Tag: squarebird

By on October 14, 2010

What exactly is the American Dream? Was it easier to answer that question fifty years ago? If you were seven years old, and had just arrived from Austria at the same time this 1961 Thunderbird first appeared, the answer is definitely yes. What more was there to aspire to then this? Seeing fifty of these convertibles in Kennedy’s Inaugural Parade only cemented the image. In America anyone could realistically aspire to own a car that actually looked like a Dream Car in a car show, one that would glamorously jet you away from the humdrum of ordinary life, if not exactly rocket you to the moon. Yes, in the fall of 1960, Ford was building my dream. But it was short-lived.

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By on December 1, 2009

once the high flyer, now grounded

NB: The car pictured here is a 1959 Thunderbird, but my article is about its near identical 1958 predecessor, because of its historical significance. I hope the dissonance won’t upset the purists here. I could never tell them apart as a kid anyway.

Behold the mythical winged dream machine. The 1958 Thunderbird was the embodiment of the dream where everyday folks would fly above the humdrum of dull workaday existence and dowdy sedans. Once the realm of the privileged few, luxury and exclusivity was now in the grasp of every hard working dreamer; after all, the T Bird was still a Ford. If Ol’ Henry could fulfill the once unthinkable dream of putting every American on wheels, then surely Hank II and his Whiz Kids could do the same with wings. And for a dozen years or so, the Thunderbird soared, and revolutionized the industry by creating the attainable personal luxury genre. Perhaps it tried to fly too high, or the dream changed, because it soon fell back to earth. And after it crashed, and had its wings tacked onto a blinged-out Torino, a piece of the American dream died with it. (Read More…)

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