24k-Mile 1985 Ford Thunderbird Elan

When was the last time you saw a clean one of these?

The Thunderbird was Ford's long-running two-door luxury "sports" coupe. The first 1955 Thunderbird is the most recognizable and arguably the best. Every subsequent generation got a little stranger looking and strayed further and further from the initial ideals. In fact, the Thunderbird had become something so different by the end of the 20th century, that Ford launched a limited retro-inspired design in 2002 that harkened back to the original.

That's not to say that everything that came in between is without note. The 1983-1988 ninth generation T-Bird sought to redeem the nameplate after the atrocious models of the 1970s. Long after becoming just a hardtop coupe, the ninth generation finally comes to terms and features a body that attempts to display some effort and flair.

It is a little weird though. The front end wears these recessed, government-mandated sealed beam quad rectangular headlights, an upright grille and a long hood. The rear quarter window is slanted more upright than the a-pillar, giving the car a stunted look that was a dreadful design trend among American cars of the time. The c-pillar is a little more sloping, and tapers to a downward-slanted rear with thin-slotted horizontal taillights. Mercifully, there is no spare-wheel hump as its sister car the Lincoln Mark coupes regretfully incorporated.

This one wears an oppressive coat of flat UPS brown paint that fortunately looks squeaky clean. It's not a bad color here and works surprisingly well on the car.

Underneath the hood were either four, six, or eight cylinders that powered the rear-wheels, to my surprise. Luckily, this example has a 5.0-liter V8.

The seller states the vehicle is a two-owner car from California whose last owner was a little old lady. They state the odometer currently reads a remarkably low 24,690 miles. This classifies this car as a bona fide low mileage survivor. On top of that, it seems to be in excellent condition. The exterior looks straight and clean, with the seller noting there is no rust, although the paint does show some heat stress. Inside, the interior looks brand new. The seller notes there are some dash cracks, but that can be covered up.

Mechanically, they say the car runs and drives and blows cold a/c. They do note two relatively minor problems: the power antenna and power door locks don't work.

This is a great chance to purchase a pretty solid car with a lot of power and in unusually good condition.

Available here on ebay in Phoenix, Arizona for $5,450.

1 comment:

  1. Yet another Ford based on the Fox platform (they certainly got their money out of that one)...the Elan trim level was supposed to feel upscale, but had no sporting pretensions - even with the choked Mustang "5.0" under the hood. The fake wire wheel covers and 4-lug steelies underneath pretty much underscore that point. The "5.0" added a little torque, but with only 140hp it wasn't going to win any races (0-60 in 10 seconds). Not the greatest colors on this one, but beautiful compared to any example of the "formal roofline" Mercury Cougar sister car. If you fondly remember the mid-80's T-birds, your time capsule is ready and waiting.