The Exigencies Of Life

Exigency; n. an urgent need or demand

Two cousins of mine passed away in the last week. Both were in their 80s and I hadn’t seen one of them in decades although I spoke to her in 2018. Nevertheless, both were important parts of the tapestry of my family, which is spread all over the world.

We all have to deal with the cycle of life as frightening as that can be.

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Exigencies can be exogenous or endogenous; they can be universal or singular. For me, writing this blog has become a “must” event, an urgent need. That, no doubt, sounds trivial compared to the “real” world, but this blog gives me an outlet to be creative, to use my brain. On Saturday, Disaffected Musings will be two years old. By then I will have written about 660 posts, some of which have exceeded 1,000 words in length. I complain about the “lack” of views/visitors, but in the end my need for this blog is infinitely greater than that of its readers.

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OK, I have to show some blog stats for 2019. Yes, I HAVE to…

Thanks to 56PackardMan and the readers of the Studebaker Drivers Club (SDC) forum. With a late surge, the SDC forum became the biggest referrer to this blog in 2019.

 

Percentage of Blog Views By Referrer:

SDC Forum                 6.2%

Search Engines          6.1%

WordPress Reader    4.6%

Twitter                         3.2%

Hemmings                  2.2%

Packard Forum          1.7%

 

The Twitter number is extremely misleading as almost half of all Twitter referrals came in two days. Obviously, most blog views do not come from links shown elsewhere, but by people who are following the blog. Other sites referred readers, but none of the others reached one percent of the total.

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On this day in 2001 the 11th, and what turned out to be the last (at least as of now), generation of Ford Thunderbird debuted at the Detroit Auto Show. Without further ado:

 

See the source image

 

From duffys.com a picture of a 2002 Ford Thunderbird. I don’t think it’s an ugly car, but something about the shape is just “off” to me. Here’s another perspective of the same car:

 

See the source image

 

The rear bumper/valence sticks out too far for my tastes although I’m sure regulations and the technology of the day played a role. Maybe my brain wants a more angular, less round profile.

The car was successful its first year (model year 2002), with over 25,000 sold, despite some early bugs that delayed full production until the fall of 2001. After that, however, sales dropped dramatically every year until the plug was pulled after the 2005 model year.

As to why the car didn’t succeed many people have differing opinions. Some think not offering a manual transmission hurt sales. By the early part of this century more than 90% of all new cars sold in the US were equipped with automatics so I don’t think that was a significant factor. (In the third quarter of 2019 almost 99% of all new cars sold in the US had automatic transmissions.)

Some think the car was underpowered. In the first year the 3.9 liter/240 cubic-inch V8 (similar to the one available in Jaguar automobiles, remember that Ford owned Jaguar from 1990 to 2008) produced 252 HP/267 LB-FT of torque. For 2003 output was increased to 280 HP/286 LB-FT. Maybe a high-performance version with 400+ HP would have helped sales, maybe not. Foreign makes like BMW and Mercedes-Benz offered two-seat convertibles that were perceived to be better performers and, perhaps, that limited T-Bird sales.

I think it’s a shame that the “Ford Thunderbird” is no longer produced. I think Ford is lost in the wilderness at present and has abandoned car production too soon. I tweeted to Ford the idea of bringing the Thunderbird name back as an electric-powered sports car. What do you think? You Ford guys out there (and I don’t just mean you, C/2), where do you think the company has gone wrong and how can it be fixed?

 

#CycleOfLife

#2002FordThunderbird

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

If you like this blog please tell your friends and share the blog URL (https://disaffectedmusings.com). Thanks.

 

4 thoughts on “The Exigencies Of Life

  1. I wish Ford would have used the Thunderbird name on its new electric car, not a $50,000+ Mustang SUV that is just not what a Mustang is.

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  2. I always liked Thunderbirds, pretty much every generation. I think they would have had trouble slotting it in the lineup though. The Mustang is your 2 door performance coupe, and it’s pretty loaded with features (especially when you start paying for a Shelby). I’m not sure Ford wanted to play in the roadster sandboxes occupied by Miatas, SLCs and SLKs, Z4s or even Corvettes, at least not under the Thunderbird name.

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    1. Thanks for your comment.

      I still think a latent market exists in the T-Bird’s original niche, the personal luxury car. The number of US households headed by single people or married couples without children far outnumber those “traditional” households of a couple with children. A well-styled, good-performing car could still sell, IMO. Of course, I could be wrong.

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