Different Versions Of Ford Thunderbird Series

This article is all about Different Versions Of Ford Thunderbird Series

Ford Thunderbird

There are few cars that have been as long-lived as the Ford Thunderbird.

This specific model capable of being in production for more than 40 years in the 20th century and that was even recovered for 3 years of the 21st century.

Different Versions Of Ford Thunderbird Series

Different Versions Of Ford Thunderbird Series

Why it’s Thunderbird?

Doesn’t the name Thunderbird seem curious to you?

It is a name that comes from the folklore of the Native American Indians of the Arizona and New Mexico area. Its meaning is “thunder bird”.

According to the mythology of the natives, this Thunderbird ruled in the sky, helped men and with its great wings created winds, thunder and storms. Those storms allowed desert natives to get water and survive, making him one of the most beloved gods of the time.

Best of all, this name only cost Ford to $ 250 (dollars) . In a contest created by the brand to choose a name, since the previous options (Fairlane and Savile) were not attractive, the winner was Alden Giberson with the proposal of “Thunderbird”.

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Different versions of Thunderbird

The vehicle, so popular and so long-lived, had up to 14 different versions in its almost 50 years of life. These versions were as follows (in chronological order from 1955 to 2005):

Classic Birds

First model presented in Detroit in 1954. Its popularity was such that in its first 10 days there were up to 3,500 requests. In fact, Ford only planned to manufacture 10,000 Thunderbird, but considering that in one year it managed to sell almost 17,000, expectations were more than exceeded.

A convertible car, with possible convertible roof, V8 Y-Block engine and 198 horsepower for the most daring and innovative.

Square birds

Second version of Thunderbird. Its main evolution, due to user complaints, was to increase the interior space of the vehicle and include the 4- seater models. The Little Birds were too small inside, so with this new versions sales continued to increase thanks to improved comfort.

The name comes from the fact that the vehicle was no longer elongated, like the Little Birds, but square. There is the name of “Square”.

Bullet birds

The name makes it clear that the Thunderbird’s design changed. It went from being a very square car with closed corners to being filled with much smoother angles and lines. The car was much closer to the ground, looking cleaner and neater and with an engine of the most powerful of the time.

Flair birds

The Bullet design, despite being an initial success, went out of fashion in the mid-1960s. Again it seemed that the market was looking for something more “traditional”, so Ford changed the design of the sides and the back to give them a more “formal” look.

Glamour Birds

With the arrival of the Ford Mustang, it was Ford’s turn to upgrade the Thunderbird if it did not want to lose its privileged position. It was given a more aggressive and sporty look but, above all, the cost of acquiring it was much lower to compete with the Mustang. Despite the changes, the Ford Mustang outperformed it and “stole” its position of power.

Bunkie’s Birds

This remake of the early ’70s was quite controversial, as its fenders and center grille were too strangely designed. In fact, it was doubted that the Bunkie’s were very safe, although the truth is that in terms of comfort and motor the evolution with respect to the Glamours was quite good.

Big birds

Ford decided in the mid- 1970s that they needed the Thunderbird to “grow.” And so it was, since in 1972 its engine was increased to a 7-liter V-8 and the dimensions of the car were such that it came to weigh almost 2.5 tons. The problem? Too high consumption and a bad time, since the oil crisis of ’73 made everyone look for more profitable options.

Torino Birds

In the face of the crisis Ford had to backtrack and created a much smaller Thunderbird. Despite maintaining all its style and range, the vehicle had drastically reduced its consumption and had lost that colossal magnitude of the Big Bird.

Box birds

The following evolution of the market led all cars to become “squares”. The curves disappear and all the edges and peaks of the Ford Thunderbird become aggressive and square. Beyond the aesthetic change, a new standard V-6 engine was installed.

Aero birds

The Box Birds did not like the new head of Ford (Jack Telnant) and asked that the design be sporty and exclusive again, moving away from the previous more affordable and accessible models. The vehicle was completely redesigned, again became more aerodynamic and aggressive, and its segment ranged from general to tall.

Bubble birds

Trying to compete with the BMW 6 Series, Ford decided to reinvent the Thunderbird to give it a similar look. It was not a great success, the BMW sold much more and the redesign annoyed several of the fans of the classic Thunderbird.

Super birds

Ford wasted no time taking a step back from the Bubble. It returned to give a sophisticated design, loaded and a motor with power (V6) for this new range. Still, sales declined, causing the Thunderbird to cease production after more than 40 years until 2002.

Retro Birds

Recovery of the Thunderbird in 2002 that had all the retro touches adapted to a new generation Jaguar engine. At a price of $ 40,000 and with a production of 25,000 vehicles, Ford was overcome with more than twice as many requests. Over the years its demand dropped and it was removed from dealerships in 2005.

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