I grew up in the Midwestern United States (Michigan, specifically), and I had been exposed to a somewhat limited range of culinary delights that much of the rest of America was accustomed to by the mid-1980s. This is not to say that ethnic foods were foreign to me. My Liberian father and many of his west African cohorts and their families were the reason, prior to my having spent my fourth grade year in Liberia, that I could claim some familiarity with foods considered unusual to many of my friends and peers.
Still, aside from that and despite a great selection of authentic Mexican restaurants in the Flint area (La Azteca and Tia Helita’s, to name a couple, are noteworthy establishments that still do great business today), about as “Mexican” as the Dennis family had dared to eat when I was growing up (quite sadly) was the occasional Taco Bell dinner near the Dort Mall.
“The Bell” may have been exactly what I needed after nights of revelry in my college years (and beyond), and there are things on that menu that I still really like, but in terms of authenticity, the offerings of this fast food chain simply don’t count. Never have, and probably never will. And that’s alright.
I say all of this to set the stage for my first experiences of “green” salsa with my tortillas. I’m pretty open-minded when it comes to a lot of things, even as I know basically what I like and what I stand for. I’ve eaten many foods some would consider exotic, including alligator, monkey and even a type of termite called a “Bug-A-Bug”.
My taste palate as an eight or nine year old was about as adventurous as in present day, and I also remember being fascinated with and in awe of the culture of my father’s people. If Dad said something was good to eat, I usually tried to do so (sometimes also suppressing my urge to vomit, to the best of my ability) to try to impress and also feel some kinship with him and his culture from which I am just barely generationally removed.
Still, when it comes to familiar foods, I have certain expectations in terms of what things are supposed to taste like. We all do. I can’t recall the exact instance or even time period when salsa verde came into my life, but I remember thinking it was all just so wrong – the color, the texture… everything about it. Salsa is supposed to be red, darn it. Only guacamole is green. According to a semi-recent DNA test, I have absolutely no ancestry from Latin America, but at the time, I had somehow felt qualified to make this judgment.
And all of this was before I actually tasted some of the green stuff. I was like that Dr. Seuss character who remained solidly unmoved by the annoyingly persistent Sam-I-Am in the latter’s quest to get him to try the titular “Green Eggs And Ham”. Like the protagonist of that children’s book, though, once I tried green salsa with my chips, I got hooked – and the rest is history.
I thought it was very fitting that I had spotted this four-door Thunderbird outside of one of my favorite, local Mexican restaurants in my neighborhood, particularly because the salsa verde at Susupuato No. 2 is among the absolute best I’ve ever had – and its color reminds me a bit of that of the paint of our featured car.
Like my first time being exposed to salsa verde, the first time I had seen a Thunderbird sedan, it was a genuine “What… the…” moment for me. I was born in the mid-’70s, so seeing even a ’77 Mercury Cougar sedan (or even Cougar Villager wagon) didn’t make me scratch my head around that time. These four-door T-Birds, though, were somewhat thin on the ground when new, and even moreso a decade later in the very GM-centric town that Flint used to be.
I want to state right off that I really, really like the style of the new-for-’67 Thunderbirds. I know this is not popular opinion, and I’m not saying I like these cars just to be different. The full-width look grille with its hidden headlights looks elegant, square-jawed, and slightly menacing all at the same time.
I have also always liked the look of full-width taillamp lenses, and the ones on this generation of Thunderbird are among my favorites. From what I’ve read, here at CC and otherwise, perhaps quality and exclusivity had started to take a slide with this generation, but to a guy who has never driven one (or any of the ones before it), I can’t just take someone else’s word for it.
This interior looks like a very “premium” place to be, and the bright, metal accents and its aircraft-inspired aesthetic make it look very lounge-like – in the best way. The added ease of access and egress made possible by the extra pair of rear doors seems to be a fair enough tradeoff for the loss of a “coupe” profile. In fact, I’d say that the Thunderbird sedan gives up very little in the looks department to its two-door counterpart. The extra formality of the sedan’s profile with its vinyl roof and dummy “landau” bars delineating the door frame openings almost has the same effect as an automotive top hat.
The Thunderbird sedan was a reasonable sales success in its first year on the market, accounting for about 25,000 sales out of about 78,000, about one-third of total production that year. While the coupe was offered in both base and Landau trim, the sedan came only as an upmarket Landau. The percentage of four-door sales steadily eroded over the fifth generation Thunderbird’s five-year life span, with only about 6,600 sold in ’71 out of about 36,000 total (18%). All up, there were about only 77,500 four-door Thunderbirds ever produced. It should also be noted that though a four-door bodystyle was added for ’67, the convertible (with 5,000 sold for ’66) was also dropped for that model year. Overall sales did increase for ’67 from 69,200 sold in ’66.
My initial impression of this bodystyle of this famous, pioneering personal luxury model was that it was bizarre, odd, incorrect. Eventually, it found my acceptance, which then morphed into downright adoration. As a photographer, I love little details, and this car was rife with them. The “for sale” sign on the window (the seller was asking for $8,000) tempted me for only a few minutes, as I have neither the means nor the space to garage a car like this… yet. Its color and fine shape, however, did whet my appetite for some salty tortillas with a big bowl of salsa verde. Perhaps this weekend.
Edgewater, Chicago, Illinois.
Sunday, October 25, 2015.
My parents owned a 1967 Thunderbird bought new from Jerry Alderman Ford in Indianapolis. It had cruise control which meant the cruise control chromed rocker switches were on the steering wheel center section instead of the large pad (which I believe was only used for one year) shown on the interior photo. It also had the fairly rare 8 mph door lock feature. This caused a bit of a problem one day at the car wash. The wash my mother took it to spun the wheels to wash them as the car was towed through the wash tunnel with a chain with no driver. When the car emerged from the wash to be dried off by hand the doors were locked. The car had to be pushed out of the building still idling while my dad brought a spare key from home. It also had a problem keeping the tilt-away steering wheel locked in to the straight ahead position after shifting out of park. The car came with an 8 track tape player. One thing I remember about riding in this car was when I was in the back seat I could hear the whirring and clicking of the sequential turn signals when they were activated.
The large steering wheel center ‘pad’ (it did not possess the ability to activate the horn) was, indeed, a one-year-only feature of all 1967 Fords. I believe it was some sort of workaround for not yet having a mandated, collapsible steering column.
Something I hadn’t noticed before was the absence of front vent windows, along with the vents below the rear window. Still not the first to eliminate the vent windows, as I believe that honor goes to the 1966 Toronado.
Ah, yes…the 1967 Ford “flowerpot” steering wheel.
Ford didn’t have collapsible steering columns ready when the 1967 safety standards went into effect, so they placed the collapsible portion in the steering wheel hub. Not the most attractive solution, but it seems to have worked.
Wow, I am pretty well versed in the 1967 Fords but had never noticed that the cruise control steering wheel was different!
“One thing I remember about riding in this car was when I was in the back seat I could hear the whirring and clicking of the sequential turn signals when they were activated.”
I too remember those sounds from the sequential turn signals in our 65 Thunderbird though I rode in the back seat as infrequently as possible – my favorite spot was behind the wheel. We got this car lightly used (like new, really) in spring of 67. It was a beige on beige beauty, a real COAL in our family.
Time has not dimmed my dislike of the 67 Thunderbird or changed my view that “Unique in all the World) died when it came out. From CC reading I more fully understand that Ford and Lincoln needed to expand the model lines to further sales – and increasingly some of the new models in the lineup – e.g., the Lincoln Coupe and the Continental Marks – would fulfill the role of the 1958-1966 Thunderbirds.
I’ve long thought that Ford made a mistake in resurrecting the once-prestigious Thunderbird name on the retro two-seater, for which there was not that much market demand. A better move would have been to create a small four-door sport luxury sedan (much nicer and more distinct than the nondescript Lincoln Zephyr/MKZ) along the lines of BMW, Audi, Infiniti, et al.
One thing I remember about riding in this car was when I was in the back seat I could hear the whirring and clicking of the sequential turn signals when they were activated.
I had a 67, two door Landau, back when the earth was young. Not only could I hear the whir of the turn signal motor from the driver’s seat, I could hear the arcing of the contacts in the switches on the AM only radio, a steady bzzt..bzzt..bzzt…..bzzt..bzzt..bzzt, while I sat at the light.
Still have the jack handle from that car.
I offered it to friends on a FB board. If no-one jumps up and down, it’s going on eBay.
Hello this 67 ‘ BIRD Is still running Great On The Road
Half A Click Start Go Anywhere
Anytime 57 67 77 BEST YEARS
I always hated this color. Reminds me of a jar of Gerber split pea baby food. The after-effect of the baby food had a similar color. While I’m just as culturally challenged as you to opine on the proper color for salsa, I agree heartily with your initial assessment. Salsa should be red. You captured a nice T-Bird despite the color. I recall these as being fairly well built. We didn’t see many warrantee claims on them at our Ford garage. Of course, our rural dealership didn’t sell many either.
That shade of green reminds me of *all* of the kitchen appliances in the house we moved to in the early 1970s. The house prior to that had all pink appliances.
When my wife and I were looking to buy our first house (this was fall of 1986) one of the houses we looked at not only had the avocado green kitchen appliances but also all of the bathroom fixtures were in the same shade. The kitchen appliances didn’t bother me as much as the bathroom, some things should only be manufactured in white 🙂 We did not buy that house.
What a great find. I remember seeing these on the street once in a while during my 1970s kidhood. I always thought the landau bar was at once compelling and overwrought.
A very apt comparison; I’d wager quite a few people had trouble with these four-door cars as the word “Thunderbird” was applied. A different name may have caused less angst.
While I’ve mentioned it before, I’m compelled to mention it again….way, way downstate from you in the hamlet of Murphysboro there is a guy who owns (or owned) a building that was formerly a Ford dealership. At one time the showroom had two T-Birds of this era, at least one of which was a sedan. However, one day when driving by the door to the garage area was open – and it was full of ’67 to ’71 sedans in all conditions. I have not been by the place in years so I have no clue if they are still there or not.
You are correct about alligator being good. Asian carp (an invasive species in the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers) is good also. I’m now wanting to try nutria.
Jason, I wonder if a GoogleMaps street view would give any indication of whether those Thunderbirds are still in there! Of course, the Google truck would have to have driven by when the garage door was open, but stranger things have happened.
I also had to look up what a nutria is. Hard pass.
About alligator, though, the last time I had it was about maybe seven years ago. A bunch of us would get together at friends’ house in the Chicago suburbs around the Fourth Of July and walk over to a local, annual fair called “Taste Of Lombard”. After a few beers, it became almost a dare among us to try the alligator-on-a-stick from a food vendor – but I really liked it! And yes, it did taste a little like chicken.
I’ve long thought the ’67 was a big step down for the Thunderbird, but I find the four-door growing on me. You mention, Joseph, that it looks almost as good as the two-door, but I actually think it looks better. And I LIKE the green! 🙂
Aaron, after reading your comment and also looking at MoparLee’s picture of a two-door Thunderbird he posted in his comment, I had to flip between pictures of two- and four-door T-Birds of this ear, and I think I agree with you. The four-door has (tonight, anyway) edged out the coupe as the version I think is better looking.
I always liked the “baby Lincoln” look of these, although I have no desire to own one.
A cousin of mine had a used one for a short while. I rode in it once but was too young to remember it.
My mother almost bought a new ’75 back when they looked like a Mark IV. This version will always be a Thunderbird to me.
She also looked again in ’78 at the Town Landau version. Never bought, though.
This car was a “baby Lincoln”. Lee Iacocca used this platform ( I wanna take a Thunderbird and put a Rolls Royce grill on it) to create the Continental Mark III. I would be willing to bet the windshield, back light and coupe side window glass were the same on the Thunderbird and Mark III. I know the gauges on the instrument cluster were in the same locations on both cars.
The 4 door Thunderbird provided the long wheelbase frame for the Mark III.
Here’s the proof, as if it was needed. 🙂
In 1980, I owned a ’67 Thunderbird almost exactly like the one in the photos, except mine was dark green (Ivy Green metallic) with a black interior. It also had the same steering wheel, AM/FM radio, rolling door locks, but no A/C. I absolutely loved the four door when I first saw them brand new in the fall of 1966, and eventually just had to own one. The eventual purchase of a house forced me to sell it, but someday, I will own another one!!
That’s excellent. Thinking of the context of the time frame in which you owned your ’67 (1980), and how the ’80 Thunderbird had been received, I can imagine just what a grand looking car yours was at that time.
For the record, I do actually like the 1980 – ’82 Thunderbirds – I just thought I’d put that out there. I think the featured car is the fourth Thunderbird I’ve written about here at CC over the past four years, so clearly it’s one of my favorite models and subjects to photograph and write about.
I do like the ’80-’82 Thunderbirds. That was when Ford stylists decided to work with the 5-mph bumpers, and not against them by making them appear that they belong on the car; not a hung-on afterthought that afflicted so many mid-to-late 1970’s cars, including 1973-’79 Thunderbirds.
IMO one of the best looking Fords of all time. Black, dark brown metallic or cream suit the body best. Black looks downright sinister, similar to the Continental of the era.
The suici… Ahem… “Coach” doors are distinctive and interesting.
The Dort Mall has become a bit famous in the dead malls community.
Trips to the Detroit area for the NAIAS brought me some of my first truly ethnic food encounters, especially around Dearborn with its many Middle Eastern flavors.
I miss the days when the Dort Mall used to have all of Mr. Bob Perani’s Flint artifacts lining the main corridor (may he rest in peace). I still love going there to eat at Star Brothers Coney Island – open since 1975, and probably decorated the same as when it opened. Love that place – I ate there just over two weeks ago.
I love Middle Eastern cuisine (especially Lebanese food), and when I had traveled to Dearborn area for business travel years ago, the one restaurant we had eaten at was a revelation. Now I’m really hungry for more of that.
If (and it is a really remote kind of if) I were to buy a 67-69 Thunderbird, it would be one like this. The 67 was the last decent interior in a Bird and the sedan *always* looked better than the coupe.
But I will take a hard pass on the color. My first and third cars (67 Galaxie, 68 Mustang) were this exact shade and I have not yet recoverd to the point where I am ready to go back for another. I will, however, agree with you on the green salsa.
And does anyone remember the green sauce Taco Bell offered as an option for several of its items in the 70s? A burrito with that green sauce would really do it for me right now. And no, I was not drinking late last night. 😊 )
Taco Bell, or at least those in my area, had bins of a green taco sauce (called something Verde) as an alternative to the hot sauce you could add to your food. I tried it as a change from the “regular” red sauces but after a few months the Verde “disappeared”.
As for the 4 door Thunderbird, I like them almost as much as the 2 door models. Unfortunately, unless the whole car is in excellent condition, the 4 door looks a bit more….dowdy(?) than a 2 door looks in the same condition, at least to me. I also don’t care for the 68 or 69 versions of this car as the “updates” (like the side marker lights and bordering on overwrought tail lights) make the car look like a dowager overloaded with jewelry.
And it is just my opinion, but the car pictured needs a very good detailing of the paint job, or even a new coat of paint to be worth the $8K asking price.
The stuff in the packets was different from what they dolloped out when making the food. I tried but it was no substitute.
In the Oregon/Washington area green sauce has made a low key, publicized comeback. Still looks disgusting, still tastes great. Just the other night I had a bean burrito with green sauce instead of red. Have you asked locally lately?
JP, I really love this color on this Thunderbird. That whole kind of muted, olive-y, very late-’60s color that makes me think of the set of “The Lucy Show” or “I Dream Of Jeannie”. That the interior was color-keyed to the outside was the icing on the cake.
Paint – Add lots more sparkles = Olde Valiant ToxicWaste Green
Found spray paint touch-up @ Wally-World.
I was 13 when these cars came out. I LOVED the look of the ’67 T-bird, especially the hidden headlamps and wall-to-wall taillights. However, I always wondered why the cut line for the rear door didn’t follow the line of the rear wheel well. I looked awkward to me then…. and it still does.
But boy would I love to have one now! Its a perfect antidote to the “Silver SUV malaise” of today’s cars.
Area code 773 – I remember when Chicago was entirely 312, including Harvey to the south.
Thin on the ground? I can demarcate the last time I saw one of these – it was a two door in a parking garage. She had what looked to me to be aftermarket wheel covers. The picture is dated August of 2013, I can attest that I have not seen another since. I did like these cars. Matter of fact, I seemed to like every T Bird after 1965, even up into the early 80s. Just how these cars stood out from the crowd, like a Monte Carlo or a Cordoba. I still say the ’66 was my fave.
Those are in fact factory wheel covers. For a bit of trivia, the 1967 Shelby Mustangs came standard with them as well (most had them replaced by the ubiquitous 10 spoke mags today)
XR7Matt, that’s fascinating. I had always assumed that any Shelby of this time period would have had actual mags versus wheel covers styled to look like them. Of course I have the internet at my fingertips, but I wonder how much a set of those wheelcovers would cost these days.
It was a surprise to me as well, I can’t say how much a set would cost either, as the internet overwhelmingly represents the mags in searches, the covers are practically swept under a rug. This was kind of the start transition period where Ford became more involved in Shelby production with the resulting push to cut costs. On the plus side, given their full size roots, these were larger 15″ wheels, not available on regular Mustangs, in order to utilize lower profile tires, so they were still technically a performance upgrade.
68s also came with wheel covers, but a different style(same as the mag style ones seen on 66-67 Chargers and Chevelle SS). The 65-66 and 69-70s came with legitimate mags standard.
Credit where due, I learned this nugget from DIYford’s Shelby Mustang history series of articles. It’s a most excellent CC caliber read if you have the time and interest: https://www.diyford.com/category/shelby-mustang/
Thank you, MoparLee, and I am with you about liking all of the Thunderbirds from that stretch of time you referenced. With each generation (and they were all so different from one another), there was something specific to each that I liked – even with the 1980 – ’82 models.
As far as I`m concerned, the last real T Bird was the `66. I never was a fan of this generation, especially the 4 doors. The kind of car you either love or hate, no middle ground allowed.No wonder they were dubbed ‘Blunderbirds’ by T Bird enthusiasts.
For me the last real T Bird was 1976. Still large, luxurious and expensive, with a big 460 V8. The 1977 downsizing of the next generation (in size, content and price) was wildly popular with the public, but turned the car from a genuine premium offering into a competitor for Monte Carlo and Cutlass. Shows the prestige and power the Thunderbird name still had at the time, turning what was basically a Torino into a sales smash.
I’m with Phil, last real Birds were the 66 and the key reasoning is the dropping of the convertible. I’m not a vert guy myself, but it sent a clear signal that the Tbird was shifting priorities towards cocooned luxury rather than expressive glamour.
I still give these 67-71s some credit though, there’s plenty of cool and interesting details to relish in even if I don’t find the sum of the parts all that special. The 72-76s are just decontented Mark IVs though, I have zero love for them, especially towards the end where the front ends looked nearly indistinguishable from a LTD.
If I recall correctly, Iacocca felt that the Mustang was effectively capturing the buyers who wanted something sportier, so it made sense to move the Thunderbird decisively in the luxury direction for 1967.
Geeber, this makes total sense. Additionally, with the advent of the luxury-oriented Mustang Grandé for ’69, the Thunderbird probably had to become even more broughamy at that point.
Good points to both, in addition to the Mustang driving the Tbird to a more luxury oriented demographic, it also drove the 66 Falcon (back)down to a entry level economy car role. There seemed to be a real effort to avoid cannibalization after the Mustang.
There was a time when my parents had two (2) 1970 T-Birds, such was my mother’s desire to go sporty-brougham at the local Dodge dealer used car lot rather than get the VW Beetle my father really wanted. The ’70 T-Birds were mostly like this ’67, except for the ’70s Bunkie beak that, if not immediately attractive, could become an acquired taste.
Both cars were either off lease or retired rentals and proved to be quite troublesome. One was a two door white coupe and the other (that appeared in one of my old COAL segments) was a red(ish) suicide 4 door. Both had black vinyl tops.
When they ran they were great drivers and nicely quick, but working on the engines was problematic due to lack of space for hands and tools. The coupe proved to be so unreliable that it was traded in on a 1977 Pontiac Grand Prix.
I enjoy the way you introduce the cars you photograph by weaving them into your life experiences.
As for exotic food, to me alligator tastes like tough chicken, or tender octopus. I never ate monkey and never will. You are a braver man than I.
Thank you so very much.
I do agree with you that the “Bunkie Beak” could definitely become an acquired taste, as you put it. I don’t dislike it. It just seems so extreme next to the relative restraint of the prior three model years.
About the food, it’s funny. When we were all living upcountry in Liberia near the border of Sierra Leone, it’s amazing what a hungry kid will eat when there are no other options. I did really grow to love Liberian cuisine, and sometimes when I think about some of the spicy chicken dishes served with white rice and cassava greens, my mouth starts watering (like it is right now).
There’s a local restaurant that serves west African cuisine that I’ve been meaning to try for years now, but I’m afraid it won’t live up to what I want it to be. Maybe I’ll just go – this weekend. 🙂
Being a T-Bird enthusiast myself, I harbor no ill will towards this generation as some do… for me the least desirable generation was ’58, ’59, & ’60; Square Birds I think you all call them.
While I still prefer my ‘Birds with 2 doors (almost all cars for that matter), these have grown on me as well.
With this generation though, my favorite was the ’71 with the Bunkie Beak… c’mon, a bird with beak? How cool is that?
As a kid, I had a model of one painted in emerald green and just thought it was the prettiest car ever. And we were a GM (Chevy) household at the time.
My favorite part is the chopped fastback roofline, that’s something i would have loved to have seen paired with the original jet intake front end.
I kind of like the bunkie beak too, I’m mostly underwhelmed by the overall design though, it’s too Buick like.
My only experience with one of these was when a friend of my dad’s showed up with one a few years old. I was about ten at the time and made the mistake of saying I thought it was much cooler and luxurious than the old mans 60 Special Cadillac.
He was very proud of his Caddy’s and I was pointedly reminded of my comment for a LONG time after!🙄
I didn’t get the appeal of this generation Tbird until someone pointed out the old Hot Wheels version. There are so many elements to these that play right into that great spacey space bound late 60s vibe that I love, yet I had never seen a single example in the flesh that excites me. After seeing the toy I realized the reason is these didn’t have power bulge hoods, side pipes, vivid colors and big fat redline tires found on many supercars at the time, but instead they had all of the elements that came to define the brougham era, lots of golds, browns, this shade of green, as well as white line tires. The Tbird seemed to be marketed to a more mature market from this point on, which was at full steam in the very conservative generation to follow.
The first car in my Aurora HO slot car set was a 1967 blue 2 door Thunderbird. Ever since then, I’ve had a soft spot for the ’67 thru ’69 Birds.
I like the glamorbird. If they’d done the profile proportions right, I’d love it more than the flairbird and bulletbird.
I love that green.
I was 11 when these came out. I remember thinking the front end looked pretty cool (I still do). i remember thiniking the rear doors at the time were…odd.
One of my favorite Hot Wheels cars back then was a ’67 T-bird 4-door.
So was I and so did I.
A weird association I make with this era’s T-Birds, is the line in the Cream song White Room containing the phrase “Landau Moonbeams in her dark eyes”. When I hear that line, I always imagine a mid-60’s T-Bird with a beautiful woman behind the wheel, and no, it’s not the one in American Graffiti!
Yes, I know the original lyrics were “Sliver horses ran down moonbeams. . .”, but having heard them the other way for so long, I can’t make the correction.
Thanks to the OP for reminding me of that.
Great post as always, Joseph.
These T-Birds look so wrong, almost amateurish. Suicide doors are fine in principle, but on this car, Ford really went out of their way to make them appear more awkward than they needed to be.
Reminds me of the one-off DS below, made by Chapron circa 1966. The guy who ordered it specified rear suicide doors (plus a raised roof). If those doors were that important, he should have bought a Lincoln instead. Or a R-R Phantom V.
The 67 is my favourite Thunderbird, but only the coupe version.
This is as close as I will get to owning on though, the Hot wheels version.
I had one of those, too, but it sticks in my mind that it was metallic blue.
I always thought of these as an odd duck. Why would anyone that wanted a “sporty luxury coupe” want a four door knock off? Maybe there were still some buyers who remembered the 1961- 63 Lincoln Continental sedan. This was a very close coupled and cosseting luxury sedan. Much like a personal luxury coupe but with great rear seats for taking another couple out on the town. I drove my Dad’s ’63 Lincoln every chance I could, it just felt so special. I’ll bet the T-Bird sedan feels like that.
Great article. I like these Thunderbirds – especially the four-door Landau! After 1969, it was downhill until the 1983 “aero” Birds debuted, although I wouldn’t refuse the opportunity to own one of the “downsized” 1977-79 models. These are starting to show up at various Carlisle events. They were everywhere when I was a teenager – much like the 1973-77 Chevrolet Monte Carlo.
I disliked the “Bunkie Beak” models, not just for the exaggerated nose, but also the “chopped” rooflines on the coupes. The 1972-76 models were bloated and came across as a restyled LTD hardtop coupe. They were also completely overshadowed by the Lincoln Continental Mark IV.
I still remember seeing the first photos of the downsized 1980 models in a preview Motor Trend article. They really looked awkward, particularly compared to the GM competition. Even the downsized Mopars – the Chrysler Cordoba and Dodge Mirada – were much more handsome.
While vacation in Colorado in 1967 we stopped to see my Mom’s uncle. Boring. When we arrived he had just finished washing his new ’67 4-door T-Bird. He obviously saw my eyes popping out of their sockets, and offered to take my siblings and me for a ride in the mountains.
When I sat in the front seat I thought I’d gone to heaven. Center console, 428, overhead lights, bells, whistles and all options (I asked). Talk about power! It climbed the mountains as though we were in Kansas. Though almost 16, he wouldn’t let me drive it. Even in a parking lot. But he was still my new #1 favorite great uncle.
Reality resumed later that day when we departed in a ’61 Country Sedan. (In ’73 I snagged a ’68 4-door, though not nearly as opulent.)