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Ford History

1989 Ford Thunderbird

Chassis number : LSJ1123

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When the Ford Thunderbird was introduced, it was promoted as a sporting personal car. That idea morphed as the years rolled along eventually becoming a personal luxury car.

In 1981, Lyn St. James secured the Ford Motor Company as her main sponsor. In 1988 Ford decided to bring the Thunderbird to the Talladega International Speedway in Alabama, where she and her team set an amazing 21 National, International, and World records. Along the way she set a National Woman's Speed Record clocked at an impressive 212.557 mph with a top speed of 232.400 mph, beating the old record by over 10 mph that she had sent in 1985 in a Ford Mustang Probe. Sports Illustrated named her one of the Top 100 Female Athletes of the 20th Century, and she was also invited to the White House to meet Presidents Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, and Bill Clinton.

This particular Thunderbird is a purpose-built race car built by the Elliott Racing Team under the direction of Ford Motor Company Special Vehicle Operations in 1988. Power is from a specially prepared Ford V8 built by engine builder Ernie Elliott for the record attempt. The lightweight 'Super Coupe' body shell sits on a tubular frame with a full roll cage. It has the original race seat and a five-point safety belt.

After the car's track use was completed, it was often used by Ford as a show car. In 1995 it became the property of Lyn St. James.

In 2007 it ran the hillclimb at the Goodwood Festival of Speed.


By Daniel Vaughan | Jun 2017
On October 10th and 11th 1988 a 1989 Ford Thunderbird Super Coupe, prepared by the Bill Elliott race team and driven by Ford factory racer Lyn St. James, went to Talladega Superspeedway, the fastest oval track in the United States, and over the course of two days broke 21 FIA national and international speed records. Lyn's fastest one lap average was 212.577 mph.

The car was a purpose-built race car commissioned by Ford Motor Company to help launch the 1989 Thunderbird Super Coupe. Goodyear provided the tires and PPG provided the paint.

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2017 Motostalgia : Amelia Island

Pre-Auction Estimates :
USD $180,000-USD $250,000 
Lot was not sold

1989 Ford Thunderbird Auction Sales

Recent Sales of the Ford Thunderbird

(Data based on Model Year 1989 sales)
1989 Ford Thunderbird SC
Sold for USD$12,100
  2020 Mecum : Indy Fall Special
 
1989 Ford Thunderbird Super Coupe
Sold for USD$2,200
  2013 Auctions America - Auburn Fall
 
1989 Ford Thunderbird
Sold for USD$1,275
  2013 Silver Auction - Missoula
 
1989 Ford Thunderbird
Chassis#: 1FAPP64R8KH181462
Sold for USD$1,300
  2013 Silver Auction - Coeur d'Alene
 
1989 Ford Thunderbird 5-Speed, Power Sunroof
Sold for USD$3,500
  2013 Mecum - Dan Mecum's 26th Spring Classic
 
1989 Ford Thunderbird
Sold for USD$3,500
  2013 Mecum : Indianapolis
 
1989 Ford Thunderbird Super Coupe
Sold for USD$4,200
  2009 Mecum - St. Charles Auction
 
1989 Ford Thunderbird Super Coupe
Chassis#: 1FAPP64R0KH201509
Sold for USD$5,500
  2009 MidAmerica Auctions - Saint Paul RiverCentre
 

Ford Thunderbirds That Failed To Sell At Auction

1989 Ford Thunderbird's that have appeared at auction but did not sell.
VehicleChassisEventHigh BidEst. LowEst. High
1989 Ford Thunderbird 2019 Carlisle Auction : Lakeland Winter Auction   
1989 Ford Thunderbird Speed Record Driven by Lyn St JamesLSJ11232017 Motostalgia : Amelia Island $180,000$250,000
1989 Ford Thunderbird 2013 Silver Auction Spokane   
1989 Ford Thunderbird 2011 Mecum Auctions Kansas City, MO Spring Auction$4,500  
1989 Ford T-Bird Super Coupe 2011 Petersen Auctions Salem Auction 2011   
1989 FORD T BIRD CUSTOM 2008 Palm Springs Exotic Car Auctions November 23, 2008$8,500  
1989 FORD THUNDERBIRD 2007 Silver Auction Portland$3,600  
1989 Ford Thunderbird Super Coupe 2004 Michigan Spring International Classic Car Auction$8,000  
1989 FORD THUNDERBIRD HARDTOP 2001 Kruse Auction Auburn, IN$19,600  
1989 FORD THUNDERBIRD HARDTOP 2001 Kruse Auction Auburn, IN$18,000  

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1989 Ford Thunderbird Profiles