Are we ready for a new Ford Thunderbird?
Today the Ford Thunderbird is a memory of the past, however, across its 11 generations, the Thunderbird helped define the future of Ford. Although the Thunderbird was briefly revived in 2002, we’d like to know what a Thunderbird built for 2020 would look like. To see if we’re ready for a Thunderbird revival, Photoshop master, TheSketchMonkey is on the case.
When the Thunderbird debuted in 1955, the personal Luxury coupe was the coolest Ford on sale. During its pre-mustang days, the Thunderbird was Ford’s sportiest offering during a time when all American car manufacturers had a gentleman's agreement not to go racing. This ban on race craft was famously broken by Ford during their bid to beat Ferrari at Le Mans.
Upon the debut of the Mustang, the Thunderbird left most of the sporty driving to the Mustang and went on to focus more on comfort. Although the Mustang and Thunderbird shared engines and even platforms, Ford tried their best to differentiate both cars allowing them to co-exist for some time. The Thunderbird continued on the comfort and style of a personal luxury vehicle, while the Mustang went racing.
Eventually, after an over 40-year production run, the Ford Thunderbird was canceled in 1997. Many reference the overwhelming popularity of the Mustang over the Thunderbird as the driving force for this decision.
The Thunderbird was revived in the early 2000s as a Jaguar-based throwback coupe that even included the iconic rear circle window. The controversial 11th generation Thunderbird used the same platform as the Lincoln LS and Jaguar S-Type. The Thunderbird also used Jaguar’s 3.9-liter V8 good for 252 horsepower.
It’s hard to tell if we’ll ever see the revival of the Thunderbird nameplate. If Ford has any interest in doing so, Thunderbird would’ve been a fantastic name for the Mustang Mach-E electric SUV.