|Premium sporty/performance car; Built in USA|
|Good condition price range: $10,500 – $15,500*|
2003 Ford Thunderbird interior
2004 Ford Thunderbird
Ford aimed the Thunderbird at “relaxed sportiness,” and basically hit the mark–though sales slumped after initial high demand. The two-seater is not as mechanically refined as it should be, and interior materials fail to impress. Even so, Thunderbird is more practical than a genuine sports car. As a near-luxury two-passenger V8 convertible, it’s in a class by itself.
Ford revived a famous old name with the 2002 Thunderbird, a two-passenger convertible with unabashedly retro styling cues. It was built on a shortened version of the rear-wheel-drive platform that had been developed for the Lincoln LS and Jaguar S-Type sedans.
A removable hardtop with the T-Bird’s “trademark” porthole windows was available to supplement the standard power-folding soft top, which had a heated glass rear window. The only engine was a 3.9-liter V8 shared with the LS. The sole transmission was a Lincoln/Jaguar five-speed automatic.
Thunderbirds came with antilock four-wheel disc brakes, side airbags, 17-inch alloy wheels, and a CD changer. A Premium model added chrome wheels and traction control, Interior upgrade packages matched various trim pieces to the car’s exterior color. Many Thunderbirds were painted in pastel hues, as had been the case with the original 1955-57 models.
More horsepower marked the sophomore edition of Ford’s revived Thunderbird. The 3.9-liter V8 gained 28 horsepower, now rated at 280. Once again, the sole transmission was a five-speed automatic; but for 2003, it was available with an extra-cost manual-shift feature. The Thunderbird’s instrument cluster also was revised this year.
Deluxe and Premium trim levels were offered, the Premium distinguished by standard heated seats and chrome alloy wheels.
Revisions were minor for 2004. A new Light Sand interior trim package was available, wheels were restyled, and a universal garage-door opener became standard.
A 50th Anniversary model joins Ford’s 2-seat convertible line for 2005. Added midyear, the 50th Anniversary model gets unique trim, a standard removable hardtop, and a manual-shift feature. The Thunderbird is scheduled to be discontinued after 2005.