The year was 1999. Eagle, Mercury, Plymouth, Oldsmobile, and Pontiac still existed. The 1999 North American International Auto Show in Detroit was at its peak, and so was the retro-futuristic movement, demonstrated by throwback concept cars like the Nissan 240Z, Pontiac GTO, Chevy Nomad, and Ford Thunderbird. Previously discontinued in 1997, the return of the T-Bird in concept form was a reboot recalling the 1955 two-seat convertible original. The press went nuts, and a production car was in the works.
This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.hagerty.com/articles-videos/articles/2019/05/17/2002-05-ford-thunderbird-getting-more-attention