View Full Version : Give me some reasons to buy a T-bird SC!

04-21-2002, 02:16 PM
Hi everybody,
My first post here. I've been reading up on the Thunderbird SC, including most of this site, because I'm looking for a car to replace my old M5. I have seen a 1991 low mileage Tbird SC (35,000 miles) advertised, and I liked the look of it. But from the little reading I've done, the interior of these cars takes a bit of stick, (though the advertised one has leather seats), and the 'road feel' seems a bit questionnable.

So my question is, what is it about this car that really turns you on? Are they suitable for everyday use, even if you are only driving a few miles? Is the handling at speed great? How will it compare to my old M5?

Thanks, your board is a joy to read.

04-21-2002, 05:14 PM
because there @#%$ faster than @#%$ and nice looking

04-22-2002, 01:21 AM
Well, I'll try and give you a more indepth answer than that one.

I've always loved the looks of Tbirds. I remember when I get my 1989 3.8L N/A bird I was very proud. I saw a 35th running around town then and loved looking at it. I had no clue in the differences other than it was super charged and mine wasn't.

Anyway, that is how I started my love of Tbirds.

The cars handle great for a 4000lb beast. It's a nice cruiser (You can put this thing on 100mph and it's NOTHING to it) and it's a great date car! Cops won't look twice at me because I'm in a "grandpa's" car....I can't tell you how many times this has saved my butt.

Now, this isn't an oversized go-kart like a fiero. It pushes in corners if you go too fast and if your not use to rear-wheel drive power, it can get away from you in a hurry. The SWEET part about it....you can generally recover from 'errors' like this fairly easy.

These cars make GREAT daily drivers. You have the power to put a mustang, camero, or firebird (hell, even most vettes) in their place, and yet still get 26 to 30 mpg. In 1989 the bird got the highest government test rating. It sustained a 55mph front-end collision with no intrusion into the cabin. Basically....it's a sound car that, if for some reason you should totally wreck it, will keep your butt alive (please make sure you wear your seatbelt so this can be true).

They aren't sporty like a lamborghini, boaty like a lincoln, or offroad rugged like a 4X4, but it's a good mix between sports car and sports luxury car.

Take this one for a test spin....see if you like it. Most people love the feel of them and I think you'll be happy with it. (Just my opinion, I could be wrong).

04-22-2002, 07:23 AM
Thanks for the info, Black Knight. However, no-one down here is selling a Tbird for me to test drive; and there are very few Mustangs, Cameros, vettes or other muscle cars to burn-up! If I were interested in beating your average sports car down here, I would have a tougher time of it - too many ferraris, M5's, M3's, S4's and all manner of other cars that would whip my ~~~ in a Tbird.

No, I was looking more for the down to earth type comments that you made, like getting 25+miles per gallon, or that the seats are very comfortable on long journeys, and what is it like sitting in the back on longer journeys, and are the maintenance costs reasonable. The fact that it doesn't look particularly sporty is also a plus, 'stealth' cars being much more fun than souped-up rice shakers.

I'm still not convinced, though I have to say the price being asked for the car considering its mileage is good. How easy is it to wind back the odometer on a 91SC?

04-22-2002, 10:43 AM
Winding the odometer on the SC? I tried to wind mine forward (had a new one put in it and wanted it to read actual milage) and couldnt do it. If someone actually managed to do it, there is a very good chance they broke it.

As for comfort, I personally wouldnt trade it. I took a 2600 mile road trip in my bird and being a recent high school grad, had to sleep in it and I must say even for a 6'4" person like me they are nice. Much more leg room than the average sports car.

Maintenance isnt too bad unless you're like some of the people on this board and like to race. For an average driver and especially for the mileage on that car, you should have no worries (unless the previous owner was just ignorant with it's maintanance), and if your mechanically inclined, the people on this board can coach you through pretty much any qwerk or repair you'll ever have. The only really major thing these cars get is headgasket failure which pretty much any car with aluminum heads has this flaw, but this very rarely happens until around 100k miles, some have gone 150k+ without problems.

04-22-2002, 01:58 PM
Comfort is the key - I don't even drive my daily any more. If I take my daily to work my back hurts from the 40 min ride. A 2 hour trip in my T-Bird is nothing.

Class - they look great and are very low profile to the cops. Try pulling the crap I pull in an f-body or mustang and you'll be buying doughnuts for the locals.

Power - don't need to say more

I drove an oversized go-kart (Fiero) for many years. I loved that car but after getting hit twice in it, I sold it (A guy actually stopped with his back tire centered on my hood). Two tons of metal makes you feel a lot safer when driving like an idiot.

Go for the T-Bird - Just get a good explanation why it has such low mileage. Be wary of rebuilt wrecks.


04-22-2002, 04:04 PM
I have owned an '89 for 11 years. Bought it with 29,000
miles on and it now has 235,000 miles on it. (Same original head gaskets, same exhaust system, same radiator). It's a great highway cruiser. Adjustable suspension, great gas mileage, plenty of power, 4 wheel ABS brakes, takes a corner faster than I want to. I have driven all the way from Canada to Key West in it. I now have a new job where I have to commute 1 and 1/2 hours each way. So, I just bought another 1990 SC with 62,000 miles on it, so I can enjoy the ride.

04-22-2002, 09:07 PM
I made the mistake of buying a rough one. So I get to be irritated constantly by broken plastic pieces in the interior, rattling sunroof, erratic passive seatbelt operation (which I might get around to fixing someday), cracked leather seats, and a whole host of "old worn-out car" issues. BTW, its a '90 Cougar.

OTOH, the power is good. Ride is great and I'd like to have a good one. With a 5 speed. I've found the the AOD in this one likes to hold 3rd all the way down to about 17mph. So if someone makes a turn in front of you, or you slow down for a turn then the trans holds 3rd and you're crawling away at about 900rpm with a locked converter. Not a good feel. And forcing a downshift with the throttle is just about as bad. Further the AOD has no decent shift controls to do a manual downshift to Second. Maybe a AOD-E like in the 94-up's would be better but I think a 5 speed would just suit my style a little more.

One thing I HAVE noticed is that the trans tunnel intrudes on the drivers footwell pretty good. It almost feels like your feet a pushed over to the left a bit in order to make room. Kinda like you're sitting a little sideways in the car. It may just be me but I feel contact with the trans tunnel all the way up to my right knee. This may annoy some people.


Crowdid Elevator
04-22-2002, 10:14 PM
I like like it because it hugs you, you sit in the sit and inflate the bolsters and it hugs you, my car loves to hug me.

04-23-2002, 01:13 AM
I just put 510 miles on my 93 over the weekend and I'm ready to go again. The trip was all Interstate and my average speed on the trip was 75 miles per hour but it felt like I was sitting on the couch listening to the stereo. The comfort is the thing I like the most about the SC's. Next would have to be the power to pass anything, anytime ........ After that is the mileage, I got an average of 24 mpg for the trip.

BTW, I haven't found "Top End" yet, but it's somewhere above the peg on the speedometer ...........

04-24-2002, 06:33 AM
Thanks, Guys, for all the honest replies.

I can see now the attraction is comfort , speed and stealth, which is just up my street...which is why I have gone ahead and bought a Maserati 4.24V instead - all that leather, wood and adjustable suspension was too much to resist, not to mention the performance. Sorry! And thanks again.

Crowdid Elevator
04-25-2002, 03:45 PM
Ouch, that hurt...

04-25-2002, 06:12 PM
Hey Crowdid Elevator,

Whats so Ouch, Just because someone pimped us a little, Who cares ....... The way I figure it ........ To each his own.

If he can afford a Maserati let him own one. You think SC's are expensive to keep running .......

I look at it this way, "You eat want you want to eat, And I'll eat what I want to eat!!! He likes rice, We like steak.

Hey exM5er, how about posting a photo of yourself and the car!!!!!!

Distinguished Dat2k1
04-26-2002, 12:52 AM
as a proud (and sometimes disgruntled SC owner), If I had the money for an M5....I wouldn't trade that for a SC anyday. 400HP.....400ft/lbs (guesstimates, but not far off), BMW style and comfort.....come on....this guy must have been playing us the whole time.

04-26-2002, 08:39 AM
Hello again guys,

I was not 'just playing' you, I was merely trying to find out more of the attractions of a T-bird. The M5 I previously owned was the older E34 model (mine was a 1991 car), but at 315bhp and tons of torque, it was the ultimate in stealth. It was a great car to drive, the power from 120 Km/hour upwards to 250 was exhilirating, and hardly matched by anything else on the road.

What you must also appreciate is that here in Europe, older 'super' cars are a lot more plentiful and cheaper than in the States. Try checking out www.mobile.de if you don't belive me. If you check out Maseratis, youŽll be able to see a few photos of the 4.24v type that I am buying. You'll have to admit, the interior of these cars is something else...

The Maserati I am buying is apparently well maintained, but I am taking a chance in importing it unseen from Italy (to Spain, where I live). In Rome, the ancient historical centre has been declared a no-go area for cars without catylytic convertors, which includes most of the Maserati Biturbo range, so they are selling now for ridiculously low prices. So it's not a case of me playing you at all - in fact, if you search for Thunderbirds, you might still spot the one I was talking about.

Again, guys, your board is excellent and I appreciate your responses.

Distinguished Dat2k1
04-26-2002, 05:24 PM
Sorry, didn't realize you were overseas where BMW's aren't really considered imports, and probably a lot cheaper than here

SCgraphics guy
04-30-2002, 02:59 AM
Obviously , theres no CMRE S2 powered SCs in Europe. Mine would surely hand a M5 its ~~~!

05-01-2002, 11:39 PM
Just look at that baby! IMO it's a very comfortable, great handling, luxury sports car that's American Iron. I just love the looks of the SC's (regular Birds + Cougars too), I can still just stare at it with admiration. I first bought an 85 Turbo Coupe, prior to that I had never owned a Ford, and swore I never would. I was a Chevy/Dodge guy. On my way to work, every day I'd pass by Rizzo Ford, in North Providence, RI. For a couple of weeks I saw this really sharp looking "wine" red car, all I knew was it was a Ford, and I don't like Fords. Finally, it grew on me enough to stop in and take a closer look. Then the salesman came out, I asked him what the car had in it, he said "a 4 cylander" I said "figures" he said "here's the keys, take it for a ride"....that was it, I was blown away. About 2 hours later, I drove it home! Anyway I had that car for a couple of years, then I went through a bunch of cars, trucks, and Jeeps through the years. Then I ended up working at that same dealership, I need a car, and someone suggested a Super Coupe to me, and I recalled all the fun I had with the Turbo Coupe, so I bought one, and here we are! I absolutely love the car. I don't think I'll ever sell it. It's been very good to me, and in turn, I try to be very good to her, after all....she's my Baby! Buy one, you'll be glad you did, and besides, where else are you gonna find a car club as nice as this one!

05-06-2002, 02:03 AM
If you wanna blow more money into a car, than your girl - this is the car for you!

05-15-2002, 12:45 AM
Mr. ExM5er decided he would go out and buy a car that he felt was at least "equal" to if not greater than his Bavarian Creme' Puff.

If I only looked at this subject line a little sooner, I think that I could have swayed the decision. If Mr. ExM5er is still reading this, I'll say this. I bought a 1995 SC over an earlier M5 specifically because I thought it was a great car for the money. Lots of great technology for an American car, plus the surge of torque down low puts a big grin on my face. Here in America our low speeds require cars to be tuned "torque heavy". Most of us don't drive faster than 75mph or 120Kph (for the metrically challenged). But that's not to say that the SC can't cruise at 110mph without breaking a sweat (220kph). So for me it was the best of both worlds. It rides great but, I have noticed that newer cars do have better ride sophistication. But for a car from the mid-90's, it rides wonderfully. Considering that it weighs 4000lbs, it handles much better than you would expect. It was able to post .85g of lateral grip on the skidpad if that means anything to you.

Well, maserati's are nice, but they are hugely expensive and rarely seen here in the USA. I will say this though, you'll probably spend more money trying to maintain anything that goes wrong with a maserati than you would with a Ford thunderbird. And Maserati's are cars that typically sell for around $80,000 here in the united states. The lowly Ford Thunderbird SC sold for around $25,000. Again, best value for the dollar.

05-15-2002, 01:06 PM
Asking SCCoA members why they should buy an SC is like asking Derek Jeter who he thinks will win the World Series! Kinda-sorta!