Ford Thunderbird, 11 Generations of Classics
Ford Thunderbird is one of the most well known classic cars to date. There are over 11 generations of Thunderbirds, ranging from the 1950s to late 2005. We got the opportunity to see a pristine 2005 Ford Thunderbird at the New Hope Auto Show, and it got us remembering the Ford Thunderbirds of the past.
Most classic car owners have specific memories of the Ford Thunderbird. Whether it be a faint memory of cruising along in a now vintage 1950s classic, or buying a beat up Thunderbird in your teens, the Ford Thunderbird is a special and unique automobile. We found cars from each generation for sale online.
Dreamt up in the early 1950s, the Ford Company designed the Thunderbird to compete with Chevy’s Corvette. While at first extremely popular, the addition to a spare tire mounted on the trunk added extra weight that negatively affected steering. The car was redesigned, and once again, shattered sales records. Ford aimed to have an even more successful run with the Ford Thunderbird in the 60′s.
Second and third generations of Thunderbirds were sold throughout the late fifties and mid-sixties. Now featuring a new engine, new look, and sportier feel, the car continued to be extremely popular. So popular, in fact, it was used during the inaugural parade for John F. Kennedy. Today, these classics are very valuable, definitely requiring extra cover protection while in storage or parked outdoors.
When the third generation transitioned the fourth generation Thunderbirds from 1964-66, small but significant changes were made, such as new turn signals and disc brakes.
The fifth generation Ford Thunderbird, ’67-’71 was vastly different looking in appearance. Hoping to mimic the success of the Ford Mustang, the Thunderbird became a bit sleeker.
The sixth generation of T-Birds weren’t as successful as the previous. Some blame the heavier body for it’s poor performance.
Ford moved in on Oldsmobile’s Cutlass with the seventh generation T-Bird sedan. Responding to the demand for more fuel efficient cars, the ’77-’79 Seventh Generation Thunderbird was downsized.
The eighth generation T-Bird, ’72-’76, reflected Ford’s desire to create an all around more smaller and more environmentally friendly car. This model was not popular with former T-Bird enthusiasts, who felt that the integrity of their classic T-Bird was lost. However, today some classic car owners and T-Bird enthusiasts prefer the model.
The ninth generation of T-Bird, made from ’83-’88 was completely redesigned. The new model was much smaller than the previous, giving it a better fuel efficiency and a wider targeted audience.
The tenth generation of the Thunderbird, from ’89-’97. Over the better part of a decade, the interior and exterior of the Thunderbird was tweaked and altered. It was discontinued in 1997.
The revamped eleventh generation of Thunderbird was sleeker, and more reminiscent of the 50′s and 60′s models. Looking to capture the essence of the first few generations of T-Bird, Ford automotive was disappointed with lackluster sales, and released the last T-Bird in 2005.
What’s your favorite generation of Thunderbird?
There are no comments on this entry.
There are no trackbacks on this entry.