Tag: T-Bird

By on February 11, 2010

No, there’s no Mark III, V or VI to be found here, at least for now. Just as well. But I’ve been sitting on this Mark VII for almost a year, from the looks of the daffodils blooming (and they are, hereabouts). But the Mark VII was a different animal altogether. Quite the radical break, but then Ford had more than hit the end of the road with the ugly, boxy wallowing stuff they’d been pushing out the door for decades. Their near-brush with bankruptcy in 1980 resulted in a whole new regime and approach: headed by the pragmatic but car enthusiast Donald Petersen. But development money was tight, so the Town Car became immortal. But a relatively low-budget solution to the dead-end Mark VI was handy in the form of the new aero-Thunderbird. (Read More…)

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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