It has the looks of a dauntless sporting vehicle, yet it is a lot different from the Chevrolet Corvette, its chief rival. The Ford Thunderbird rather came more equipped with features and accessories. And it did not developed into a full blown sports car, but was rather considered a personal luxury vehicle.
Introduced in September 1954 as a 1955 model, the Ford Thunderbird was intended to be Ford's answer to the Chevrolet Corvette. It was a two-seater open car that was categorized by Ford as a personal luxury car. It, however, resembles the shape and style of a sports car.
Further production models clearly spelled its difference from the Chevrolet Corvette. While the Corvette was aimed to become the ultimate sports car, the Ford Thunderbird's subsequent designs were clearly directed on making it a luxury car. It was offered as a 4-seater and 5-seater car in 1958 and was fitted in various body styles and types in the following years until production ended in 1997.
The Ford Thunderbird took many shapes and designs after the 1957 model year. A 1958 redesign gave it a square face while a later redesign in 1961 made it look like a bullet. Many further styling modifications were made with the Ford Thunderbird until 1967 when it was fitted to a larger body. The 1966 Ford Thunderbird was actually considered by many as the last of the classic Thunderbirds.
1967 marked the introduction of a new and larger Ford Thunderbird. Ford Thunderbirds manufactured from this year shared its chassis and most of its component with the Lincoln Continental Mark III which was introduced a year after and the Mercury Cougar, which was introduced on a much later date.
The styling trend for the Ford Thunderbird was reversed in 1977 when the car shrunk in size and was at that point based on the Ford Torino. It got even smaller in 1980 when it took the body of the smaller Ford Fairmont. The car carried this body until it was last produced in 1997, although a 1983 redesign gave the car a sportier look.
A new breed of Ford Thunderbirds was again launched by Ford in 2002 which is still in production up to this date. It resembled the classic Thunderbirds in its two-seater design and is available in a convertible with removable hardtop body style. It is being powered by 3.9 DOHC 32V V8 engine that outputs 280 hp and 286 lb-ft of torque. The power provided by the engine is effectively transmitted to the wheels through an electronically controlled five-speed automatic transmission with overdrive.
Ford Thunderbirds are legendary and the current models are really elegant. They are personal luxury vehicles that are often mistaken for a sports car. You can make it perform like one, however, if you equip it with more powerful engines. Here at Parts Train, we offer you a complete line of Ford Thunderbird engines as well as other Ford Thunderbird parts that can make your Ford Thunderbird, old or new, perform better. We also have premium Thunderbird body parts and accessories that can further make your car more luxurious and more elegant.