By the mid-1990s, the Thunderbird was far removed from the two-seat convertible it debuted as more than forty years prior. The tenth-generation Thunderbird was a large, four-seat, two-door coupe that emphasized luxury – or as luxurious as a Ford could get at the time.

In 1996, Ford discontinued the Super Coupe trim and its powerful supercharged V6 engine, which made 230 horsepower and 330 pound-feet of torque. Instead, there was a 3.8-liter V6 making 140 hp or a V8 making 205 hp. With just two engine choices, the demise of the Thunderbird was near before an awkward revival five years later in 2002.