Super Cheap ($700): 1994 Ford Thunderbird

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With a headline reading: ****MUST GO**** – $700 and a brief description starting out with, “I am selling this car for my neighbor…It has been sitting for 5 years and his wife just wants it gone.” I’m guessing there could be an interesting “rest of the story” behind this 1994 Thunderbird (or maybe not so interesting). Nonetheless, on the surface it looks like a great deal on a decent-looking ‘Bird that’s currently located in Tacoma, Washington and for sale here on craigslist for only seven Benjamins. A big thank you again to Rocco B. for spotting this super cheap ‘Bird.

There’s no history and scant information shared by the seller and only eight so-so photos of the exterior and interior (none of the engine). 1994 was the “mid-cycle refresh year” for the tenth generation Thunderbird that ran from the 1989-1997 model years. The front snout saw larger air intakes in the bumper cover, new headlamps, a more curvy hood, and for understated branding, the Thunderbird emblem was moved from the hood to the upper air intake slot. Subtle indeed.

It was an overcast day when the photos were taken, so it’s hard to tell how shiny the paint actually is. A little online touch-up paint research shows this is probably finished in Light Evergreen Metallic. The paint looks decent and the body looks straight and rust-free. I’m not spotting any dents, scratches, bumps, bruises, and the glass, trim, and lenses look good as well. It’s also sporting a brand new set of tires.

1994 saw a complete redesign of Thunderbird’s interior in order to accommodate dual front airbags. Ford also took advantage of this opportunity to increase driver and passenger comfort. Instrumentation was more in the wrap-around cockpit style with sweeping curves on the dash and door panels. A new steering wheel was also included in the cockpit facelift. This ‘Bird’s interior is several shades of gray with black instrumentation, steering wheel, and automatic transmission. It looks like the front carpets and seats could stand a cleaning, but overall, the interior appears to be in very good shape. The rear bench seat with its fold-down armrest looks as it it’s never been sat in.

Mechanically, the seller shares that it may need a transmission cylinoid, but he’s not sure, and goes on to say, “But it runs fine, even on the freeway. All gears work good.” The engine is listed as a V8, which is probably the 4.6L V8 that was new in 1994 and replaced the 5.0 small block. Mileage is listed at 104,000. I’ve never driven or owned one of these Thunderbirds, but based on reviews, forums, and testimonials from owners that I found online, comments were very positive on the ’94 Bird’s comfort, restyled interior, performance, value for the money, and reliability. So, what do you think about this $700 Thunderbird?

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  1. Bob_in_TN Bob_in_TNMember

    Posting deleted. I’m not surprised. Even if it needed a thousand dollars of repairs, still cheap.

    My only experienced with this generation of T-Birds was as rental cars. I thought they were fine– drove good, ample power, comfortable, stylish.

    Like 14
    • Mike StephensStaff

      I’m not surprised either Bob, a hard one to pass up no matter what it needs at this price. I liked this generation of Thunderbirds and equipped with the V8 like this one they performed overall decently too. I piloted one of these eight-cylinder models about 250 miles one-way and enjoyed the drive back in ’95!

      Like 9
    • Brad460Member

      These are just now at an age where people are starting to pay attention to them again, particularly since cars of this type and style really aren’t being made anymore. I feel the same about mid size personal luxury coupes and also the fwd based sporty cars that aren’t quite sports cars, such as Probe, Prelude, Celica, MX-6, etc. My personal thought is there is a lot of market upside on these cars that are either low mileage, or in superior condition.

      I figured this one would sell in seconds of posting something like that price.

      Like 4
  2. Fahrvergnugen FahrvergnugenMember

    Just sayin, but “700 Benjamins” = $70,000. Maybe 7 Benjamins, or 700 smackers?

    Like 9
    • Fahrvergnugen FahrvergnugenMember

      Nevermind. Posting deleted…

      Like 2
  3. Todd Zuercher

    I have a colleague here at work that drives one – still in really nice condition with pretty low miles. It was his mom’s car and he inherited it a few years ago at her passing. He said it’s a really nice car to drive – a few things wrong on it but hardly worth fixing considering how little it’s worth.

    Like 3
  4. ThunderRob

    I’ve owned a couple,my 94′ LX 4.6 has 365k miles on engine issues runs like new..the aod though had to be replaced.I love the mn12 platform can do so much with it…wish i’d seen this sooner it would be mine..LOL(this is also the base of my nickname )

    Like 5
  5. Maggy

    Wow that was a deal! for a super clean car with the bullet proof 4.6 and the aode trans which was also a good unit. Somebody is gonna make some flipper$.

    Like 5
  6. Yblocker

    Incredible bargain, especially with the V8, the 4.6 is hard to kill, as proven for many years by law enforcement. I had a 94 and a 97, both with V6s, very good cars.

    Like 5
  7. BoatmanMember

    May have been a scam post. If it’s too goo to be true……

    Like 2
  8. TheOldRanger

    This just doesn’t look like a T-bird, and the price seems awfully low….

    Like 2
  9. maggy

    4.6’s are bullet proof and the aode trans is very good. This was a steal at that price. Worked on limo fleets in the early to mid 90’s and the 4.6 was such an improvement over the 5.0 especially in the oil leakage department. These cars were run 24-7 and I never replaced an engine. w/ synthetic oil changes every 7500 miles. aode’s were good for around 200k with maintenance. Owner would replace the fleet starting at 4-500000 miles and they still all ran great and didn’t leak a drop of oil.

    Like 6
  10. Duncan

    I had a ‘90 with a v-6. Terrible in winter but would be fine in warm climates. It’s the least favourite vehicle I’ve owned. Boring. No character. After a small fire in the steering column it was time to say goodbye.

    Like 2
  11. 64 Bonneville

    Just about ANY vehicle that runs and drives and is priced below $1000.00 is going to disappear in a hurry. I’m surprised that it had time to be found on CL. For all we know the person that listed it for the seller, just did it to show the guys wife, “here, it’s up for sale” then deleted the posting. I did that for a friend who had a 56 Carribean convertible he was working on restoring, as funds would allow. after about 7 years his wife was really riding him hard about get it out of the garage so she could park inside before winter got there. He had me come over and take some pictures, and post an ad on Craigslist for him. He showed the ad to his wife, and even printed out a copy for her. then he called me and said delete the ad, she shut up. she never could figure out why the car never sold. BTW he passed away about 5 years later, and his wife sold the almost finished car for $4000.00 Just needed paint and interior.

    Like 3
    • Anthony M.

      Yep. I am the master of obtaining “errand runner” cars just based on that alone. If it was closer, an honest ad, I would take it whether I needed it or not.

      Like 2
  12. Steve H

    Fantastic road car, 70 -80 and no wind noise, just silence. One of the quietest cars I’ve ever driven on the highway.

    Like 3
  13. Scott

    I owned a 97 4.6 aod only real problem in 130,000 miles was at the time I took possession of it was a toast Heater core,I tell you what,don’t believe what books say because removing the glove box to get to it is folklore, Removing the dash ain’t a weekend ordeal unless you do that for a living!! But that 4.6 , I backed out a driveway once on a sharp corner as I did seen a car coming. Dropped her into 1st and punched the gas. Well it shifted itself to 2nd and I started to let up still smoking tires. I felt bad for the driver but I figured he would be on his binders much sooner seeing a cloud of smoke than a black something in the road stopped. It sure got mine. God Bless ,good luck.

    Like 4
  14. Miminite

    We almost bought one of these new back in ’96/7. We shopped around and it really was one of the best deals at the time for a V8 sporty nicer car. We ended up with a ’97 Mustang GT with a 5 sp as the manual trans tipped the scale.

    Still a car to consider as they’re fairly priced, reliable if maintained, and well equipped. They weren’t usually bought by people that ran them hard (kinda like civilian Crown Vics). I like ’em.

    Like 3
  15. Tom Wasney

    The styling reminded me of a bigger 6 series Bimmer… Very stylish. Much better than the formal cougar roofline…

    Like 4
  16. Gary

    I had a 1997 with 3.8 V6, decent mpg super comfortable car on interstate driving. Very reliable car.

    Like 4
  17. Henry DavisMember

    I’ve got a 90 35th Anniversary Super Coupe with 27,000 miles on it, and I just love it. But I think the V8 woulda made a better choice, especially if you ever have to work on it. I was all set to call when I saw the ad…too bad owner came to her senses!

    Like 2
    • Yblocker

      Worst thing about the super charged, was having to pull the upper radiator hose to replace the belt, but not really a big deal.

      Like 5
      • maggy

        One of our customers had one who helped transition our shop from pen and paper to computer and he had a brand new 89 or 90 anniversary edition SC with the 3.8 supercharged engine..All we ever used was synthetic mobil one in it. He put about 150k hard miles on it till the aode puked and we rebuilt the original one and he put another 100k on it until he sold it Had to put a belt on it and I can’t remember if I took the upper hose off but I’m sure I did.It was black with a black leather interior with gray leather in the middle of the seats and blue piping on the seats if I remember correctly.It had a special anniversary badge on the front fenders too.Neat car.He loved it.Had nary a problem with it.omg you’re bringing back memories lolol.

        Like 4
  18. 86_Vette_Convertible

    I happen to have a 94 that I’ve owned since 95, bought with about 10K miles IIRC. Great driving car, wonderful on curved roads. Only issues was it had some aluminum ring go bad in the tranny after about 2-3 years plus the wife somehow (don’t ask cause she claimed she didn’t do it) cracked 3 of the springs on the car one year. Those things were taken care of and it’s been a great car, wonderful to drive.
    It’s out in the garage along with the Vette. Which I drive in the summer depends on whether the top goes down on the Vette and if there are more than 1 passenger to consider for the drive.
    That was an unbelievable price for a great looking car.

    Like 3
  19. John D

    I worked for a Ford dealership as service manager back then drove many of these as demo’s they were very comfortable handed well and extremely reliable, the 5.0 and 4.6 had decent power 4.6 being the better of the two if this car were near I would buy it in a heartbeat.

    Like 3
  20. Robert Levins

    I had a 1995 T-bird with the 4.6 V-8. Drove like a Mercedes Benz. Sort of. The rear ends were “split differential” and when you hit the gas the rear would sink down and it would take off – like a jet. Coupled with the “cockpit” style dash, they were a great car to drive. 25mpg highway was pretty consistent. Yeah, these were some of the last V-8 RWD luxury cars you could buy ( American). The V-6 3.8’s had a head gasket problem that caused them to blow at around 60k miles. For large cars, they were efficient and affordable. Good luck.

    Like 1
    • Yblocker

      The 3.8 head gasket issue was mostly cleaned up by the mid 90s, I replaced a lot of them in the late 80s-early 90s. For some mysterious reason, the vast majority of blown head gaskets were in Taurus’, in all my years of wrenching in dealers, I never saw a 3.8 Thunderbird or Mustang with a blown head gasket. Think I did replace one in a Continental.

      Like 1
      • Dave

        Transverse mounted motors have a different coolant path than rear wheel drive on some Chevy motors, maybe it’s something like that.

        Like 2
  21. Yblocker

    I’ve pondered that theory, has to be something to do with that.

    Like 1

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