Ford to kill the Thunderbird in July

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2005 Thunderbird to Be the Last for Ford
Fri Mar 11, 3:55 AM ET
By DEE-ANN DURBIN, AP Auto Writer
DETROIT - We had fun, fun, fun 'til Ford took the T-bird away. Again. Ford Motor Co. said Thursday the 2005 model year will be the last for the current-generation Ford Thunderbird, a retro-styled convertible that went on sale in August 2001.
Photo <http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/050310/480/dt10203102245 AP Photo <http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/050310/480/dt10203102245
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Ford had planned to discontinue the Thunderbird after the 2005 or 2006 model year but told employees Thursday production will end in July.
"We promised all along that this Thunderbird would have a limited production run, and we're being true to our word," Ford Division President Steve Lyons said. "Thunderbird was a terrific image builder for the Ford brand showroom at a time when we needed it."
The Wixom Assembly Plant northwest of Detroit, which produces the Thunderbird, will continue to make the Lincoln LS and Town Car and also will be the final assembly point for the Ford GT supercar, which was released last year.
The Thunderbird, one of Ford's most celebrated nameplates, first went on sale in 1954. Its peak sales year was 1977, when 322,517 redesigned Thunderbirds were sold. The Thunderbird went through numerous design changes over the decades before going on hiatus in 1997.
The redesigned 2002 Thunderbird got off to a roaring start. Dealers were flooded with pre-orders and got $10,000 premiums on top of the car's sticker price of $30,000. It also won over critics, securing Motor Trend magazine's Car of the Year award.
But the flurry died down almost as quickly as it emerged. Ford had projected sales of 25,000 per year but fell well short of that mark. Just 11,998 Thunderbirds sold in 2004, 33 percent fewer than 2003.
Ford has sold a total of 54,360 new-generation Thunderbirds since 2001. The company said it has sold 4.2 million Thunderbirds since 1954
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<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01 Transitional//EN"> <html> <head> <title></title> </head> <body> <div class="storyheadline">2005 Thunderbird to Be the Last for Ford </div> <br clear="all"> <table width="420" border="0" cellpadding="2" cellspacing="0"> <tbody> <tr valign="middle"> <td width="40%"> <!-- Yahoo TimeStamp: 1110531310 --> <!-- timestamp 1110531310 99369 secs stale 28800 secs --> <div class="timedate">Fri Mar 11, 3:55 AM ET</div> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <p> <!-- TextStart --> <font size="-1"><i>By DEE-ANN DURBIN, AP Auto Writer</i></font> </p> <p> DETROIT - <font face="arial" size="-1"> We had fun, fun, fun 'til Ford took the T-bird away. Again. Ford Motor Co. said Thursday the 2005 model year will be the last for the current-generation Ford Thunderbird, a retro-styled convertible that went on sale in August 2001. </font> </p> <p> <table width="1%" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" border="0" align="left"> <tbody> <tr valign="top"> <td width="99%"> <!-- ult --> <center> <table border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" width="150"> <tbody> <tr valign="top"> <td> <center> <a href="http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&amp ;u=/050310/480/dt10203102245"><img src="
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http://m.doubleclick.net/dot.gif " width="1" height="1" border="0"> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </center> <!-- start 2005 02/20 04:02 expire 2005 02/21 08:02 --> </td> <td width="5">&nbsp;</td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <font face="arial" size="-1"> </font></p> <p> <font face="arial" size="-1"> Ford had planned to discontinue the Thunderbird after the 2005 or 2006 model year but told employees Thursday production will end in July. </font></p> <p> <font face="arial" size="-1"> </font></p> <p> <font face="arial" size="-1"> "We promised all along that this Thunderbird would have a limited production run, and we're being true to our word," Ford Division President Steve Lyons said. "Thunderbird was a terrific image builder for the Ford brand showroom at a time when we needed it." </font></p> <p> <font face="arial" size="-1"> </font></p> <p> <font face="arial" size="-1"> The Wixom Assembly Plant northwest of Detroit, which produces the Thunderbird, will continue to make the Lincoln LS and Town Car and also will be the final assembly point for the Ford GT supercar, which was released last year. </font></p> <p> <font face="arial" size="-1"> </font></p> <p> <font face="arial" size="-1"> The Thunderbird, one of Ford's most celebrated nameplates, first went on sale in 1954. Its peak sales year was 1977, when 322,517 redesigned Thunderbirds were sold. The Thunderbird went through numerous design changes over the decades before going on hiatus in 1997. </font></p> <p> <font face="arial" size="-1"> </font></p> <p> <font face="arial" size="-1"> The redesigned 2002 Thunderbird got off to a roaring start. Dealers were flooded with pre-orders and got $10,000 premiums on top of the car's sticker price of $30,000. It also won over critics, securing Motor Trend magazine's Car of the Year award. </font></p> <p> <font face="arial" size="-1"> </font></p> <p> <font face="arial" size="-1"> But the flurry died down almost as quickly as it emerged. Ford had projected sales of 25,000 per year but fell well short of that mark. Just 11,998 Thunderbirds sold in 2004, 33 percent fewer than 2003. </font></p> <p> <font face="arial" size="-1"> </font></p> <font face="arial" size="-1"> Ford has sold a total of 54,360 new-generation Thunderbirds since 2001. The company said it has sold 4.2 million Thunderbirds since 1954</font> </body> </html>
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My perspective, right or wrong..
It was :
too small a cabin to fit the height of many men who might be interested in the car.
underpowered / castrated. HP and torque adequate for a touring sedan but not what was expected of a retro T-Bird.
overpriced
over hyped before they made the showroom floor, available after what seems like years of delay.
Buy one now, mothball it for 30 years, pay for your kids college costs at the unwrapping.
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Steve Stone wrote:

Sort of a Cadilac Alante or circa 1983 Mercedes SL. Girls car.... :-\
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<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01 Transitional//EN"> <html> <head> <title></title> </head> <body> Steve Stone wrote:<br> <blockquote type="cite" cite=" snipped-for-privacy@news.citlink.net"> <pre wrap="">In article <a class="moz-txt-link-rfc2396E" href="mailto: snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com">&lt; snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com&gt;</a>, <a class="moz-txt-link-abbreviated" href="mailto:Lana snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com">Lana snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com</a> says... </pre> <blockquote type="cite"> <pre wrap="">2005 Thunderbird to Be the Last for Ford
</pre> </blockquote> <pre wrap=""><!----> My perspective, right or wrong..
It was :
too small a cabin to fit the height of many men who might be interested in the car.
underpowered / castrated. HP and torque adequate for a touring sedan but not what was expected of a retro T-Bird.
overpriced
over hyped before they made the showroom floor, available after what seems like years of delay.
Buy one now, mothball it for 30 years, pay for your kids college costs at the unwrapping. </pre> </blockquote> Sort of a Cadilac Alante or circa 1983 Mercedes SL. Girls car....<span class="moz-smiley-s7"><span> :-\ </span></span><br> <br> </body> </html>
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The T-Bird production ended for one simple reason, it was only scheduled to be offered through the 2005 model year from the very beginning, period.
mike hunt
Tiger wrote:

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You say that with the same conviction of when you claimed that plow companies do not make plows or plow frames for the current F150. You were wrong on the F150 plow question, what makes you correct now?

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That easy. Because until Ford reintroduced the heavy duty font end option they did not, except for light duty narrow, and lexon plows that had only up and down hydraulics.
As too the Bird. The dealers, my one son is one, knew the limited run from day one, ever down to the one year exclusive colors to be available for each year. The intent was a high end floor traffic builder till the all new 2005 and 2006 models started coming on line.
mike
pick one wrote:

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Oh please! And I thought John Force was the master of the back pedal! The only suspension upgrade for plowing is heaver springs. The plow option includes the 5.4 engine and stiffer springs ( nothing else on the suspension ) and the E40D now called the 4R100, not the 4R70W because of the higher torque handling capabilities. The front end is other wise no different that any other F150. Why the stiffer springs? too support the weight of the plow when pushing snow. Lexon plows??????? Try both Polyethylene and steel. Mountings? Four different types from Meyers alone.

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snipped-for-privacy@mailcity.com wrote:

Actually I think Ford did consider producing the T-bird for one more year. One of the pilfered Blue Oval News documents even listed a Job One date for the 2006 Model.
Ed
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You are correct but the new models are selling so well, without rebates, so the Bird was dropped as planed originally. The Mustang is doing so well, the intro price for the convertible has been raised $595.
mike hunt
"C. E. White" wrote:

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Steve Stone wrote:

I am 6'3" and need to diet, but I can fit in a Thunderbird (barely).

Compared to what? A Corvette? Until the 2003 Mustang Mach 1, it was Ford's most powerful non-SVT car. 280 Hp is not too shabby. The Lexus SC has only 300 hp from a 10% larger engine and costs a lot more. The Mercedes SLK only has 268 Hp, again for a lot more money. The BMW Z-4 is a little more expensive than a Thunderbird, and has only 225 Hp.

Compared to what? Name a comparable car that cost less.

No argument here.

Maybe, maybe not. In terms of what you could do with $35,000, I doubt "investing" in a Thunderbird makes much sense. Do you think that if you had bought a new on in 1955 and kept it until now, you'd be better off than if you had invested it in the stock market? I don't think so. A 1955 T-bird was around $3500 new. Even if you just put the money in the bank at 5%, you'd have to be able to sell the T-Bird for over $40,000 to get ahead. And you could have done a lot better than bank interest by putting the money into a few good stocks in 1955. With minimal investing skill, you should have been able to turn $3500 in 1955 into $100,000 today. Now maybe you could sell a non driven 1955 T-Bird for more than $50k, but I would not bet on doing the same with a 2005 in 2055.
Ed
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I am 6' 2". I would not want to spend a 3 hour road trip in a current production run T-Bird. Maybe a 30 minute run thru some parkland would be okay. If I was 5' 6" I might consider it. Like someone else said.. It is a girl car. Like the Miata
I am not comparing HP and torque of the T-Bird to any other car.
I am comparing it to public expectation based on T-Bird history and legend.
Ford could have done better in this department.
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Steve Stone wrote:

I have four vehicles - 2003 Expedition, 2003 Saturn Vue, 1992 F150, 2004 Thunderbird. The head room on the T-bird is tight but of the four, after a long trip, I am the least tired when driving the T-Bird. I do wish it had more headroom. It is barely adequate for me at 6'3". I make a 300 ile round trip in the T-Bird at least once every two weeks. I also drove the T-Bird from Pompano Beach, Florida to Raleigh, NC and found it very comfortable.

Hmm, most of the people I know who own Thunderbirds are guys.

I don't know what the public expected. My belief is that it is probably the best handling T-Bird ever, and except for a few hard to find exceptions, the fastest as well. Here are some 0-60 and 1/4 mile times for various Thunderbirds from the web
1955 Ford Thunderbird 292ci 11.5 18.0 1973 Ford Thunderbird 460ci 9.0 17.4 1980 Ford Thunderbird 302ci 11.1 18.0 1983 Ford Thunderbird Turbo Coupe 9.7 17.1 1987 Ford Thunderbird Turbo Coupe 8.5 16.3 1989 Ford Thunderbird SC 7.4 15.9 1990 Ford Thunderbird SC 7.4 15.8 1991 Ford Thunderbird LX 9.0 16.7 1993 Ford Thunderbird SC 7.2 15.7 1994 Ford Thunderbird LX V6 8.8 16.4 1995 Ford Thunderbird SC 7.0 15.2 1996 Ford Thunderbird LX V8 7.9 15.8 2002 Ford Thunderbird 7.0 15.28 2004 Ford Thunderbird 6.7 15.10 1957 Ford Thunderbird "F Code" Supercharged "6 sec range" no 1/4 mile time found 1957 Ford Thunderbird "D Code" "10 sec range" no 1/4 mile time found
As I see it, with the possible exception of the 1957 Supercharged 312 Thunderbird (built in tiny numbers and not really a production car at all), a 2004 Thunderbird is the fasted production Thunderbird ever. What did the public expect, if the fastest production Thunderbird ever isn't good enough?

I suppose Ford could have installed the supercharged 4.2L Jaguar version of the engine. I wish they had, at least for the 50th anneversary model. But then it would have had needed to cost considerably more.
Ed
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On Mon, 14 Mar 2005 14:28:05 -0500, C. E. White wrote:

I count three trucks and one car. Of course the car is more comfortable! Of course it depends on which car and which truck you compare, but generally cars are more comfortable than trucks.
Rodney
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----- Original Message -----
Newsgroups: alt.autos.ford Sent: Monday, March 14, 2005 7:05 PM Subject: Re: Ford to kill the Thunderbird in July

I think you are confusing the official definition of trucks for CAFE rating purposes with reality. The F150 is definitely a truck and mine is a stripper at that (rubber mats, bench seat) but it actually drives nicely, despite its age (13 years). The Expedition is sort of a truck, but really more like a tall station wagon with 4WD. It reminds me of the big Ford station wagons of the late 60's and early 70's. The Expedition is actually shorter and narrower than those big wagons, but much taller. The Expedition can tow significant loads and is truck like in that respect. With 8 seats it is good people mover and the vehicle of choice for transporting 3 or more people for long distances. The Vue is just a smallish station wagon with all wheel drive. The Vue can't tow much and has limited cargo capacity. It is damn sorry truck, but a good little car for hauling around a couple of large sized teenagers and groceries. It is Ok on a long trip, except it has mediocre seats. The ride is good and it has decent performance despite the 2.2L 4 cylinder engine. I don't think anyone would confuse it with a truck though.
Ed
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