Ford revived the Personal Luxury Thunderbird model in 2002 following the success of various retro models including the the VW Golf based Beetle, and BMWs all new retro look Mini and Chryslers retro P/T Cruiser Ford designers took styling cues for the rebirth of the the Thunderbird name, which disappeared in 1997, from the 1954 first generation Thunderbird.
The new Thunderbird turned heads where ever it went according to one journalist and received the Motor Trend Car Of the Year Award from an adoring press. For a short time 11th Generation Thunderbirds even sold at a premium off the forecourts however Ford chose not to back it’s new jewel with the kind of marketing to which the public for luxury trucks had become accustomed and so just 19,000 Thunderbirds were sold in 2002 about a fifth short of what had been anticipated.
Despite cameo appearances in the 2004 science fiction kids film Thunderbirds an marginally more adult orientated 2002 James Bond thriller Die Another Day in which Bond’s side kick US agent Jinx played by Halle Berry appeared in today’s all Coral coloured car.
Unfortunately the lack of marketing, and possibly the lack of performance options which appear to have been lavished by the bucket load on the 2005 retro futurist Sid Ramnarace designed Ford Mustang, killed the Thunderbird off for a second time in 2005 with just 67,518 examples produced including a limited production run of 700 for the 007 special edition commemorating “Die Another Day”.
Thanks for joining me on this “Die Another Day” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow for Ferrari Friday when GALPOT will be paying a second visit to Niello Serrano Concours d’Elegance. Don’t forget to come back now.