Monday, November 26, 2012

5k Flash: 1991 Ford Thunderbird Morphed into '49 Ford

The 10th generation Ford Thunderbird was an abysmal car when introduced in 1989 and was somehow still living in Ford dealers purchased only by people who remembered what a 1st generation T-Bird looked/drove like but were now blind and insensitive to acceleration forces (probably deaf too!).  The T-Bird was not an attractive car, and it's hard to imagine someone making it look can be the judge of this 1991 Ford Thunderbird that has been transformed into a '49 Ford lookalike and is now for sale in Hanover, PA on ebay for $4,500 buy-it-now (currently bidding at $3,225 reserve-not-met with 1 day to go).

It is hard to detect the remains of the T-Bird body under the sculpted front end, chrome bumper and flat black paint, but this did leave the Ford factory as an overpriced pseudo-Luxury coupe.

This shoebox look-a-like is powered by a 3.8 pushrod V6, the 'Essex', an all iron lump that puts out a shameful 140 horsepower, which when mated to an automatic transmission and hooked to a 3700 lb beast is going to create zero fun.  Seriously, you'll have more fun riding the bus to work.

Red cloth interior.  Who on earth would have looked at this in 1991 and said "Heck yeah, I want this shade of whorehouse red over any number of reasonable interior colors on cars available at my Ford dealer?"  We are still befuddled that one single 1991 T-Bird with the base 3.8 ever left the lot, much less one with a ghastly red interior.

Wow - more awesome in the back....we noticed this car isn't wearing plates in the front or rear - and while this isn't uncommon in our home state of California, it is surprising the police just don't pull over and arrest all the offenders...but we'd suggest putting some faux black plates on this beast for the full '49 look.

However, our favorite part of this ebay listing is the text of the ad.  Here it is in its entirety:

You are bidding on a unique Custom Cruiser 49-50 Ford Kit Car, built on a 1991 Ford Thunderbird. Bid with confidence!! 

That is it.  No description of who built it, why, how...etc...not exactly confidence inspiring...

See another Horrorod for cheap?  email us here:


  1. Should any DT reader be so taken with this look,that they would be inspired to try it on their own; the kit is available for $5495 (Canadian) at the following link:

    I suspect the reserve is set somewhere north of the kit price + the $500 cost of the donor car + $1/hr labor invested!!
    Kit car math rarely works for the builder!!

    But, if unique is what you seek......
    Happy Bidding!

    P.S. High quality retro-rods can be yours, but they cost the bank. Scroll down through DT's coverage of the Sema show for the pictures of the Ford GT/Mustang that offers the proper definitions of rare, original and unique.

  2. The seller's website lists this car as having 208,000 miles, a V6 5.0 for $6,995

  3. ~ i like the DeSoto-esque grill teeth and bumper. great entry point for budding enthusiast, but not a profit maker.

  4. Sometimes I think of ebay and/or Craigslist as purely a place to show your car... At least for sellers like this with no description or helpful info. You have to wonder if they really want to sell or just show.

  5. That Mustang is wild! Thanks for the link.


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