429 CI, HIGHLAND GREEN ON BLACK, PS, PB, POWER WINDOWS, A/C, FACTORY BUILDSHEET!
The Thunderbird was all-new in 1968, and with the Mustang nipping at its heels, Ford took the 'Bird upmarket, making it more luxury car than sporting personal coupe. Fortunately, cars like this lovely 1968 Thunderbird coupe also got a big horsepower injection to go with the increased size in the form of a thundering 429 cubic inch V8. Big power combined with rare options and the factory buildsheet truly make this one something special.
More Lincoln than Ford at this point (the Mark III would be built on a 4-door Thunderbird chassis), the look is still unmistakably Thunderbird. The long hood/short deck theme continued, and while there's a lot of sheetmetal between here and there, it's all quite tasteful when wrapped in Highland Green (you know, the same color as Frank Bullitt's Mustang GT). The all-new shape was thoroughly modern, with a jet-inspired intake that also carries hidden headlamps and a flush-fitting bumper that highlights the subtle layering of the front fenders. Finish quality is quite nice, with a great shine on the paint, which is a fairly authentic reproduction of the original hue. There's also a padded landau top which is in great shape, showing none of the usual trouble spots. Out back, this 'Bird carries the now-famous full-width taillights, which operate sequentially in the best Thunderbird tradition.
The luxury aspect of Ford's personal/luxury coupe are most readily apparent inside, where the sumptuous black upholstery looks '60s cool and is beautifully preserved. Lots of burled walnut appliques do a nice job of making it look elegant, and the instrument panel features five round bezels each of which give you something different to look at. The steering wheel is wrapped in black leather and feels great in your hands, and things like A/C and power windows are part of the package. The dash vents will look familiar to anyone who has ridden in a suicide-door Continental, and there's an AM/FM stereo radio, which was cutting-edge tech back in '68. The trunk is truly massive, with full upholstery to reinforce the luxury image that the Thunderbird was aiming for.
The standard engine in the bigger, better Thunderbird was the mammoth 429 Thunder Jet, which was rated at a stunning 360 horsepower. Remember, this is a car that was just designed to move quietly and confidently, but in reality it was a tire-smoking brute that could scare small-block Mustangs on the street. This one looks fantastic in bright Ford Blue with its original air cleaner and tightly packed into the engine bay. Note details like the tiny oil cooler for the power steering pump, the big A/C compressor, and the softly rumbling dual exhaust that creates just the right luxury/muscle soundtrack. It's backed by a heavy-duty C6 3-speed automatic transmission and a set of 2.80 gears that allow the big V8 to just loaf along at supra-legal speeds. The undercarriage is highly original and in good condition. No, it's not show-worthy, but there's no structural rust or damage, the floors are shockingly clean, and it rides beautifully with that smooth luxury car attitude that's impossible to duplicate today. 15-inch wheels with turbine wheelcovers look right and carry 215/75/15 whitewall radials to duplicate the original look.
Big, comfortable, luxurious, and surprisingly quick, this big 'Bird is an unusual and unusually potent cruiser that represents a lot of performance for the money. Call today!
- Air Conditioning
- AM/FM Radio
- Power Brakes
- Power Steering
- Power Windows
- Seatbelts (Front)
- Seatbelts (Rear)
- Vinyl Interior
- Factory Buildsheet
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