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Vehicle to be offered for Auction sale January 19th – 22nd, 2017 at Russo and Steele’s 17th Annual Scottsdale Arizona Auction at the Salt River Fields at Talking Stick. Please contact us for more information.
Ford invented the “personal luxury” automotive market in 1954 with the release of the brilliant two-seat Thunderbird. Unlike the early six-cylinder Chevrolet Corvette, the Thunderbird found immediate success by providing sporty, yet comfortable top-down motoring with modern V-8 power and a comprehensive suite of standard and optional passenger amenities. While the Thunderbird’s two-seat layout was abandoned after 1957, the Thunderbird remained a market leader throughout the following decades. No fewer than eight distinct generations redefined the concept and were produced between late 1954 and 1997, when the final Fox-bodied Thunderbird rolled off the Lorain, Ohio assembly line.
At this time, however, Ford had another idea under development for an entirely new Thunderbird, with design work led by Dave Turner, Jack Telnack, and J. Mays. Unveiled in 1999 at the North American Auto Show in Detroit, the new-age Thunderbird concept car marked a welcome return to the original two-seater layout of the 1955-1957 “Little Birds” and featured Ford’s new “modern heritage” styling theme. The Thunderbird was based on the all-new DEW98 platform shared with the new Lincoln LS sports sedan and the Jaguar S-Type, and power was provided by a 252-horsepower, 3.9-liter modular V-8 engine mated to a five-speed automatic overdrive transmission. Most importantly, the new Thunderbird’s engine developed 267 pounds-feet of useful torque for great acceleration. Fully-independent suspension and four-wheel power disc brakes with ABC ensured excellent ride, handling and stopping. While intended for stylish cruising in luxury, the new Thunderbird was also a sparkling performer with strong acceleration and handling.
This first-year 2002 Thunderbird is visually arresting, to say the least, with its Code 3 Torch Red paint finish over period style two-tone leather upholstery. Just 122.5 miles of use are indicated and the Thunderbird’s total presence, in keeping with its flawless engine and underhood area, chrome wheels, and auxiliary ‘porthole’ hardtop. As offered, it provides an undeniable opportunity to make a true statement wherever you drive with it!