5k: American Eagle: 1988 Ford Thunderbird Turbo Coupe

 “I am a patient boy,” Fugazi once sang. “I wait, I wait, I wait, I wait. My time is water down a drain.” It’s fun to picture the hardcore punk outfit from D.C. typing that repeatedly on a typewriter between fruitless Craigslist searches for original, unmolested 1988 Turbo Coupes. Finding this specific configuration in decent shape is indeed a test of patience.  Behold, this 5-speed 1988 Ford Thunderbird Turbo Coupe for $5,288 in Sioux City, IA via AutoTrader.  Words by DT contributor slowcarSLOW-MPGlol.

Starting in 1986, Ford’s Fox-based Thunderbird utilized the turbocharged and intercooled 2.3L four-cylinder donated by the departed Mustang SVO. 1988 was the last year of its bird-like body style, replaced by the “Pretend it’s a Cadillac ETC that just left that oil stain in your driveway” tenth generation. More importantly, only 5-speed manual versions in 1988 came with all 190 horsepower all the time in all gears, instead of with limited boost like in earlier versions. Manual versions also got shorter rear-end ratios than the auto, purely for transmission discrimination purposes.

Do you like your interior in primary colors? How about with a splash of wood-plastic composite? Such were the conversations in Ford dealerships in this era. Thankfully, this Thunderbird sports a two-tone interior with carpeted dash cover, and enough switches, gauges, and readouts for playing Top Gun on long Memorial Day Weekend trips. Or you can save a buck on gas by selecting the “Regular gas” setting, which lowers boost pressure to 9 PSI.

Even with a lowered price, this TC carries the Autotrader premium. Rougher examples can be had for fractions of the price, but this low-mile example in the preferred configuration is the one to spend your hard-earned Benjamins on. I wonder if the members of Fugazi have aged this well.

See a faster car with nostrils and a beak? Email us at tips@dailyturismo.com.

slowcarSLOW-MPGlol knows how many licks it takes to reach the
center of a Tootsie Pop, and he’s not telling. As someone with a B+
blood type, he considers himself an optimist. Unless it has structural