Recent Posts

Curbside Classic: 1977 Ford Thunderbird – Mark Jr, or It’s All In The Suspension

CC 48 076 1200

Although we like to think of ourselves as complex and multi-dimensional creatures, ultimately we all have one song to sing, one story to tell, one great love of our lives, or in the case of Lee Iaccoca, one car to build. No, that wasn’t the original 1965 Mustang; that was just the warm-up act, although the Mustang’s basic proportions clearly struck a nerve with Lee.

The Mustang was a rather short-lived phenomenon, and there were bigger fish to fry, once the final recipe was found. That came along just a few years later, and once Lee saw it, he knew this was it, and spend the rest of his career building it in endless permutations. And this particular Iaccoca-mobile is arguably the most successful of them all. Read the rest of this entry »


CC Clue

09-20-2014 015

What’s red and black and chrome all over? Dunno. Maybe you do.


Vintage Ad: Win A Whole Family Of 1958 Fords!


It’s 1958. You’ve just gone to your local grocery store to buy some canned Dole pineapple chunks, because for whatever reason, fresh fruit just won’t do. You notice that Dole is running a jingle-writing contest, with 254 winners, and the grand prize is winning five cars: one from every Ford division! That would’ve been incentive enough for me to enter, even if I do happen to be allergic to pineapple.

Read the rest of this entry »


COAL: 1975 Ford Thunderbird – Preparing for Flight

1975 Ford thunderbird front 34

Always getting the same flavor of ice cream is boring.  There are times when a vanilla cone sounds right when other times you want the biggest, gnarliest sundae available.  This 1975 Ford Thunderbird was my sundae.  It certainly helped sate a craving I had had for some time.

Read the rest of this entry »


Curbside Classic: 1987 Bentley Mulsanne Turbo R – In Case a Rolls-Royce Is Too Common For You

1987_Bentley_Turbo_ R_2

Bentley is always been a distinct brand, although it was linked to and owned by Rolls-Royce for 70 years. When you remember badge engineering and the British industry, names like Austin and Morris, Hillman and Humber, Riley and Wolseley come to the fore, but Rolls-Royce and Bentley were sharing much in the way of chassis and engines from 1933 on, and were unambiguously badge engineered from 1955 to 2003, when the brands went their separate ways again.

Read the rest of this entry »


Curbside Classic: 1971 Ford Thunderbird Four Door Landau – Yes, I Said Four Doors

(first posted 10/10/2012)   Since we’ve been talking a lot about oddball Cougars and T-Birds lately—Fairmont Birds, Cougar station wagons, and all sorts of other automotive marketing craziness—I just have to share this four-door ’71 T-Bird Landau sedan. It was posted to the Cohort by whitewall buick, who’s known around these here parts as GG. So here it is: The Fabulous Bunkie Brougham ‘Bird.

Read the rest of this entry »


CC Outtake: The Anti-Thunderbird

CC 235 046 1200

Feeling a bit of T-Bird fatigue? Take one of these for an antidote. It’s the most un-T-Bird shot I could think of my recent finds. It has a geodesic dome, a roof-top water tank, solar panels and sky-box seating, all features that Ford never quite got to. I suppose someone’s going to argue that’s a continental spare on the back. Read the rest of this entry »


Automotive History: Toyota S60/S70 Crown – Thunderwhale.


The 1971-74 Toyota Crown was a watershed moment for the company; one that I believe had a significant influence on the initial success of the Lexus. Being a Toyota, it was most likely an in-house styling job. That said, in tracing the stylistic influences on this car – overt or otherwise –  I find that the 1967-69 Thunderbird plays the greatest part. Read the rest of this entry »


Curbside Classic: 1965 Ford Thunderbird Landau – Fancy Feast


(first published 4/16/2013)      The Thunderbird: So irrational, so illogical, so often successful. Out of all the cars that make no sense–at least on paper– I’m willing to give the beguiling bird a pass. And it shouldn’t come as a surprise that my favorite is the first version to really jump the shark: Landau bars and eight-tracks, anyone?

Read the rest of this entry »


CC Capsule: 1962 Ford Thunderbird – Let’s Talk About the Sports Roadster


I love Bullet Birds.  Actually, I love them better when we call them Cigar Birds, but tomayto/tomahto, and all that.  I loved these so much I bought one.  And as much as mine abused me, I love them still.  So, why wasn’t I more excited when I found this one?

Read the rest of this entry »


Curbside Classic: 1961 Ford Thunderbird Convertible – The American Dream-mobile

CC 114 030 1200

(parts of this text are the same as a previous CC on a ’63 hardtop Landau)        What exactly is the American Dream? Was it easier to answer that question fifty years ago? If you were seven years old, and had just arrived from Austria at the same time the 1961 Thunderbird first appeared, the answer is definitely yes. What more was there to aspire to then this? Seeing fifty of these convertibles in Kennedy’s Inaugural Parade only cemented the image. In America anyone could realistically aspire to own a car that actually looked like a Dream Car in a car show, one that would glamorously jet you away from the humdrum of ordinary life, if not exactly rocket you to the moon. Yes, in the fall of 1960, Ford was building my dream. And then I was rudely awakened. Read the rest of this entry »


COAL: 1984 Buick Century and 1981 Skylark – The Apple Doesn’t Fall Far From The Tree

jerseyfred 1-horz

(None of the pictures in this article are of the actual cars but pictures borrowed from the Internet using Google image search)

In our house during the late 80’s and early 90’s in, cars seemed to be disposable and cheap. It was not unusual for my parents to go through two or three beaters in a year. When I started driving, they decided to let me in on the fun. Read the rest of this entry »


Curbside Classic: 1960 Ford Thunderbird – Fancy Meeting You Here

Yawn.  Another restored squarebird convertible in resale red.  Aren’t there a couple of these at every car show?  But I didn’t find this one at a car show  Instead, it was on a quiet neighborhood street, looking just a little rough around the edges.  Sort of like an elegantly dressed lady who has somehow found herself in a low class bar.  This car had an air of mystery about it, which is fitting because for its entire history, the Thunderbird has always had some mystery as part of its aura.

Read the rest of this entry »


Mini CC: 1957 Ford Thunderbird By Ertl Precision 100

01-26-2013 029 (1280x859)

I have been sitting on these pictures for, oh boy, probably close to two years. Thunderbird Week, however, finally prompted me to share my favorite model of my favorite year of the two-seat T-Birds: The Ertl Precision 100 1957 Thunderbird in Dusk Rose.

Read the rest of this entry »


Vintage Ads: 1955 – 1957 Thunderbird – The “Light-of-Hand” Performer

Thunderbird 1955 Ad-04

(Update: we’re going to dedicate each day of the week to one decade of the T-Bird’s existence. So let’s finish out the gen1 with a couple of vintage ads. The 1958 T-Bird will be covered tomorrow morning in a 1960 T-Bird CC.)

Ford’s advertisements for its new 1955 Thunderbird made it all-too obvious that it was not out to chase Jaguars and Austin Healeys, although allusions to Europeans are made in this ad. It was the first so-called “personal car”, and designed to be a reasonably powerful two-seat car, stable at speed, but not one that would ever impress anyone with sporty handling. The ad copy about its steering is explicit:

Ford engineers don’t go along with the idea that a high-performance car such as the Thunderbird should have overly fast steering for the American highway. It steers with the ease you are accustomed to you can have it power-assisted if you wish.

In other words, slow and soggy, just like a ’54 Ford sedan. Read the rest of this entry »