Ford Thunderbird

From Ford press: A new generation of even more luxurious Thunderbirds started with the 1972 model. Only a two-door model was offered. The emphasis was on styling and comfort.

The 1972 Thunderbird was on a 120.4 wheelbase (5.4 inches longer) and overall length was 216 inches. The car weighed 4,596 pounds.

Strikingly handsome and formal in appearance, it achieved new levels of luxury and comfort, even for the Thunderbird. Michelin radial-ply steel-belted tires and bodyside protection molding were standard.

The standard power front disc brakes were re-designed to provide more positive braking and longer brake life than previous systems. The number of parts in the all-new braking system was reduced from 26 to 12 for even greater reliability and quicker service. The Sure-Track Brake Control System was added as optional equipment.

The Ford Thunderbird reached its pinnacle as a personal luxury car with the 1975 model. Skipping the traditional three-year styling change for the first time, the 1975 design was basically the same as the previous model, except that the car was longer and heavier. Overall length was 223.9 inches, and the weight was 5,101.

The added length was to accommodate Ford's most powerful engine, the 460 CID V-8, and much of the added weight was accounted for by the addition of air conditioning - and the bigger engine - as standard equipment.

Other standard refinements were concealed windshield wipers, a distinctive opera window, dense-grain vinyl roof, solid-state ignition, power side windows, automatic seat-back release, spare tire lock and white sidewall, steel-belted, radial tires.

Available for the first time were power four-wheel disc brakes, making Thunderbird one of the few American-built cars to offer this safety-enhancing feature. The four-wheel disc brakes were more consistent when hot or wet and stopped the vehicle in shorter distances than conventional front disc/rear drum braking systems. Other options were power mini-vent windows, quick-defrost windshield and rear window and moon roof.

Gallery: Ford Thunderbird