Suicide Pair – Two 1968 Ford Thunderbird Sedans

The fifth-generation Ford Thunderbird, introduced in 1967, was Ford’s effort to move the formerly sporting coupe upwards and away from that young upstart sporting coupe, the Mustang. For 1967, they did a full redesign which turned out to be an odd juxtaposition of future and past – jet-intake-influenced front end, modernistic tail, and vinyl roof with landau irons. On the bright side, 1968 T-birds got the 385-series 429ci engine, pushing out a bold 360hp for some of the best performance any Thunderbird had ever, and it was also recognized for having some of the best brakes of any car sold in America. You can find the first of our two cars, this 1968 Ford Thunderbird Landau 4-door, for sale for $2999 in Portland, OR (and oddly listed on Miami craigslist with a California East Bay Area phone number).

1968 Ford Thunderbird sedan right side

This was arguably the most successful design of this generation, as the extra length allowed for a more sweeping fender line. Darker colors generally work better on this car as it obscures the vinyl roof. Originally, there were plans for a version with a painted roof, so you wouldn’t be entirely wrong to pull the vinyl and paint the whole thing (although some sources say the vinyl had an alligator pattern, so if you like irony and excess your choice is made). The wheels on this car are all wrong – the stock hubcaps are far more suitable for the design, or if you must have alloys, the turbine-style wheels from 1980s Lincolns seem to work pretty well.

1968 Ford Thunderbird sedan left rear

But the feature which makes these cars most novel is the suicide doors. Among post-war cars, putting a sedan with suicide doors on your shopping list limits you to the 1962 Lincoln Continental, this car, Fiat and Lancia sedans, and some expensive coach built stuff. Cutting the rear side window short seems a rather lame way to dodge the question of how the whole window rolls down into the door, and creates a conflict between the roof line and the door shut line. Again, these things would be disguised in a darker color car. This car is said to have no rust and run very well, and is equipped with the factory 429, C6 transmission, and 9-inch rear end.

1968 Ford Thunderbird sedan project right side

Of course, if you prefer to take over an already-started project, check out this 1968 Ford Thunderbird Landau 4-door for sale for $3500 in Tigard, OR. The non-metallic pale blue color on this car seems to work a lot better, as do the Magnum-look hubcaps. The paint job is said to not be the best, though, so you may need to invest some effort there (and particularly the hood, which is an entirely different color).

1968 Ford Thunderbird sedan project engine

The engine on this car has just been rebuilt and detailed, and the car still needs mufflers and some interior bits. It’s not clear why the seller is getting rid of the car now it has a rebuilt engine, so that’s a question worth asking. Assuming the rebuild was done properly, this should be putting out its full 360hp – make sure the brakes are in good order!

1968 Ford Thunderbird sedan project interior

What little you can see of the interior looks really good, although the tin full of screws and the window switch panel do not give confidence. But hey, for the price you can only ask so much. The dash and instrument cluster are said to be in mint condition, and the seats are in good shape (hopefully that extends to all of them). Fortunately, this car avoided the optional front bench. So, are suicide doors and 360hp enough to convince you?

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2 Responses to “Suicide Pair – Two 1968 Ford Thunderbird Sedans”

  1. Jim in Orygun Says:

    One of my bucket list cars. Ever since Spring Break, Palm Springs, 1970 or so. Black. Limo tinted glass. Chrome Cragers. Fat 70 series TA Radials. Purring down Palm Canyon with a bevy of beauties in the back. One of two BIG cars on my list. If only gas was still $.35/gal.

  2. Craigslist Crapshoot | Hooniverse Says:

    […] the first four-door (with suicide rears!) model to the lineup. Inliner provided an example of one rocking Cragars (Ad apparently old), while The Rusty Hub found a dusty one currently for sale in California’s […]

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