Björn Stunner:1984 Thunderbird Fila Edition

This car will make you want to put on your fresh Filas.  The 70s brought us a great many 'designer' edition luxury cars, but this 80s personal luxury coupe comes with a tie-in to the then-hot, European sportswear company.  Perhaps this car was good enough for Björn Borg, who pitched Fila back in the day.  We did a quickie post on the car in 2013, but have never posted one for sale.


The Taurus gets a lot of credit for revolutionizing Ford design in the 80s, but the 1983 T-Bird is the car that actually started the aero/modernization trend.  This was arguably Ford's first thoroughly modern design and is still looks good today, even if the overhangs are comical compared to most modern cars.  The Fila was the ultimate Thunderbird for a couple years, assuming you're not like me and thus wouldn't prefer a turbocharged four cylinder and manual transmission or a blue 1985 Anniversary Edition with a matching, leather Members Only jacket (look it up).

Monochromatic paint/wheel schemes were all the rage and that's the only way the early Fila came.  Apparently, they added red later; but the white on white is what we remember.  The contrasting grey at the bottom actually breaks up the look a bit vs. later monochrome-mobiles, but has made this age better.  The stripes were part of the deal, as were the fender badges, which are actually reasonably subtle.  Move inside and you'll find unique upholstery.

I've never seen a Fila not powered by a 5.0-liter (okay...technically 4.9x) V8; so I'm inclined to assume it was standard.  While the horsepower rating isn't much by today's standards, this should offer enough torque to move the car well - certainly better than my '86 T-Bird's 3.8 V6 back in the day.

The seller claims a bit over 43K miles on this beauty and it does appear to be in amazing shape.  The only modification we can see is the CHMSL, which would only be on this body style in '86 ('87 brought a major facelift). That's a perfectly good addition functionally, but an odd choice.  At somewhere around half the asking price, this might be tempting as an occasional cruiser for someone who wants something different; but it has a dealer price now, which simply isn't realistic.

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Lithia Springs, GA, USA
$12,995 BIN with offers considered and 3.333333 days to go


This was one of the nicest wheels available on this body and looks cool in white, up against the dark lower trim.


Here's the 'bathtub' profile, which was quite radical at the time.


It's hard to tell in this image, but someone added a third brake light from a 1986+ model.


Leather bolsters and suede inserts are still in fashion today and should provide decent grip - you know, for when you pitch this '84 T-Bird into corners.


Column shift with a console - something you won't see today.  Interestingly, Turbo Coupes had floor-shifted automatics; so the parts existed to move it.  Presumably, a more open console was seen as more luxurious, despite the Lincoln Mark VII having a floor-mounted shifter.  Good news here is no digital dash!


Rear seat matches and is in great condition - note the console that extends to the back.  Presumably, that's a ashtray for some back seat smokin' before tennis.


These had somewhat odd trunks - that center well is deep, but the spare gets in the way of large luggage.  Still, I personally fit a keg in the back of an '86 more than once.


The 302 looks clean enough.


The seller includes lots of goodies.

Ad text:

Marketing tie-ins are nothing new, so when the incredible all-new Ford Thunderbird hit the market in 1983, clothing manufacturer FILA stepped up to create their own spin on the handsome new coupe. This 1984 Ford Thunderbird FILA edition captures the era and the car quite nicely, and you'll be pleased to learn that it's also a great car to drive.

The bright white paint with a black lower cladding as a distinctive look in 1984 and is still every bit as striking today. It was actually repainted a few years ago and they wisely chose to not only keep the FILA's special color combination, but replaced the distinctive red and black pinstripes that run the length of the body. It's got a few signs of use since then, but it's pretty obvious that someone has always treated this car as something special and the sheetmetal underneath is in great shape. And speaking of shapes, this aerodynamic Thunderbird was a game-changer, ushering in the aerodynamic age at Ford and signaling to the rest of the industry that boxy cars were over. Add in a color-coded grille, blacked-out trim, and a few well-chosen Thunderbird badges from a later T-Bird, and you get one of the most visually striking and distinctive cars of the '80s. Even 30 years later, this car is dramatic.

The original interior is in good condition, showing the usual wear on the outer bolsters on the driver's seat, but everything else looks pretty good for its age. Buckets were standard equipment in the Thunderbird (who would want a bench seat anyway?) and the supportive chairs are still comfortable today. The FILA edition came with just about every option, including A/C, power locks, windows, and seats, a tilt steering column, and cruise control, making it a fine choice today. The center console is festooned with buttons and switches, giving the car a very high-tech look, but it's all quite stock, from the factory gauges to the AM/FM/cassette stereo in the center of the dash. The A/C still blows cold and you'll probably find that you feel right at home within a few moments of climbing aboard. In back, there's a good-sized trunk that still carries its original space-saver spare tire.

Ford's venerable 5.0 liter V8 was one of the engine choices in 1984, and it's probably the one you want today. Making the same kind of torque as the one they were throwing in the Mustang, the FILA Thunderbird is surprisingly quick and gives you a great whack of acceleration when you step on the loud pedal. The engine bay is tidy but original, and unlike so many other 5.0-equipped vehicles, it's completely stock. The 4-speed automatic overdrive transmission is a willing partner, with quick downshifts and an easy-cruising overdrive gear plus 2.73 gears out back for pretty decent fuel economy. The same Fox-platform hardware that underpins the Mustang is found here, so it's confident but comfortable and the hardware is virtually bulletproof. There's a recent exhaust system that has a nice V8 burble to it and the original alloy wheels have been refinished to match the body, just as it was when it was new. Recent 195/70/14 blackwall radials give it just the right look for 1984.

With only 2532 FILA edition Thunderbirds built, this is among the most collectable. It's also a very reasonably-priced way to get into the hobby with a car that's a lot of fun to drive. Call today!

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