Ford Thunderbird

The Ford Thunderbird manufacture by Ford automobile company. Read more to view more detail and video reviews. Please feel free to comments and give rating to help others


The Thunderbird was an automobile manufactured by the Ford Motor Company in the United States from 1955 through 2005 — through thirteen generations and various body types.

The name “Thunderbird” was inspired by the name of an exclusive housing development[citation needed] and recalls the mythological creature common to Indigenous peoples of North America.

The car entered production for the 1955 model year as a two-seater sporty car but unlike the Chevrolet Corvette, was never sold as a full-blown sports car. Ford named a new market segment by calling the Thunderbird a personal luxury car. In 1958, the Thunderbird gained a second row of seats. Succeeding generations became larger until the line was downsized in 1977, again in 1980, and once again in 1983. Sales were good until the 1990s, when large 2-door coupes became unpopular; production ceased after 1997. In 2002, a revived 2-seat model was launched, which was available through the end of the 2005 model year.

A smaller two-seater sports roadster was created at the behest of Henry Ford II in 1953 called the Vega. The completed one-off generated interest at the time, but had meager power, European looks, and a correspondingly high cost, so it never proceeded to production. The Thunderbird was similar in concept, but would be more American in style, more luxurious, and less sport-oriented.

Three men are generally credited with creating the original Thunderbird: Lewis D. Crusoe, a retired GM executive lured out of retirement by Henry Ford II; George Walker, chief stylist and a Ford vice-president; and Frank Hershey, a Ford designer. Crusoe and Walker met in France in October 1951. Walking in the Grand Palais in Paris, Crusoe pointed at a sports car and asked Walker, ‘Why can’t we have something like that?’ Some versions of the story claim that Walker replied by telling Crusoe, “oh, we’re working on it”…although if anything existed at the time beyond casual dream-car sketches by members of the design staff, records of it have never come to light.