November 2023The 80-82 T-birds were the work of Lee Iacocca, Gene Bordenet, and Henry Ford 11. They were designed in 1977. They were based on the Fairmount/Zephyr chassis which in turn was the fox body used on the new Mustang for 1979. In 1980 interest rates were well over 10%, the energy crisis of 1979 was still prevalent. Iacocca and Bordenet were long gone by the time this car was introduced in late 1979. The 80 Thunderbird was downsized like other personal cars for better gas mileage, handling, and comfort. Engine choices were a smog choked 255 and 302 v-8s. Late in the year Ford's famous 3.8-liter 6 cylinder was introduced. Perhaps one of the worst engines Ford produced of all time. My brother had a 94 T-bird with this engine and replaced the head gaskets twice. This engine ate head gaskets as often as one would change clothes. To celebrate Thunderbirds 25 th anniversary, there was a silver anniversary model available in four colors: silver metallic, Red Glow, Black, and midnight blue metallic, with silver accents. In 1982 I saw a black one traveling on I-69, the one and only one I ever saw. Today you rarely see one of these cars anywhere. In 1984 I looked at an 82 Town Landau, its hood did not fit right, and the jukebox electronics were on the blink. A car only 2 years old with these problems, scared me away. Production for 1980 started well at 156,803 units. In 1981 production dropped to 86,693 units and 45,412 units for 1982. A Honda or Toyota was a much better car and better buy at this time. The big 3 were all making throw- away cars at this time. This series of T-bird was bland and gaudy. The less said, the better. Our club has been established for over 20 years, and I can't account for one that was ever in our club. Club member Bud Gibson, I, and a friend saw two complete ones in a junkyard this past weekend. Club members if you see one, please contact me. Next up the aero birds of 1983-1989.Respectfully submitted, Larry Sneary
Styles and Changes
After a five year hiatus, Ford introduced the 2002 Thunderbird. Returning to the original formula for the Thunderbird, the latest version had a two-passenger convertible/removable hardtop configuration like the first-generation Thunderbird and styling strongly recalling the original.
What is a bird that does not fly and some requires maintenance?