I can't believe we haven't done a post on this generation of Thunderbird yet. We've already hit the mid-'80s version and some of the earlier gens have been mentioned here and there, but this one seems to be ripe for the Lust pickings. After all, time hasn't exactly been kind to it, having popped up on a few "Worst" lists, including Car & Driver's Dishonorable Mentions list of The 10 Most Embarrassing Award Winners in Automotive History:
Ford’s relaunch of the Thunderbird as a two-seater in 2002 seemed like such a good idea. The styling was gorgeous, the concept car had earned raves at every car show, and nostalgia for the 1955–57 two-seat Birds was at a fever pitch. . .The result was an overweight, softly sprung roadster that looked great outside, was agonizingly boring inside, and was dreary to drive. And at about $40,000, it was stupidly expensive. If anyone were to drive this T-Bird, it would be platinum-haired women prone to carrying small dogs wherever they go.
Not that I'd disagree with the overall assessment -- sales don't always tell the whole story, but they rarely tell an outright lie -- but I've still always fancied this generation and feel the need to raise its profile some and maybe cast it in a bit more of a favorable light.