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1979 Ford Thunderbird
Heritage Edition

The most exclusive, best equipped Thunderbird for 1979


Years Available: 1979 only

Introduction Date: October 6, 1978

Body Color Codes:
2H - Red Glow
2J - Maroon
3F - Light Medium Blue
3L - Midnight Blue Metallic
5P - Pastel Chamois
9D - Polar White

Heritage Two Tone Paint Combinations:
9D2J - Top: Polar White/Bottom: Maroon
5P2J - Top: Pastel Chamois/Bottom: Maroon
(Note: Top color is above the bodyside molding, bottom color is below.)

Heritage Exterior Color Combinations:
(In order of production popularity)
1. Maroon/Maroon Vinyl Roof
2. Light Medium Blue/Light Medium Blue Vinyl Roof
3. Polar White/White Vinyl Roof (Red interior)
4. Polar White/White Vinyl Roof (Blue interior)
5. Polar White and Maroon Two Tone/Maroon Vinyl Roof
6. Polar White/Maroon Vinyl Roof (Red interior)
7. Polar White/Light Medium Blue Vinyl Roof
8. Red Glow/Maroon Vinyl Roof (Red Leather)
9. Midnight Blue/Light Medium Blue Vinyl Roof
10. Pastel Chamois and Maroon Two Tone/Maroon Vinyl Roof

Triband Body Tape Stripes:
5 - Dark Blue (Light Medium Blue and some Polar White cars)
9 - Gold (Red Glow, Maroon, Midnight Blue, Pastel Chamois, and Polar White cars)

Vinyl Roof Code:
XD - Maroon Lugano Grain Padded Vinyl Roof (X=Lugano Grain Vinyl; D=Maroon)
X2 - Light Medium Blue Lugano Grain Padded Vinyl Roof (X=Lugano Grain Vinyl; 2=Light Medium Blue)
X4 - White Lugano Grain Padded Vinyl Roof (Y=Lugano Grain Vinyl; 4=White)

Interior Trim Code:
TB - Blue Luxury Cloth
TD - Dark Red Luxury Cloth
UB - Ultra-Soft Blue Leather Seating Surfaces*
UD - Ultra-Soft Dark Red Leather Seating Surfaces*

*Cars with leather feature Interior Luxury Group sew style

Price: $10,687.00
Production: 18,994 (production by color being researched)

1979 Ford Thunderbird Heritage Edition in Maroon

The question for the 1979 Thunderbird was: What becomes a legend most? After 1978's record setting sales, Ford was not inclined to rock the boat very much, and after all imitation is supposed to be the sincerest form of flattery, is it not? So when the new 1979 Thunderbird Heritage was introduced, there wasn't much new to see. It offered the same standard equipment as the previous years' Diamond Jubilee Edition, plus a few new items, which allowed it to remain one of the best equipped cars on the road in standard form in 1979. Many of the same unique custom touches were still in place, most notably the thickly padded vinyl roof that concealed the rear sail panel windows. In a style-conscious market like the one the T-bird competed in, some changes were necessary to remain competitive, so the few changes made were very noticeable. For instance new front and rear styling was provided, as were special Heritage color combinations and other details to set the 1979 models apart.

Up front, a new bolder grille appeared which immediately put observers on notice that this was something new. Bringing up the rear, the full-width taillamps of the previous two years were replaced by new divided taillamps with Thunderbird insignia and a single center back-up light, bringing back memories of the 1964 Thunderbirds. "THUNDERBIRD" was spelled out across the face of the back-up light lens.

The mild restyle worked, as sales of the Thunderbird remained strong in its third and final year of this body style. Big change would be coming again for 1980, as Ford sought to lower its Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) figures. The smaller 1980 Thunderbird would not be embraced by the public as the 1977-1979 cars had, and the early eighties would be difficult for the Bird.

For those who purchased the last of the mid-sized Thunderbirds in 1979, they took home a well built car that was quiet and demonstrated good attention to quality control. These Thunderbirds are quiet, roomy, very comfortable, and a pleasure to drive. And in the case of the Heritage models, they're among the most luxurious of any T-bird ever built.


5.0 Litre (302 CID) 2V V-8 Engine*
DuraSpark Ignition System
Select Shift Automatic Transmission
Extended Range 27.5-Gallon Fuel Tank (New on Heritage)
Formal Padded Valino-Grain Vinyl Roof
Heritage Script on Vinyl Roof Rear Quarter
Wide Color-Keyed Vinyl-Insert Bodyside Moldings
Partial Wheel Lip Moldings
Rocker Panel Moldings (New on Heritage)
Hand Stitched Leather Covered Instrument Panel Pad
36 Ounce Interior Cut-Pile Carpeting
22K Gold Finish Owner Nameplate [image link opens in new window]
Seat Belt Reminder Chime
Triband Bodyside Tape Stripes
Door Plaques with Owner's Initials (New on Heritage)
Deluxe Bumper Group with Color-Keyed Front and Rear Bumper Rub Strips
Color-Keyed Cast Aluminum Wheels
Color-Keyed Grille Texture
Color-Keyed Jewel-Like Hood Ornament
Split Bench Seats with Unique Biscuit Design Sew Style and Thunderbird
  Insignia on Upper Seat Back Bolsters
Luxury Cloth Headlining
Bright Pedal Trim (New on Heritage)
Color-Keyed 18-oz. Trunk Carpeting and Molded Deck Lid Liner
Power Windows
6-Way Power Driver's Seat
Manual Passenger Side Recliner
Power Lock Group (Power Door Locks and Electric Deck Lid Release)
Illuminated Entry System
Driver and Passenger Illuminated Visor Vanity Mirrors
Front Seatback and Door Panel Assist Straps
Sports Instrumentation Cluster
Tilt Steering Wheel
Leather Wrapped Luxury Steering Wheel
Fingertip Speed Control (New to Heritage)
Ebony Woodtone Interior Appliques
White Sidewall Radial Tires
AM/FM Stereo Search Radio
Power Antenna
Dual Remote Control Sport Mirrors
Unique Car Keys with Ebony Woodtone Accents
Front Cornering Lamps
Luxury Sound Insulation Package
SelectAire Conditioner (Manual control)
Tinted Glass
Interior Luxury Group—includes:
  Convenience Group (left and right-hand remote control mirrors,
      Interval Windshield Wipers, Automatic Parking Brake Release,
      and Trip Odometer
  Light Group (Dual Beam Map Lights, Lights under instrument panel,
      in glove compartment, ash tray, trunk and engine compartments,
      "Door Ajar" light in instrument cluster, "Headlights On" Warning Buzzer)

*302 CID 2V V-8 Engine not available with California or High Altitude Emission System

1979 Thunderbird Heritage Edition Luxury Cloth Split Bench Seats

Above: Heritage interior shown in Dark Red Luxury Cloth (trim code TD) with Unique Biscuit Sew Style and Thunderbird Insignia on Upper Seat Back Bolsters

Presenting Heritage:
Classic styling and spirit
for the discerning collector.

1979 Ford Thunderbird Heritage Edition Script

Above: Heritage Script On Vinyl-Covered Roof Sail Panel

1979 Thunderbird Heritage Formal Padded Valino-Grain Vinyl Roof

Above: Heritage Formal Padded Valino-Grain Vinyl Roof in Maroon (roof code YD) with Heritage Script
(Note the Gold Triband Bodyside Tape Stripes)

1978 Ford Thunderbird Heritage Edition instrument panel

Above: Heritage Edition Leather Covered Instrument Panel with Ebony Woodtone Appliques, Leather Wrapped Steering Wheel, and Sports Instrumentation Cluster
(Note the Leather Wrapped Luxury Steering Wheel with newly standard Fingertip Speed Control)

1979 Ford Thunderbird Heritage Edition 22K Owner Nameplate

Above: 22K Gold Finish Owner's Nameplate
(This nameplate and the two door plaques were mailed directly to the owner shortly after the car was delivered. Once the dealer advised how they were to read, they were quickly made and shipped out. The owner could install them with enclosed directions, or have the dealer do it.)

View our Heritage pages for other color combinations:

1979 Thunderbird Heritage in Light Medium Blue