Sunday, February 24, 2019

Shay What? 1979 Ford Thunderbird Shay Custom

This next car is gonna turn some heads...seriously, it is a good looking beast.  It appears, at first glance, to be a first generation (1955-1957) Thunderbird, but is actually something built in the late 1970s/early 80s by a guy named Harry Shay. Read more about the history of the Shay T-Birds on this website, or just buy this one for cheap. Find this 1979 Ford Thunderbird Shay Custom offered for $14,399 in Cary, NC via craigslist. Tip from Rock On!

From the seller:

1979 Shay Thunderbird.
VIN: 1HWTC21A4BE020089
condition: excellent
cylinders: 4 cylinders
drive: rwd
fuel: gas
odometer: 64850
paint color: blue
size: compact
title status: clean
transmission: manual
type: convertible
For sale. A very rare Shay Thunderbird.
Only 200 of these vehicles were produced and less then 100 still exist..
The Shay Motor Company produced 200 T. Birds out of Battlecreek Michigan in the late 70's / early 80's.. The chassis and engines were purchased direct from the Ford Motor Company. After that Shay added a rust proof fiberglass body and all the proper Thunderbird chrome parts were installed. This has rare factory AC, new paint and a great sound system plus many other features.
This is NOT a kit car and increases in value every year.
You can find more info about the history of the Shay at
This should easily sell for $18 to $22,000
You will fall in bring cash and a trailer. .

FIRM Price:---------- $13,899 ------NEW--Factory AC
Engine: -----------------2.3L 4 Cyl. Transmission:------------- 4 -Speed Manual
Mileage:----------------- 65,000 VIN:---------------- 1HWTC21A4BE020089
Exterior Color: Metallic-Teal Blue Interior Color:--- Black and white

AM/FM/Cassette Stereo Radio,Tachometer, Tilt wheel , Power Brakes + more
Newly chromed bumpers New windshield.
This car is a blast to drive and has good acceleration.
Most shay's of this caliber are going for over $20,000.00 + and are going up in value each year.
The best part is classic car insurance is only $100 A YEAR!! So it will pay for itself in a few years.
Contact- John Vinci for more details--- show contact info

From NADA Guideline prices
Read this from From NADA Guides

Shay Thunderbird 2 Door Roadster

MSRP Low-------$12,800
Retail Average------$17,100
Retail High------------- $22,900
Retail Original Base Price---$14,995

See a better way to drive a classic?


  1. I wonder if the drivetrain from a Merkur XR4Ti or Mustang SVO would fit under the hood. Would be so much more fun with a turbo and a five speed.

  2. I guess you need a "Shay Tree Mechanic" on this 1.

  3. Pretty amazing what this dude accomplished. He basically manufacture cars from scratch. Not sure I would want the pinto stuff but cool execution.

  4. What a great looking car and then I saw 4 cylinder....

  5. It says he bought the chassis from Ford - I'm wondering what he used, as there wasn't much in the way of small full-frame applications. Courier pickup, maybe?

    1. Yes, I also tried to dig into that, to see if any other power trains would fit. Could not find any good info on the chassis/platform.

  6. When he went under, another company continued to manufacture both the Thunderbird and the Model A. The A getting a Fairmont motor and the Thunderbird getting a V8.


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