1969 Ford Thunderbird Review

1969 Ford Thunderbird 2-Door Landau 429 Thunderjet V8 from North America

Model year1969
Year of manufacture1969
Most recent year of ownership2005
Engine and transmission 429 Thunderjet V8 Automatic
Performance marks 9 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 9 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 5 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.8 / 10
Distance when acquired41000 miles
Most recent distance42000 miles
Previous carOldsmobile Touring Sedan

Summary:

1969 Thunderbird: It's the only way to fly!

Faults:

This car was 32 years old when I purchased it, and had been in storage for 17 years. The transmission seals had dried up, causing a bad transmission leak. It's my understanding this is very common on old cars that have sat for long periods of time without being driven.

Many other things had to be replaced to make the car operable and safe to drive, but many of them were replaced solely due to their age (tires, belts, hoses, etc.)

General Comments:

My Mother got a brand new 1969 Thunderbird as a Christmas gift for Christmas 1968. Ever since, the 1969 Thunderbirds have been my favorite car.

The '69 T-Birds ride and handle wonderfully, especially for a big car. They have great performance with the 429 V-8, and the front disc brakes are among the best in any car I've ever driven.

If you like gadgets, these cars have them: sequential rear turn signals, concealed headlights, a steering wheel that tilts up and over automatically when the driver's door is opened, covered rear seats, power windows, seats, locks, antenna, and trunk release.

My car even has a factory installed power sunroof!

The vinyl roof on the Landau models has an imitation Alligator grain pattern to it, which is unique.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 19th January, 2005

21st Jan 2005, 07:33

You don't mention mpg, but I noticed that you have only driven it 1000 miles in four years so my guess would be that it is... pretty bad, even acknowledging that this kind of car is going to get lousy gas mileage...

5th Feb 2005, 17:35

The car hasn't been driven very much because it's being restored. Magazine tests of 1969 Thunderbirds when new indicate 16.8 mpg on the highway. I believe that was a Motor Trend test.

Driven responsibly, these cars get very respectable gas mileage. It seems to go a lot further on a tank of gas than the new SUV, and it's a lot more fun to drive!

5th Jul 2006, 22:37

Is this car for sale, and do you have any photos you can email to ribshck@yahoo.ca

Thanks.

27th Feb 2012, 17:49

I too had one like yours. What color is it?? Original Ca car?? Like to see some snap shots of it. chuckfarley6942@yahoo.com

24th Mar 2013, 08:01

Your review is spot on! My first personally purchased car was a used '69 T-Bird in early 1974... It was a coupe, dark green with the white alligator roof and white leather interior. The care was perfect, and I drove it from NY to the base in Charleston SC several times. I remember averaging about 18 MPG on those trips, and about 16 on overall average. That car was my first true and lasting love, and to this day my search continues to find another.

Michael

24th Mar 2013, 14:57

I had one of these in triple black. I bought for $500 back in the early 1990s, and it served me well for a year or two. I can't remember why we gave up on it, but certainly the engine or transmission never gave out - I believe it was some electrical issue - I believe we could've easily fixed it, but you know how it was back then - so many great cheap cars around, we didn't bother much to fix them.

The car had plenty of power even with nearly 200,000 miles on it, and rode and handled fantastic - far better handling, I thought, than a much more mint '69 Riviera we had at the same time, and the cars had equal ride quality.

Average review marks: 7.8 / 10, based on 1 review