1982 Ford Thunderbird Review

1982 Ford Thunderbird V8 from North America

Model year1982
Year of manufacture1982
First year of ownership2000
Most recent year of ownership2005
Engine and transmission V8 Automatic
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 6 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 6 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.5 / 10
Previous carChevrolet Nova


Fair reliability. Great looking car. Looks like it's ready to pounce on something.


Cruise control didn't work when I bought it. (2000)

Snapped a fan belt.

Replaced Alternator.

Replaced thermostat.

Tends to overheat quickly on hot summer days.

Headliner inside has come almost completely loose. I had to pin the cloth to the roof with a bunch of push pins.

General Comments:

My '82 Thunderbird has a lot of power and is very quick.

It has a very comfortable interior.

The black enamel paint is near-flawless to this day. No chipping or peeling. The body has no rust.

Very roomy interior. Lots of legroom. The car also has a huge trunk.

The vinyl top has very little cracking... still in great shape.

Car handles a little loosely.

The big V-8 engine tends to overheat, regardless of any repairs.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 8th June, 2005

8th Jun 2005, 11:21

The '82 "Boxbird" looks like it's ready to pounce on something?

The money in your wallet, maybe?

9th Jun 2005, 19:12

Heh, it hasn't been too bad as far as cost goes. The car is very easy to work on and parts are easy to find.

21st Apr 2013, 22:26

"The big V-8 engine tends to overheat, regardless of any repairs."

Were the water pump and thermostat replaced?

24th Apr 2013, 07:43

So 255 cubic inches is a "big V8", eh?

25th Apr 2013, 00:00

"So 255 cubic inches is a "big V8", eh?"

Provides good MPG, but has no power or aftermarket parts.

25th Apr 2013, 11:47

I had one of these - and yes, the 255 is a very small V8 - the smallest I've owned other than a 4100 Cadillac. But this 255, as well as the Oldsmobile 260 and the Chevrolet 267, which were similarly de-bored small-blocks, were all very durable and economical engines, though relatively weak. I never had any problem with any of these over heating.

The '82 T-bird I had seemed pretty peppy, at least compared to the 82 Chevy Caprice we had with the 267 or the Olds Cutlass we had with the 260 - I would guess because it was a rather light car.

Average review marks: 7.5 / 10, based on 1 review