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The 2002–05 Ford Thunderbird is getting more attention

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

I remember those days when my uncle started brought home a new '02 Thunderbird and was very proud of it. Too bad he had to sold it after a few years.

Over $17K for a number 3 car seems generous. Less than a year ago, there was an insurance adjuster in my lobby when I was discussing listing a customer’s Acura Integra GSR on BringATrailer. The insurance adjuster heard our conversation and was interested, as he had been trying to sell his low mileage, garaged, lightly upgraded Thunderbird for months with zero interest. I was confident that BAT would be a good place to sell it, until we looked at the Thunderbird results and the only ones that were selling had four figure odometers or owners letting go for about 2/3rds of the value listed in the article.

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That Thunderbird sounds a previous one. Did you got some pics of it?

I don’t remember the model year, but it was absolutely the two-seat retro-bird of the early 2000s. You can look at the BAT results right now. A last-generation T-bird has to be something truly special to sell for $11K, and it has to have well under 10,000 miles to bring $17K.

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Lots of cool Tbirds there last time I checked. Gonna try to look for her there later.

It is foolish to turn down a car because of milage in these days of modern CAD design tools. I bought my 2004 only 3 years ago with 150,000 miles on the clock. It was a well cared for and well maintained Pacific Coast Roadster which meant a nice color and all options. I banked the money received from selling the new paid for luxury 4 door sedan which I had been using. Driving the Tbird daily it added 30000 miles in 3 years. My maintenance bill is averaging $20.00 a month. While I don’t race it, I do take it on vacation trips through the mountains and deserts of West Texas. It is a Ford, parts and skilled mechanics are available anywhere. I have zero worries about taking care of whatever might need service or replacement. Top up or down, I prefer the Tbird as a fun drive.

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If you actually drive one of these Tbirds you will be very impressed. At least that’s my humble opinion in addition to all of my friends that drive one of ours when they visit my shop. Ford handled this car poorly from the start as is mentioned in the article. After introduction they basically abandoned it for other projects dealing with their 100th birthday celebration. As everyone knows the Ford GT took center stage and then there was the fallout from J. Nassar’s Rapid expansion of the Ford empire. Multiple reasons but Ford offered no effort whatsoever to expand the model or it’s appeal. The engine is essentially the same V8 that Jag and Aston Martin use so there is plenty of room for a performance model but nothing but crickets and then the Axe from Ford.
Do yourself a favor and try driving one. At current prices they are a great value and certainly a great deal of fun (fun fun). Sorry could not resist.