1983 Ford Thunderbird Reviews

1983 Ford Thunderbird Heritage 5.0 from North America

Model year1983
Year of manufacture1982
First year of ownership2010
Most recent year of ownership2011
Engine and transmission 5.0 Automatic
Performance marks 9 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.3 / 10
Distance when acquired52000 miles
Most recent distance56000 miles
Previous carFord Thunderbird

Summary:

Fantastic; it's what dreams were made from

Faults:

Interior is perfect and the body is almost new looking. I found my second Thunderbird in a storage that just happened to be climate controlled, and it had only 52000 on the car with paperwork confirming it was a one owner car.

The problem I am having is the windows seem to have a strong motor, but yet the windows don't wish to go up or down. I am trying to get any info on why.

General Comments:

I love the car, from the power when you step on it to the ride; it's still just like it was, but most of all, the looks you get when you pull up someplace are just priceless. This is my second one, and I just love it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 21st February, 2011

21st Feb 2011, 16:55

Not sure how the window tracks were designed on that model car. But given the age and its minimum usage, I would say the window runs are dried up. They should work again when you place lubricant on the window runs, this helps the windows slide up and down easier. My old 2000 Grand Marquis had this problem, the motors were strong but the windows were struggling to go up and down. Placing the lubricant on them solved the problem and prevented unnecessary life loss on the window motors. I forget what the exact name is called, but Motorcraft makes it.

9th Jan 2013, 21:09

I am very jealous. I had a 1983 Thunderbird Heritage. I loved that car and regret getting rid of it in 1990. Can you post pics? My car was cream and beige with a chocolate brown leather interior. I'd love to have another T-Bird Heritage again.

26th May 2013, 22:04

Are you still looking for one?

1983 Ford Thunderbird Base 3.8 OHV 2b V6 from North America

Model year1983
Year of manufacture1983
First year of ownership2006
Most recent year of ownership2007
Engine and transmission 3.8 OHV 2b V6 Automatic
Performance marks 4 / 10
Reliability marks 5 / 10
Comfort marks 9 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 3 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
5.3 / 10
Distance when acquired82000 miles
Most recent distance88000 miles
Previous carLincoln Mark VII

Summary:

An inefficient car that grows on you simply because it is stylish

Faults:

When I got the car...

Heater Core (haven't fixed yet)

Slight radiator leak

Brakes

Major Tuneup

Hardly any rust, except on the bottom of the doors, which are pretty much shot. Look at any 80's Ford, they are all the same.

Since I got the car...

Power Windows. Both. One with-in a week of the other.

Somehow managed to break the turn-signal arm off.

General Comments:

This car was my friend's grandpa's. When he passed away, my friend nor his family had any use for the car. They offered to give it to me. This is not my primary vehicle, so I'm actually hoping on fixing it up. It has been a fun extra car.

This probably the most inefficient car I have ever seen. It is a pretty big car, but has no back seat room what so ever. It has a big V-6, but because of emission requirements in the early 80's, it has no power. It is very slow. Thanks to the big engine, it also gets lousy city mileage. It actually gets decent highway mileage, thanks to the lockout in the transmission. 25MPG highway, 15 MPG city.

The car does drive very nice. The ride is firm without being not comfortable. The steering is way too light, but is very direct and tight. The turning radius is awful. The actual handling is mediocre.

The interior is very modern for an '83. It is more modern and has better fit and finish than my much newer Grand Marquis. I wish it had more gauges. The seats are supportive and comfortable. Plenty of front legroom, but the car could use a little bit more headroom. Great center console, however I wish it had a cupholder.

The car has a style that is unmistakable Thunderbird. Even with the rust, everybody says how classy a car it is. The interior is just as fashionable. Maybe if Ford still build desirable cars, they would not be nearly bankrupt.

My car has the optional vent windows. These are great for smokers, but since the world hates smokers now, I don't think they will ever come back.

OK trunk space.

Overall, pretty darn reliable. I couldn't believe that after the car sat for three years, it never hesitates to start. The electrical things are minor considering how old the car is.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 30th January, 2007

30th Jan 2007, 22:19

I had an '82 Thunderbird, and my experiences were similar to the posters, with the exception of those relating to the weak V-6. Mine had the 255 V-8, which, while a very weak V-8, was at least adequate for the car. I considered the car fairly small.

Once we drag raced it (we were teenagers back then in the early 1980's) against my friend's '77 Pontiac Grand Prix with a 301. I think we all found the Grand Prix a much more appealing car, but the Ford decisively beat it, probably due to being so much lighter and having fuel injection.

Average review marks: 7.4 / 10, based on 7 reviews