Time Capsule T-Bird: 1976 Ford Thunderbird

Sometimes a seller’s choice of words in their advertising sales pitch such as “mint,” “amazing,” “stunning,” and “original” can be questioned, but that doesn’t appear to be the case here. Based on the more than 50 photos, this is a very clean, one-family-owned, low-mileage example of a near showroom-new 1976 Thunderbird. Currently residing in Lakeland, Florida, this Crème and Gold Crème Puff is for sale here on eBay with a starting bid of $10,000. A special thanks to Sam Howard for sending this T-Bird Tip our way.

In 1976, the luxurious sixth-generation Thunderbird was basically unchanged from the year before and in a holding pattern. This would be the fifth and final year of the 1972 redesign as the smaller, lighter, less expensive seventh-generation T-Bird would make its debut in the fall (and go on to set Thunderbird sales records). For the Bicentennial Year, Thunderbird offered three special Luxury Group Color Editions: Bordeaux, Lipstick, and this Crème and Gold example. Ford must’ve liked this Edition the best because Crème and Gold Thunderbirds were featured in most of the sales literature. In reviewing the photos, I can’t see any flaws here, folks, in the body, paint, glass, vinyl top, chrome, trim, anything. The seller states that it is riding on the original Uniroyal tires and the original spare is still in the gray, “fully lined luggage compartment.” For sure, this is one pampered and protected T-Bird.

Ford advertising in 1976 claimed that “Luxury and Thunderbird were synonymous,” and there’s no argument here. The plush interior (sales literature called it Aurora cloth and Vinyl in saddle) looks near perfect. These ‘Birds, like most luxury cars from this era, came standard with a dizzying list of creature comforts. About the only option I spotted from the photos was the optional AM/FM radio. I’ve never driven one of these Big ‘Birds, but I bet it lives up to their claim of having “a soft, hushed ride and deep comfort for six.”

Under that aircraft carrier sized hood is the Thunderbird’s standard 460-cubic inch V8 that generated 202 horsepower when new. Like the rest of this time capsule, it’s also very clean and tidy and only registers 33,834 original miles. The undercarriage is also extremely clean based on the photos. This ‘Bird comes with all the documentation you’d hope to have including the original bill of sale, owner’s manuals and whatnot. Given the target audience for these luxury liners, many of these Big ‘Birds lived very protected lives away from the elements and weren’t abused. We’ve featured several low-mileage ’76 Thunderbird survivors on Barn Finds over the years. This ranks as one of the nicest.

Comments

  1. Bob_in_TN Bob_in_TN Member

    Thanks Ron. A great example of what mid-70’s luxury cruising was like. Flashy colors. Plush upholstery. Smooth and effortless driving. If having a car like this to enjoy taking on the Interstate to a nice restaurant in the neighboring town, or even on a leisurely ride in the country, go for it.

    Like 9
  2. Big Bear 🇺🇸

    I remember when was a teenager. My brother and I was staying at my Aunt and Uncle house south Florida.There best friend just brought one same color as this one. But with a sunroof and as I remember leather interior. It was huge and rode like it was on a cloud. Yeah that hood was long. It was a cruiser that’s for sure. At the time this T-Bird made a statement! Good luck to the next owner.🐻🇺🇸

    Like 7
  3. Boatman Member

    I’ve always laughed about the oil filter can on the air cleaner!

    Like 4
    • Md

      That can attached to the air filter was a silencer used to quiet the intake noise from the 4V carburetor when opened up.

      Like 4
  4. Mikefromthehammer

    If the website (below) shows correct information it was recently sold at auction for $11K so it seems to me that a starting bid of $10K is perhaps optimistic.

    https://www.premierauctiongroup.com/vehicles/6402/1976-ford-thunderbird-landau-hardtop

    Also, filling up one of these beasts could cost considerably more than the value of the two kidneys I was born with.

    Like 5
  5. John Niessen

    Land yaught years when gas was cheap, but it is beautiful!

    Like 4
  6. MoragaPulsar

    Humm , getting awfully close to $1/mile.

    Mine got about 8mpg, so with gasoline at about $6/gal, a nice drive could add up :)

    Filling up at $1/gal (in the late 80’s when I was daily driving “Motha” as I called her) would be something like $2.50/gal now. Didn’t feel great back then to fill up, but still easy enough to drive it everyday.

    This one will no doubt be a garage fixture, if nothing else to keep it ‘like new’ condition.

    Like 5
  7. John

    This is a great car but it has been listed on and off on eBay multiple times for at least the last six months.

    Like 3
  8. Barry

    I owned a 74, 75 and a 76. They were the finest cars I ever owned! When they ruined the car in 77, I got off the train!

    Like 6
    • Steve RM

      I bought a one owner, pristine 78 in 1990. I’ve never driven a 74 -76 for comparison but the 78 was a great, very comfortable driver. The only reason I sold it was the 12 MPG.

      Like 4
      • Barry

        After 1976, the car was just a Ford! Prior to that it was a poor man’s Lincoln!

        Like 5
  9. Dwcisme

    46 year old tires? Those Uniroyals were dubious when new.

    Like 2
    • Rick

      Better to have Uniroyals than Firestone 500s.

      Like 2
      • Squigly

        Hey now, Firestones are a quality product. They made many a landing gear tire that I abused at high speeds in my service days. When I was a kid, my old man swore by Firestones. Said that they balanced out better then any other make and he was proud to have them. Today, many makes of tires, and you have to select from a company that actually makes what you need (unlike the old days, so many goofy sizes) but when I was younger, I tried to have Fires on my cars.

        Like 1
  10. MrF

    Polished to a “T”

    Like 1
  11. Troy

    Had a coworker who had one back in the late 90’s a drunk driver crossed the center line and hit him so hard it pushed the headlights to the firewall, he remembers being dazed in the wreckage and the paramedic checking him and saying oh my God he’s alive, then waking up in the hospital a few weeks later. Drunk driver was in a Chevrolet Impala it killed him but my coworker survived and was able to return to work after a few months

    Like 2
  12. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    If this is your idea of a dream car, then plunk down the cash and grab it. What are the chances of finding another one like this.

    Like 4

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