By on August 9, 2021

The special takes on the early 2000s Ford Thunderbird just keep on coming! Our first Thunderbird edit came from Ford, in the 007 Special Edition made in conjunction with the fairly terrible James Bond film Die Another Day. More recently, we took a look at a Chip Foose creation ordered up by Ford called the Speedbird.

In a similar vein, today’s Rare Ride comes from Ford customizer Saleen in conjunction with Californian wheel firm Bonspeed. Are you ready for retro?

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By on July 13, 2021

Today’s Rare Ride is a one-of-one – a light gold metallic and roof-free speedster. Underneath its considerably revised bodywork is none other than a 2002 Ford Thunderbird, a car Rare Rides has covered previously.

This very special Chip Foose design won at least one award in its day, and now it’s for sale (though not in Florida as one might expect.) Let’s check it out.

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By on March 25, 2021

We’ve been talking about Thunderbird often lately, whether it’s in a Buy/Drive/Burn, or a recent Rare Rides on the 007 Edition Thunderbird of 2003.

And earlier today the Internets served up a random ad for a teal 10th-generation T-bird in fantastic condition. Seems like a perfect opportunity to add it to our coverage of the long-lived personal luxury nameplate.

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By on March 23, 2021

Today’s B/D/B was suggested by commenter namesakeone, who posited that a couple of the cars featured in the worst halo cars article last week might make an interesting trio for this segment.

I needed to cover one more as a Rare Ride first, which is why we saw that Thunderbird yesterday. Requirement out of the way, it’s time to have our first multi-decade, Rare Rides-sourced Buy/Drive/Burn.

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By on March 22, 2021

Today’s Rare Ride was a part of a very limited run of Thunderbirds that coincided with the release of the last Pierce Brosnan era Bond film, Die Another Day.

It’s a car so special it’s probably almost priceless, and should be stored in a heated garage next to a Plymouth Prowler and/or Chevy SSR.

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By on November 16, 2020

The Ford Thunderbird is popular here at Rare Rides, apparently. Thus far, we’ve covered one from 1982 which was hacked into a convertible, and one from 1988 which was turbocharged and very good. Today’s Bird hails from 1979, which was the very last year the model was large(ish) and in charge.

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By on August 27, 2020

Ford Tbird 2002. Steve Lagreca/Shutterstock

I was channel surfing over the weekend and stumbled upon 2002’s Die Another Day, the last entry in the Pierce Brosnan era of James Bond flicks. Arguably the worst of the four. I’m a GoldenEye man myself, in no small part due to the video game that was big among my social groups in high school and on into college.

Anyway, while watching Die for about the fifth time this month (hey, it’s on Showtime a lot, what can I say?), I took note of the scene in which Halle Barry’s character pulls up to the ice-palace hotel in Iceland in a Ford Thunderbird. One of those retro models sold from 2002-2005 that came out with much fanfare — it was even a Motor Trend Car of the Year — before sales fell off a cliff. (Read More…)

By on August 11, 2020

Rare Rides featured exactly one example of the legendary Thunderbird name in previous entries: A late Eighties Turbo Coupe that was basically brand new. While the Turbo Coupe has a following amongst classic car folks, today’s early ’80s Thunderbird is not held in such high regard.

In fact, I’ll go ahead and call it the worst Thunderbird ever.

Bring on the Malaise.

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By on March 19, 2019

Once upon a time in the early 2000s, a special convergence of factors created three very special cars. The most important element in the cars’ creation was the motoring public’s desire for things that appeared “retro” in the early part of the millennium. This retro desire occurred around the same time as some meetings in Michigan, where executives at the Big Three surely conducted consumer clinics with retired old men.

Remember, you can only burn one of these.

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By on March 13, 2019

SAAB 9-5 Aero Wagon, Image: Saab

I hinted at today’s QOTD last week, when the original post for this line of questioning got the ball rolling. Last time we asked which non-luxury vehicles of 2019 were the most overpriced. The subsequent comments reflected a wide variety of nuanced opinions, ranging from “Everything over $25,000 is overpriced” to “Cars should come used from the factory.” Just kidding (maybe).

Today we step back over a decade and talk about everyone’s favorite rounded and cheap plastic era: the 2000s.

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By on February 5, 2019

Today’s Buy/Drive/Burn brings three big and brawny American luxury coupes from 1963. You’ll have to burn one — no exceptions.

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By on May 15, 2018

Last time on Buy/Drive/Burn, we checked out three C-body offerings from General Motors and forced you to choose one. The luxury flowed freely, and only limited salt was dashed upon its splendor.

Today we follow the same form with Ford, looking at offerings from three different brands riding on the same platform. Crack open a DEW and let’s get to it.

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By on January 25, 2018

Image: 1980 Pontiac Bonneville CoupeWe introduced the new Buy/Drive/Burn series back in December via a QOTD post (read that first for the rules). Shortly afterwards, the inaugural post in the series tackled the destruction of one of a trio of new luxury coupes. Those powerful and modern coupes are at the higher end of the market, which is just about the only place one finds luxury coupes today.

It wasn’t always that way — there used to be personal luxury for the masses. Coupes in the finest brougham tradition, exuding class, elegance, and sophistication. One of the best years for the personal luxury coupe (PLC) was 1980, right at the height of malaise and the downsizing trend. All are superb vehicles, surely. Which one burns, and which goes in your driveway, and which do you simply borrow from a friend?

And no, the Bonneville isn’t in the running. Too easy.

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By on July 29, 2017

Image: 1955 Imperial Coupe

The other weekend, I traveled down to the rolling green acres of Kentucky for the annual Keeneland Concours event. There was a wide selection of vehicles at the show, and I love taking pictures.

Read on if you’re ready for some vintage American luxury.

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By on June 28, 2017

Image: 1988 Thunderbird Turbo Coupe, via Craigslist

Check out these two words: Turbo Coupe. They roll off the tongue nicely, and all car enthusiasts should know exactly they mean — or used to. In 2017, they usually mean someone with a mullet is nearby, driving a beat-to-hell Thunderbird with peeling logos and ruined paint. Likely while listening to Whitesnake.

Our example today is what the term Turbo Coupe used to mean. It is perfect, painted a gleaming black, and on the floor there’s a five-speed manual. Here I go again…

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