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1978 Ford Thunderbird Overview

The 1978 Ford Thunderbird was the second of the 'Torino Bird' models. Smaller than the giant TBirds of the 'Big Bird' years in the early seventies, this incarnation of the Thunderbird straddled the boundary between sports car and luxury sedan. Ford added a jazzy touch to the '78 Thunderbird by introducing a T-top option (perhaps a response to the popular Trans Am?) Other minor changes included yet another facelift to the car’s front end.

Luxury was the interior keynote for the 1978 Thunderbird. Plush bucket seats, a glitzy dashboard with plenty of chrome, and lots of electric doodads pampered the driver: if the '78 TBird was a TV show, it was more like 'Dallas' than 'Route 66'. The exterior styling reflected the aesthetic of the time, too, with sharp, square-shouldered lines.

Although the '78 Ford Thunderbird wasn't the drag-strip juggernaut of the early seventies, it packed a perfectly respectable punch under the hood. Shipped off the line with a 5.0 liter/302 cubic inch V8, the '78 T-Bird was also available with an upgrade to a 5.8 liter/351 cubic inch or a 6.6 liter/400 cubic inch V-8. Even the entry-level engine offered plenty of power to move the more compact Thunderbird around highways and roads with ease and zip.

And let's not forget the improved fuel efficiency that had motivated the redesign. With xx mpg city, xx mpg highway, drivers were too relieved by their savings on gas to mourn the giant engines of the old 'Big Birds'.

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Ford Thunderbird Questions

Thinderbird Gas Tank

Wondering where to shop for best service and selection for 1978 Thunderbird parts. Particularly the gas tank. It's a 351 V8 modified engine. Any suggestions?


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i am looking for a 1978 Thunderbird Towne Landau hood ornament D7SZ- 16850-F. It is one with red inserts. Can anyone help?


Wanted: 1978 T-Bird W/ Factory T-Tops & Bucket Seats & Console,Floor Shift

I'm still looking to purchase a clean, low mileage 1978-'79 Thunderbird with the factory T-roof T-tops. Prefer a "Landau" trim car. Want a 'Bird with factory bucket seats and center console with floor...

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78 Thunderbird 302

Just bought the car and it was sitting for a number of years. Emptied the old gas, changed plugs, distributor cap and rotor, ignition module and fuel filter. Starts right up now but dies right awa...