Odd Ford #1 – 1968 Ford Thunderbird Landau 4-door

If you’ve been here before, you might have noticed some triggers that will get otherwise ordinary cars listed – convertible tops, suicide doors, turbo/supercharging, rarity. It’s not very common to find affordable post-war cars that have suicide doors, but among that short list is the fifth generation Ford Thunderbird, built from 1967-1971. It has many of the design cues of the 1960s jet age school – grill mimicking a jet intake, sparing use of chrome in reaction to the excesses of the 1950s, coke bottle rear fender peaks, and simple, clean interior design. You can find this 1968 Ford Thunderbird Landau 4-door for sale for $2700 in Santa Cruz, CA.

1968 Ford Thunderbird sedan left front

Pale yellow on tan is a very period color scheme, but doesn’t do the best job of accentuating the details on this car – the grill surround that stands a few inches proud of the front ends of the fenders, for example. However, it will keep the car cooler, and you’ll want that since the a/c no doubt “needs a recharge”. It does look to have a bit of rusting at the bottoms of the panels, and a large part of the vinyl roof has been peeled off – since the paint also looks oxidized, what does one of these look like with the landau irons shaved and the roof in body color?

1968 Ford Thunderbird sedan interior

And here’s the car’s party trick. The interior needs some work, with some minor ingress/egress damage to the driver’s seat bolster and a little splitting, but most noticeably the driver’s door armrest, of which a large chunk has gone missing. What you can’t see here is the peculiar shape of the actual door – part of the vinyl “roof” actually is attached to the door and opens/closes with it to ease access.

1968 Ford Thunderbird sedan engine

What person who has mostly played with small foreign cars has not at some point fantasized about owning one of these old boats that has an engine 3, 4, or 5 times the size of theirs? Sure, handling might not be as nippy, but the pre-smog engines seem like they would effortlessly pull you past the speed limit, at least in a straight line. This car has a 429 Thunderjet, which looks like it could be well-served by some detailing and paint on the air filter and rocker covers. Spider webs under the hood suggest the car has maybe been stationary for a while. With only 87,000 miles, there should be a fair amount of life left in it.

1968 Ford Thunderbird sedan rear

While it needs a new alternator and/or starter, it has has a new master cylinder, front brake calipers, brake pads, and spark plugs (no trivial expense and effort when there are 8 to replace). Would you allow an oddball feature like suicide doors sway you into buying a car?

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5 Responses to “Odd Ford #1 – 1968 Ford Thunderbird Landau 4-door”

  1. steve in podunk Says:

    The a/c needs more then a re-charge it needs an a/c; it doesn’t seem to be there. When I was 8 my friend’s parents had a beautiful fire engine red 2dr. version that my friend was a bit too snooty about considering the car was already 6 years old.

  2. Rachel Says:

    That’s my car! 🙂

  3. Rachel Says:

    NOT FOR SALE at all. She is a keeper! My husband and I are the 3rd owners. She runs hard and strong no problems. I just had a compression test done to the engine. PERFECT! passed with flying colors. I have replaced the starter, alternator, and distributor. Engine will be put in the shop soon to have all gaskets replaced and rebuilt for good measure. This car was a steal and I am glad for buying it. The hard part is finding the same Alligator vinyl top but, that takes time. Again I am glad to have purchased it and cant wait to show the previous owner (like we promised) how it is when my husband and I are done with it.

  4. Rachel Says:

    also who ever said the a/c needed to be recharged….that is wrong there is no a/c they came as a option back then and this one didn’t come with it. Also, IT DOESN’T HAVE A SUPERCHARGER OR TURBO! that is wrong the 429 came stock with 800 plus horsepower. One last thing it’s not mimicking a jet age engine…IT IS A JET AGE ENGINE 429 Thunderjet.

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