1986 "Talladega T Bird"

Asked by Apr 20, 2011 at 06:59 PM about the 1986 Ford Thunderbird

Question type: General

I recently ran across this 1986 "Talladega T Bird" and couldn't resist... they told me it was a limited edition and that only around 2000 were made. I've never seen or heard of one, does anyone have any info on this car? thank you

38 Answers

I collect T Birds,have never heard of one.what does it say on title.

1986 Ford 2d sd I put up half a dozen photos of the car on a webshots page http://rides.webshots.com/album/580072558mrISiA

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Craig,I showed this link to a friend at ford,mechanic their,been their 40 + years,knowes all about the T birds,their was never a Talladega Bird built,what you have is a 86 T Bird,the stickers on the fenders is just some someone had made up and put them on the car,the T Bird is the give away,it would have said THUNDERBIRD,and would have been a chrome emblem,but like said,their was non ever built,sorry for the bad news.

interesting- among the paperwork was the original Ownercard warranty identification card. I used peoplesearch and located the the original owner of the car and gave him a call- still around and in his 80's. he told me that there were only 28 of them built and that his was the only one that was burgundy. the rest were all black and white. he still lives at the address on the Ownercard he first told me under 50 built but his wife was there and was positive it was exactly 28 built. my friend Jim's brother in law worked at the Lorain plant building T Birds and said "Jim I have a vauge memory of these. It occurs to me had something to do with Bill Elliot winning the Winston Million, not absolutely positive though. I never remember the body work details though, suspect they were done as an outside thing, (Roush, Car Craft, Saleen????). Built lots of Birds that year as I remember, I was still working on the vans at the time though. I will ask around the plant to some of the old timers and see if I can get any more info...." so probably more info to follow :-)

The Bill Elliot car you talking about was the body style prior to yours,my friend could be wrong,dont think so,but still possable.I got several connections,Ill check with them also,will let you know what I find out.hope it turns out in your favor,if so you got one rare car.I got the 89 T-BIRD SUPER COUPE DAVIE ALLISON BIRD.Bill Elliot just did the LX modle in 89.

This car was probably part of a DSO special order batch, it was not uncommon for dealers to get together and order a small group of identical cars as a promotion, and they would be sold in a specific geographic area. This car may have a 6-digit DSO on the sticker. I have a list of the Cougar special promotions which took place 1967-1973 and they are quite numerous, sometimes involving as few as 5 cars. The 1976 Thunderbird Commemorative Editions are another example, these are the ones with the Continental-style hump on the trunk, and all were painted black. I think maybe there were 32 of them. They are part of www.tbirdregistry.com

I checked the data sticker of this car, it is on eBay, and it has a regular DSO code of 17, for the Washington DC ordering district. No special DSO code. http://www.tbirdregistry.com/viewdatasheet.aspx?RegistryNumber=35044


I hate to tell everyone but Ford did build a 1986 Talladega T-Bird. there were only 500 units built in 1986. All of the came in red. The engine of choice was the 302 V-8 Transmission was Auto. It was a tribute from Ford to Bill Elliott for first Winston Million in NASCAR winner. Please stop before sending any e-mails that I am wrong. Bill Elliott in the 85 Nascar season won 11 races, 11 poles and won the Wiston Million. This was an attempt from Ford to get the public in the showroom to purchase T-Birds. Bill Elliott also ran over 220 MPH at Talladega Raceway and was one of the main reason for the restrict plates for Daytona and Talladega to slow the cars down. The other reason that I know this information is that I personnel purchased a 1986 Talladega ThunderBird. It was my very First new car ever. I was planning on getting a SS Monte Carlo, the car was being test driven, I walked across the street in Hurt VA to the Ford dealership and the T-bird was being off loaded. I asked the sales manager if the car was for sale? He told me it was and ask if I wanted to tet drive the car. Here is a 18 yr old kid, and was treated like an adult. Before I even test drove the car we made a deal and had my stepfather co-sign the loan the loan for me. (Love a small town went to school with not only the sale's manager but also the owner of the dealership. The onwer to make sure that I take care of the car because there were only going to be 500 of the made and I was lucky enough to get one since he has been getting calls to transfer the car to other dealerships because they had customers wanting to purchase the car. I was told that they had a Doctor driving from Roanoke to buy the car. Once again I want to thank my step-father JR Roberston of Hurt VA. for helping me purchase the car. All the nay sayers can say what they want, I know for a fact the Ford did build them, and that they are rare cars. Mine was stolen in Alamgordo NM when I was stationed there when I was in the Air Force, while I was in Desert-Storm.

1 people found this helpful.

I don't think anyone is disputing the existence of such a Thunderbird. I was just explaining what the codes mean on the data sticker. No argument intended.


I know this posting is over a year old but after reading the replies I had to put my 2 cents in. I will attest to the fact that these cars are in fact real. I haven't owned one (wish I did) but have seen a couple of these cars over the years and actually took some pics of one of them a few years ago and if I can find the pics I will post a pic of that car with the Bill Elliot emblem on the front fender. it was red as all of them were. I was told by the owner that it was a special edition and only 500 of these Talladega T-Birds were made. And YES it was called a "T-Bird" not a Thunderbird. From my recalation these cars were only offered in the southern states at Ford dealerships near or within a few hundred miles of the Talladega racetrack but I would imagine if someone knew about them up north, they could have special ordered one too. But they ARE REAL. In 1985, Elliott earned 11 wins and 11 poles out of 28 races and also won the first Winston Million in the Southern 500 at Darlington. This earned him the nickname "Million Dollar Bill", and "Awesome Bill From Dawsonville." He won the Daytona 500, the Winston 500 at Talladega (Elliot ran at a record average speed 186.288 MPH) and the Southern 500 to earn the Winston Million. This led to him becoming the first NASCAR driver to be featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated. Elliott finished second in the championship standings by 101 points, losing the Winston Cup Championship to Darrell Waltrip after a string of poor finishes in the last quarter of the season. . .Kenny/MrBlueOval


You may not ever see thiis, but I am adding more info. Here is the basics on the 86 Bird. There was not an actual "Talladega T Bird" built but they not only ran in NASCAR but were one of the fastest ever. Here is an excerpt from Edmunds: The 1986 Thunderbird got a new center high-mounted stoplight (CHMSL) like every other 1986 model car sold in the U.S., but other changes were slight. The 5.0-liter V8 now used multipoint fuel injection that brought its output up to 150 hp, but the other engines carried forward unchanged. Sales rebounded slightly to 163,695 Thunderbirds. Besides its success in the showroom, the aerodynamic Thunderbird proved an amazing success on NASCAR racetracks with competitors like Bill Elliott (who won 11 races during 1985) driving it to unheard of speeds. At the 1986 Winston 500 at Alabama International Speedway in Talladega, Elliott qualified his T-Bird on the pole with a shocking 212.229 mph qualifying speed. In fact only one car would ever be a quicker stock car…the next T-Bird.

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I no long er own the car but as you should see from some of the above replies from people who have owned or have knowlege of them they are most certainly real. you are just plain mistaken that there was not an actual Talladega T-Bird built. much like my AMC Eagle Sundancer and my Prototype Datsun 1500 roadster, they are just so plain obscure that it's almost impossible to find accurate information about them. the only folks who are familiar with them are the ones who owned one themself or knew someone who owned one back in the day. the fact you don't know anything about them or can't find information on the internet about them doesn't mean that they do not exist or are "not real"

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My info said that Ford built a few hundred of special equiped Birds to make them legal for NASCAR but they didn't call them anythng but Thunderbirds. Yes, they did have special equipment but not a designation. If I could find ANYTHING to say there was an actual "TALLADEGA" T-Bird I would not only send it to you but send my apologies for not knowing about it. It is like one of my 65's. It is a "Special Landeau" and it is in the books as that, BUT, it was originally built to be the 10th anniversary car and upper management cancelled it mid-stream. There is no 10th anniversary model.


You know, this post was originally poste in April of 2011. That was about 2-1/2 years ago. I think it's time to let this thread go. The guy who first posted had/has a pic of the car shown so we know it isn't in his imagination. The car IS REAL folks. Why argue that fact. I've personally seen one of these cars too and I also KNOW that IT'S REAL. The car was a special edition like the S&H Torinos in '76. or the California Special or Colorado High Country Mustangs back in the late 1960's. Ford did many, many different special edition cars and trucks to get the general public to buy a certain vehicle that wasn't selling up to par or they just wanted more sales. So let's put this thread to bed, The car exists. Kenny / MrBlueOval


It just had my curisity up and I just had to research it. I have a lot of Ford history available so I thought I would give it a shot.

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As I stated some time ago I know for a fact that these cars were built because I personally bought one in Hurt VA. FORD may not have kept any records of the car but they are out there so I would like to find another one. Has to be real not a clone. If anyone knows of one please contact me.


I am afraid if I find a real one first and it is in good shape, I will buy it first.


The challenge has been accepted. Gentlemans wager to whom ever finds and purchase one first.

I had a friend that had similar 86 t-bird. It's the reason I found this thread. Was looking for 1 or better info on what it was. It looked a lot like the one in the pic! With ground effects kinda lookn like gt stang effects! Also had the wing and a custom grill!! Had multi point efi 5.0. But it was 2 tone silver and grey! If the tala taladega t-birds were only red, does anyone know what this car was? Or could it be a taladega? Saw 1 other in my life! In the same color as his!!


Dealers may have did the add on's to try to get foot traffic because of Bill Elliott. Also Ford may have decide to build a few. If so this would be a really rare car. As I have stated about the 86 TALLADEGA" T-Bird was produce by ford and sold through select dealership mostly in the South and Southeast. They are rare but so are the Monty Carlo areo coup's. I hope this helps. If you have a picture would love to see it I may be able to ID the car better for you.


Well, I haven't given up. I found a Ford "Talladega Spoiler" Registery. Go to this link: http://www.talladegaspoilerregistry.com/2011/07/09/69-ford-talladega-for-sale/ Let me know if it is of any help. Good luck.

I had a 85 t bird bill Elliot special light bluish grey color ground effects rear spoiler 302 v8 it had throttle body fuel injection gold honey comb wheels I still have pics somewhere I will try find and post

I have just come across a 1of 1 special ordered 1985 super bird with 5 speed manual, NASCAR ground effects bought by NASCAR driver in 1985 camelion Brown turbo 4


If anyone looks at this and still wants one of these cars I have one for sale

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I just found a 1988 Bill Elliott Edition ! only 50 where build ! you guys have any info on them ???


there was a Bill Elliot Ford dealership in Georgia back in the late 1980's. they sold exclusively Bill Elliot Edition Thunderbirds. it was a dealer option ONLY at that dealer. Here's a good website with more info and some pics about these cars. http://victrolla.homeip.net/1988BillElliottFord/index.htm Good luck, Have you driven a ...FORD Lately ? Kenny/MrBlueOval


I have one of the Bill Elliot's LX v6 Thunderbird it was my grandfathers, I think it came from bill Elliot ford. Any info would be great!

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Quite rare now but not highly desirable, these "Signature Edition" Thunderbirds were cars that Bill Elliot Ford (not owned by Bill Elliot) sent out to a custom coachbuilder or conversion center (probably a local shop) to get customized with ground effects and special decals/badging. Bill Elliott Ford was a Ford dealership in north Georgia that was NOT owned by Bill Elliott. His name was "purchased" to use on the dealership because of his popularity and success on the NASCAR track at the time. The dealer kept that name for about 5 years or so. All new car dealers did that kind of stuff way back when and still do as minor to major customizing on certain vehicles to bring in customers to their lots. Conversion vans are excellent examples of this type. Bill Elliot Ford happened to do that with about 100 or so of their new 1985- early 90's Thunderbirds (actual breakdown of years and amounts not known) that they had on their lot because Bill Elliot was a well-known NASCAR driver at the time. He was from the local area and had just set the world speed record of 211 mph at Daytona and won the race twice in 1985 and 1987. So anything with his name on it was a huge seller at the time (mid to late 1980's) as were these special "Signature Edition" custom T-birds. These are not worth that much more than a comparable same year stock T-Bird of the same year, in same condition unless you find a diehard Bill Elliot fan that wants one and even then since most of the customizing is of just special decals and add-on's, they are just not a high-dollar collectible but good for a conversation piece at cruise-nights and car shows. Here's another website with similar info. on these cars. http://victrolla.homeip.net/1988BillElliottFord/ Kenny/MrBlueOval

they are real. they were made for bill elliots record run at talladega. I own one. they were all royal maroon.


Found one for sale in central illinois if anyone is still looking

hi , just thought I would try and find out about my Thunderbird,I live in Canada .I have a 1985 thunderbird with the wing,ground effects and extented grill, nobody up here can tell me what I have.The car is black with grey interior and came loaded with options but only a v6.I had not seen another one with the same body kit untill I came on this website and saw the pictures .Reading the replys from your readers has been interesting.the Talladega option sounds rare but I dont know how one would get sent here to the white north.thanks Ken in Toronto

I have an 86 Talladega T Bird. they all are 86's and royal maroon with gold stripes and gold silver wheels. Every one I have seen was a 5.0 car You may have a another limited production car,I don't know. Here's a picture of my T Bird,it's all original . I will try to find out if they made any low production T Birds in 85. Best wishes, Billy

here's a better picture of my T Bird

Here's one of mine.

Very nice,I have never seen that grille before.

Yes, the grill is different than any grill I have seen on a T- bird of this year.Maybe someone out there has information on this oddball grill design.The car is all original except for the Mustang wheels and has been in my family since about 1986 or1987.Thanks for the feed back on my car and the picture of your car, it looks a little faster than my v6!!!!!!!! Ken

Ken,you are not going to believe this but, I found a T Bird like your. Do a search of Hemmings Find of the Day – 1986 Ford Thunderbird Elan ,and see all the picture. there is more then one. take care, Billy

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