For 1977 the Ford Thunderbird was re-designed with the intention of separating away from being considered competition to Lincoln. As the Ford LTD II quietly replaced the Torino, the Thunderbird replaced the Elite. Instead of serving as an introductory model below Lincoln, the Thunderbird was re-positioned into a new segment of the personal luxury market. Alongside the Mercury Cougar XR7, the Thunderbird now competed in the best-selling, reasonably priced intermediate personal luxury class against the Chrysler Cordoba and the General Motors quartet of the Buick Regal, Chevrolet Monte Carlo, Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme, and Pontiac Grand Prix.
Although not as deliberate a downsizing as what was to come to future Ford cars, the 1977 Thunderbird was far smaller than its predecessor, shedding nearly 10 inches of length and 900lb of weight; height and width remained essentially unchanged. The 1977 Thunderbird was created on the existing intermediate car platform by recycling a select mix of body, interior and trim parts from the previous year's Ford Elite, Mercury Montego and Mercury Cougar combined with some all new body, interior and trim parts to create a dramatic new Thunderbird look. The Thunderbird was distinguished from the LTD II and Cougar 2-door models by its unique wrap-over "basket handle" roofline with opera windows and large rear side quarter windows separated from the rear window by thin C-pillars. Headlamps hidden with retractable covers and full-width dropped center tail lamps made a comeback from the late 1960s. As such being based on the intermediate Ford platform, a wider range of powertrains were now available. The base engine was the 302Windsor V8, while the larger 351C V8 was available as an option along with the 351W. In California, the 351 was the only engine available. Although the smaller engines had lower output than the 460 V8, the lighter weight did compensate towards overall performance.
This classic Bird is shown in a very well-preserved state of originality. This car was obviously taken care of from the very start, and shows absolutely none of the typical issues you would normally find from a classic northern vehicle. All the sheet metal appears to be original to the car, and shows no signs of rust anywhere. The Lipstick Red paint also appears to be original with the exception of the nose which was re-painted recently due to normal stone chips. The white vinyl top is believed to be original to the car as well with almost no signs of wear.
The crisp white interior is in excellent shape. Also appearing to be original; the vinyl split bench seat is free of cracks, splits or tears, and provides plenty of comfort while cruising long distances. Even the dashboard is in perfect shape and features a custom cover to protect from future sun damage. All the interior gauges work just as they should with the exception of the clock. This personal luxury cruiser was ordered with all the goodies like:
- Cruise Control
- Air Conditioning
- Tilt Steering Column
- AM/FM Stereo
- Remote Mirror controls
- Wood grain dash
This particular T-Bird features the upgraded 351W powerplant to provide plenty of power to propel this large cruiser down the road. The engine runs just like it should with no smoke or hesitation. The 3 speed automatic transmission shifts perfectly through the gears.
This is a great classic that will provide you with miles of cruising in comfort and style without having to shell out tens of thousands of dollars. As the prices of early 70’s cars continue to soar; it won’t be long before this generation of classic is worth much more than it costs today!