$600 1965 T-Bird: LeMons or What?

1965 ford t-bird for sale1965 ford t-bird for sale
The problem with searching for LeMons cars is that it’s too easy to come across potential daily drivers. For instance, we’ve got the 65 T-Bird sporting a 300ish HP 390ci, but with a blown transmission. The good news is, usable C6s are like $9, and rebuild kits go for half of that. 390s are easily turned into stonking motors on their own, and are a mere 428 crank away from being epic torque monsters.

The bad news is this is easily one of the ugliest cars to ever come out of Detroit, treated to a weird-ass paint job that just emphasizes the ugly lines of the car. With handling considered lackluster by mid-60s standards, it might not be of much use on the track. The good news being mid 60s Fords have parts-swappabibility like you wouldn’t believe. There’s probably a set of F350 parts that’d bolt right in. And hey: $600! That’s “put it all on red” money.
LA Craigslist

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34 responses to “$600 1965 T-Bird: LeMons or What?”

  1. Paul Y. Avatar
    Paul Y.

    Seriously? The paint is loathsome, but I love this T-Bird generation.
    If I wasn't on the other side of the country, I would buy it RIGHT NOW.

    1. BrianTheHoon Avatar

      Agreed. I wouldn't put this in the "ugly" bin, at all. I like the '61-'63 much better but these are sweet, too.

      1. Novaload Avatar

        Word. All the low slung T-birds were remarkable–and then they blew up like whales. I'd be happy to have any of them, even at 9 mpg.

        1. Froggmann Avatar

          I got between 13-16 in my old 63… Not as big of a fuel hog as you would think they are….

  2. Bentoboxx Avatar

    Here is a great theme for this car…"Thunderbird's Aren't GO!" paint it pink, put a non working second set of wheels in the front and have Lady Penelope in the back seat.

  3. superbadd75 Avatar

    LeMons? Hell no! That's a driver. I will kill anyone that buys and destroys that fine 'Bird.
    Okay, maybe not kill, but there will definitely be some unkind words uttered.

  4. SVT2888 Avatar

    Look at tax return money that should be coming in at any time….
    Tuition or T-bird?! Tuition or T-bird?! Tuition or T-bird?!

    1. LTDScott Avatar

      Oh shut it. I owe $2K in taxes this year. Then again I just bought a truck last night, so I can't complain too much.

  5. Tim Odell Avatar
    Tim Odell

    You can learn a lot from a T-Bird.

    1. Age_of_Aerostar Avatar

      …buckle your safety belt!

    2. SVT2888 Avatar

      Well I already have a 97…
      Two cars questionably reliable cars>1?

  6. From_a_Buick_6 Avatar

    A $600 Thunderbird? Sign me up. I like this generation, but for that money, it really doesn't matter what year it is. Every generation T-bird is awesome*
    *Except for '80-'82. Those were pure garbage.

    1. Goingincirclez Avatar

      Those abominations were naught but the boxes the '83's came in.

  7. Novaload Avatar

    This T-Bird love is heartwarming. A 58 up through, oh, 70, but not beyond, is in my fantasy garage. Drop top preferred.

  8. Goingincirclez Avatar

    Blasphemy! The only thing ugly about that car is the paint job. Make it red or some other proper monochrome and you'll see.
    Of course, for $600 I'll gladly overlook the paintjob!
    BTW, I am seriously, s e r i o u s l y, beginning to reconsider my centrist hatred of "California" to consider moving there. If that car were over here in KY, it would be $3,000+ easily. No wait, on second thought that's enough reason for me to still hate California. (Present company excepted).

    1. Tim Odell Avatar
      Tim Odell

      We don't need to get into it here, but CA's not the hyper-liberal looney bin people make it out to be. It's just that the loudmouth crazies get all the attention, which is true pretty much no matter where you are; it's just the flavor of crazy.
      In all seriousness, I've long held that the true center of automotive culture is in Southern California.

      1. Goingincirclez Avatar

        Oh, I'm sure it isn't. Seriously (no sarcasm). You are right that it's the loudmouth / backward few that set the tone of a state's stereotype – look where *I* live for chrissakes: KY's not all inbred hillbillies and rednecks, even though I've met enough the ones that set the stereotype.
        For the record my problem with CA has less to do with the "crazies", and more to do with the tail wagging the dog and insisting on setting the tone for the rest of the country. But as you said, this isn't the place for that discussion. Just making sure you know it's not personal, my comment was half-jest. I've got family in CA too, it's not all bad. And I'm quite certain even if it were, I could learn to tolerate it just for the car culture alone.

      2. Sparky_Pete Avatar

        The hyper-liberal looney bin is actually up here in Northern Ca… Santa Crazy, Bezerkley, San Franwacko… it can be weirder than you ever imagined. Damn hippies.
        It did however bring us Lemons, Murilee and Mother's Cookies so it ain't all THAT bad.

        1. Tim Odell Avatar
          Tim Odell

          Yeah man, I grew up in the Bay Area (Los Gatos, Go Wildcats!)
          The thing that amuses me is the weird assumption/assertion that the more gearheaded you are, the more right wing you must be. There are obvious correlations between some interests, but generally speaking I see more cool cars in the "kooky hyper-liberal communist dens" than I do in the more conservative central valley/foothills.

  9. Froggmann Avatar

    I say nice price, while the exterior is ugly the interior is beautiful. I just saw one of these last week lowered, with a nice glossy black paint job. Pretty nice.
    Oh and that one would have the Cruse-o-matic the forerunner to the C6.

    1. Tim Odell Avatar
      Tim Odell

      This one's got the cruis-o, but a C6 bolts in.
      …and can be found in countless trucks and vans in the yards.

      1. dragon951 Avatar

        The question is what can you sell off it to get it back under $500. I don't think you could get much for any of the stuff seeing as everything is so swappable. Hmm, Team Thundercats has potential, as long as you have a Thundercat emblem eating the T-bird badge…
        <img src="http://photos-b.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc3/hs234.snc3/22153_1365505662169_1367472072_31048097_6012611_n.jpg"/&gt;

  10. CptSevere Avatar

    I've always liked these T-Birds. I can't remember the last time I saw one, they're getting pretty rare. Yeah, build that 390, install a C6, tighten up the suspension and Hoon the hell out of it. But, if you had the sheer balls to lie your way into LeMons with this car, that would be absolutely legendary. It would rival the '62 Caddy for sheer intimidation.

    1. Froggmann Avatar

      Oh and believe it or not, these are quicker than a 280Z. Ahh High School…

  11. rwb Avatar

    Diggin the wood block valve covers. Didn't see those in the Edelbrock catalog, wonder where he got em.

  12. FuzzyPlushroom Avatar

    It's no '63, but it's more than one-tenth as nice as a good-condition '63 with a similar transmission problem, that's for sure – those're worth a fair bit more.
    I might even leave the paint. So shoot me.

  13. RIVRAY IN la Avatar
    RIVRAY IN la

    Cali is the coolest. T=birds are good till "70. Jet birds are space age delites and this one is cheep=n-rust free.


    Also if you run 60's Birds always mount a remote transmission cooler and don't do burnouts by holding the car against the brakes
    more than a few seconds as this causes trans pressure and temp to exceed design envelope. Birds are fat and burnout good!
    They handle like drunk greased pigs, understeer like a 60's Toyota,and have a drinking problem. So what? They look totally space
    age, they have spectacular interiors, you feel special in all high-style Country Club cars, your Birds, Rivieras, GranPrixs-n-New
    Yorkers-cars that cant be weak in chrome or style. Ohoh back to work i hear bosses commin…………


    Also if you run 60's Birds always mount a remote transmission cooler and don't do burnouts by holding the car against the brakes

  16. spdworks Avatar

    I love all the t-birds pre-70's, '56 being my absolute favourite. Still find it strange that the gorgeous one in American Graffiti was offered after production for as little as 3K. If I would've been around, I would've found anyway I could to have snagged that beautiful ride. This one here could be amazing too though…not a '56, but then nothing is. I would buy this one, if it were still for sale and I could get it to S. Florida. I could easily take the place of the oil/carbon/smoke-puking 18/mpg '90 sumthin' that's in the drive now. Although, with some work, it could be a jewel also. I just don't see, however, where it would be worth the time/money/effort as any one of them from the '50's-'60's definitely would.

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    Tbirds a go

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