Pick of the Day: 1977 Ford Thunderbird that defines ‘70s personal-luxury style

Credit: Original article published by Classic Cars Journal.

Rewind the clock to the late 1970s, put on a pair of bell-bottom jeans and a bead necklace, and hop in the driver’s seat of a new Ford Thunderbird coupe.  Maybe pull out the 8-track tape of Abba’s “Dancing Queen” and turn up the volume to complete the mood.  

Welcome aboard today’s Pick of the Day, a 1977 Ford Thunderbird listed by a private seller in Colonial Heights, Virginia, on ClassicCars.com.

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This Thunderbird has all the right ingredients for a fully immersive 1977 experience, including soft brown velour seating, a landau roof and that all-important 8-track stereo head unit.   

Joining a long list of now-defunct sound recording technologies, the 8-track tape was in its heyday when this Thunderbird was new.  In fact, according to data from The Recording Industry Association of America, 8-track sales peaked in 1978, accounting for $948 million in revenue.  The cassette, incidentally, lagged far behind at $449 million that same year. 

Eight tracks offered a continuous-play listening experience, as opposed to cassettes which needed to be flipped from side to side.

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This T’Bird reportedly came from the estate of its original owner.  Finished in a paint color called Chamois Glow, it has logged only 69,000-miles since new. 

“The car looks like it never spent a night outside,” the seller states. “Nothing needs to be done but get in and drive.” 

First launching for 1955 in two-door convertible form, the Thunderbird model went after the newly debuted Corvette but took a different approach.  Instead of asserting itself as a sports car, the Thunderbird identified as a “personal luxury” car.  And the marketplace loved it.

By 1977, the Thunderbird was in its 7th generation and had adopted a wide, fixed B-pillar that did away with the previous hardtop roofline.  Motorized headlamp covers provided curb appeal at the front end, and power came from a 302cid Windsor V8 that channeled 133 horsepower to the rear wheels by way of a 3-speed automatic.  It was hardly rapid, but people who bought Thunderbirds were enticed by luxurious appointments and a smooth ride.  This car was, after all, designed around luxury.

 “A true time capsule,” the listing notes.  “You won’t believe how new this car is inside, outside, and underneath.”

The seller is asking $9,500 or best offer for this luxurious reminder of the disco-era.  But you’d better bring your smartphone if you want to hear Pandora or Bluetooth streaming radio.

To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.

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