door while the driver exited.

      The correct term for the door configuration seen on the 60’s Continental and Thunderbird sedan is “clamshell” door.

      • TVC15

        Thats a good point Timothy , but part of the story I was told was that sometimes distraught people would open the doors deliberately , Thus the name , anyhow not a nice subject back to the car …..

    • JOHN M KEISER

      My dad had a 1938 Cadillac bug eyed Limo with Suicide doors in Marshall,Tx.
      I was 10 and riding with my brother in the back right hand seat.
      Dad was going 60mph.
      I was not sure the door was all the way closed so being 10 I opened.it.
      Whoops! The wind opened the door and pulled me out onto the running board!
      My Mom screamed “He’s gone!!
      My Dad hit the brakes hard and the heavy door pushed me back in.
      We all gave a sigh of relief! and I never did that again.
      Now I have a 70Tbird 4door Landeau with suicide doors that stay shut while driving.

  10. Greg S

    Yes, it has the fabulous sequential taillights!

  11. PAcarguy

    Dad had a 69 2 door Landeau…429 4 barrel…high back bucket seats, full console. Back seat was like a rounded couch. The tail light treatment was 2 lights rather then the single light across the back… 6 year old me was mighty impressed.. Moved from a 66 VW square back to the T-bird …

  12. Chebby

    These cars get disrespected as T-Birds, but if you forget about the name, it’s just a striking Ford sedan. Too bad it’s not a full hardtop but this car is cool.

    Like 1
  13. boxdin

    Very under appreciated not only these but later T birds too.

  14. Bill McCoskey

    The reasoning behind making the 4-door T-bird was this:

    The T-bird & Lincoln cars were built on the same assembly lines at the Wixom assembly Plant. The T-bird coupe & the Lincoln Mark series cars shared the same platform. The Lincoln Continental assembly line had production room for the 4-door T-bird.

    Ford was looking for ways to offer another luxury ride other than the LTD. With very little engineering and parts changes needed, Ford could offer a luxury T-bird 4-door sedan built right along the Lincoln 4-door sedans.

Leave A Comment

RULES: No profanity, politics, or personal attacks. Don't post your car for sale in the comments. Click here to get it featured on the homepage instead.

*

Notify me of new comments via email. Or subscribe without commenting.