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Thunderbird Flies into the Jet Age

Ford’s Thunderbird was late to battle the Corvette for American two-seat supremacy when it arrived in 1955, but it brought plenty of horsepower, and it had style. After one short, three-year generation, the Thunderbird abandoned the fight against the Vette and moved on to cushier, more cruise-friendly pastures. It became an early iteration of the personal luxury car. Those second-generation cars were a bit clunky, styling-wise, so Ford made up for it with the 1961–63 models and their sleek, chrome-clad elegance.

In 1964, another new Thunderbird generation bowed, this time with a more formal roofline and the same 390 FE V-8 as its predecessor. Its front-end styling was an evolution of the 1963’s bullet nose, giving the pointed front a new design language, while the rear moved to horizontal rectangular taillights that weren’t as fanciful as their jet-inspired predecessors. It’s a fine-looking car, especially in convertible form, and far less brutal than the 1958–60 models… read more >

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