For those who grew up during the Truman and Eisenhower administrations, or perhaps were influenced by movies like “American Graffiti,” the hot rod is an iconic part of the youth culture of the era. Countless aging enthusiasts spend a great deal of time and money modifying, maintaining, and showing off classic Detroit iron.
It makes me wonder if, in 50 years or so, will some of my friends still be showing off tuned and slammed Hondas? Will Bozi unfold his tennis ball-clad walker from the rear of his WRX so he can polish the finish one more time before the judges arrive? Will Bark still be preaching about his FiST from a Kentucky retirement home?
There are clearly those who still want the classic styling of the ’50s-vintage cars, with modern(-ish) performance and convenience. Whomever built this 1996 Ford Thunderbird is obviously in that category. I know I’d rather not commute in a two-ton car with drum brakes all the way around.
The seller claims that the sheetmetal has been grafted directly from a 1949 Ford onto the Thunderbird. There is a firm offering a fiberglass kit to restyle these cars, so the distinction is important. That, or the seller is lying through his big reproduction grille. Either way, it looks like the work was done reasonably well, though there are a few stress cracks in the Bondo that will need attention.
Remarkably, the car has only 25,000 miles on the odometer. The interior looks a bit tired for such low miles, though the Albuquerque climate likely has aged the plastics more than some other locations.
Too few cars are offered with red interiors now, by the way. I’d like to see more.
I have to wonder how “real” hot rodders would accept this and other similar cars. I know it’s not to my particular taste, but there are clearly those who want a Thunderbird with different styling.