Rolling Classic: A T-Bird With Some Real élan

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I seem to be running into more and more CCs on the way to work in the morning. In a way, I’m torn. On one hand, I always get excited when I see an uncommon set of wheels on the road. But on the other hand, I am on the way to work. I time my alarm to get the maximum amount of snooze time before I have to get up, meaning that usually I have no more than a five-minute cushion. So, no time for stopping!

1983 Ford Thunderbird (011-Ann)-06-07

When the all-new (well, mostly new) 1983 Thunderbird hit the showrooms, it was a revelation. A beauty. The 1980-82 T-bird was the last of the gilding-the-lily-and-hoping-the-customer-doesn’t-notice-it’s-a-Fairmont schtick. Now we had a clean, modern and beautiful Thunderbird. But Brougham dies hard, and a remnant of that was a continuation of the Heritage trim level–itself a continuation of the 1978 Diamond Jubilee T-Bird.

1985 Ford Thunderbird-15

By 1985 the Heritage had been renamed the more modern sounding élan. It was no longer the top of the line, but held the Brougham spot in the Thunderbird lineup. As you’d expect, more standard features and plusher seating rounded out the changes.

1986 Ford Thunderbird-10-11

The élan’s last fling was in 1986, as the name disappeared in ’87 along with a restyle. Our featured car appears to be one from that year, as it has the CHMSL that was mandated for all 1986 cars. The two-tone paint was rather attractive too, and though the car was a bit worn (and the élan badge missing–all you can see is the outline in adhesive!) it was still a treat to see before arriving at work for another round of coffee and sales reports!