As regular readers of Disaffected Musings know I am not a big FoMoCo fan. I simply cannot completely divorce the company from its founder. That being said something I saw/read this morning in History of the American Auto by the Auto Editors of Consumer Guide® gave me the idea for this week’s throwback post.
From curbsideclassic.com a picture of a 1955 Ford Thunderbird.
From fastlanecars.com a picture of a 1995 Ford Thunderbird. History of the American Auto has a picture of both cars shown together and the caption shows statistics for both, such as:
1955: Two seats, 2,980 pound curb weight, 16,155 sales
1995: Five seats, 3,536 pounds, 104,254 sales
According to another book by the Auto Editors of Consumer Guide®, Encyclopedia of American Cars, 1995 production totaled 115,165. Whatever the actual 1995 number, many more of them were sold than of the 1955 model.
Thunderbird production declined from there and the car was discontinued after the 1997 model year only to be re-booted for its 11th and probably final generation in 2002. However, 1997 production was not substantially different from that of 1991 or 1992, it’s just that sales/production spiked from 1993 to 1995. Human beings seldom judge the world based solely on objective reality, but against expectations and the status quo.
The “Baby Birds” have become classics, but I like the looks of these mid-1990s Thunderbirds. Although the Super Coupe edition was available with a supercharged 232 cubic-inch V-6 rated at 230 HP/330 LB-FT of torque, for a 3,500+ pound car that output is still a little weak, in my opinion. The base engines had even less power.
As written before, Ford is basically a non-car company so unless it commits heresy and uses the Thunderbird name for an SUV or pickup truck, we will probably never see that name on a vehicle again. At present, Hemmings only has two 1993-97 Thunderbirds listed for sale, but has three bizarro 1990s/1950s Thunderbird mashup cars. The two original cars are both listed for about $11,000.
I’m reasonably sure I know what C/2 thinks, but what about the rest of you? Are any of you saddened by the loss of iconic automobile makes and models? If you could bring back one car model name, what would it be and what type of car would it be?
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