Sponsor Message:
Non Aviation Forum
My Starred Topics | Profile | New Topic | Forum Index | Help | Search 
Ford Thunderbird Facts And Questions  
User currently offlinezippyjet From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 5501 posts, RR: 13
Posted (2 years 7 months 2 weeks 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 4401 times:

Hey folks if this has been covered in a specific thread forgive me for duplicity. I have some questions and facts. If anyone can elaborate and confirm and enlighten would be highly appreciated.

  • Fact: Air Conditioning was not available in the classic 2 seat first generation T-Birds.
  • Question regarding factory air on 1958-1966 birds; I remember two center dash vents were there any outboard registers/vents? It's hard to tell in pictures.
  • Fact: The best selling models of T-Birds were 1958 and the downsized 1977 Torino/LTD II platform T-Birds.
  • Fact: due to a strike the 1957 2 seat classic bird actually was made almost into 1958 and the 4 seat redesigned bird came out later than normal for new car year releases back then.
  • Fact: 1971 and 1972 T-Birds, the Opera Window was an option not standard.
  • True or False/Factory A/C was standard in the Continental based T-Birds years 1971-1976 but optional for the 1977-1979 generation and the 1980-1986 models.
  • What was your favorite model/year T-Bird?


For me, there's something in each generation of T-Bird that I liked. The 1990's era birds were nice looking but on the dreary side. I really liked the retro/classic last T-Bird generation. Other faves were the 1964-1966 and though many would disagree I really liked the 1967-1970 birds and this may sound sacrilegious but, I actually thought the 4 door was a looker. My cousin's family had a sweet looking and riding 1969 Aqua 4 door with the black vinyl top and black interior. She rode great but sadly was the epitome of a lemon for my cousin's family.

I hope that Ford will revive the T-Bird. I'd love to see a version based on the 1961-1963 and or 1964-1966 or even the 1967-1970 Town Landau T-Birds. I feel they would be a hit. If Mo par can revive the Charger and a Charger 4 Door then Ford could do well with a T-Bird revival. The last generation T-Bird was too pricey and impractical though I loved the looks. This is why it didn't do that hot sales wise.


I'm Zippyjet & I approve of this message!
36 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineSuperfly From Thailand, joined May 2000, 40035 posts, RR: 74
Reply 1, posted (2 years 7 months 2 weeks 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 4376 times:

The search feature at this site is useless. I started a thread about this a few years ago and it had a lot of replies and was active for over a week. Now I can't find it.

My favorite year is the 1966 convertible. It was the last year of the convertible until 2002.

The 1967 models were great also.







Quoting zippyjet (Thread starter):
I really liked the 1967-1970 birds

You should look for a 1971 Neiman Marcus "His & Hers" edition. The cars were equipped with telephones, tape recorders and other niceties. They retailed for $25,000 for the pair.

http://hooniverse.com/2011/11/26/hoo...71-his-and-hers-ford-thunderbirds/








I like the 'Big Birds' too (1972-1976) but you mine as well buy the Lincoln Mark IV or Mark V that is was based on and get all the nice luxury features.



Bring back the Concorde
User currently offlinekric777 From United States of America, joined Jun 2002, 280 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (2 years 7 months 2 weeks 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 4324 times:

Wasn't there a 4-door 'Bird in the '68-'72 timeframe that had suicide doors? THAT would be a collector's item. Interesting that, in my view, some of the the most attractive and interesting T-Birds are now some of the rarest...I guess it's a function of production volume, but those late '60s, early-70s T-Birds were the best! Certainly better than the land yachts that showed up in the mid to late '70s.

User currently offlineSuperfly From Thailand, joined May 2000, 40035 posts, RR: 74
Reply 3, posted (2 years 7 months 2 weeks 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 4312 times:

Quoting kric777 (Reply 2):
Wasn't there a 4-door 'Bird in the '68-'72 timeframe that had suicide doors?

That was the 1967-1971 model. They aren't that rare. My uncle had one years ago.
Following the release of the 1964 &1/5 Mustang, Ford felt a need to move the Thunderbird upmarket because it was too close to the Thunderbird. Therefore they came out with the optional 4-door Thunderbird in 1967 which featured suicide doors. It was the smaller Continental.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=roA67wRszc8

Quoting kric777 (Reply 2):
Certainly better than the land yachts that showed up in the mid to late '70s.

I happen to like the 'Big Birds' (1972-1976) but they were stripped down Lincoln Mark IV.


The best Thunderbird commercial has to be the 1977 model. I love the aviation reference.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A9233jAtWfo



Bring back the Concorde
User currently offlinemham001 From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 3695 posts, RR: 3
Reply 4, posted (2 years 7 months 2 weeks 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 4302 times:

Quoting Superfly (Reply 1):

The search feature at this site is useless. I started a thread about this a few years ago and it had a lot of replies and was active for over a week. Now I can't find it.
Sad News: Ford Thunderbird Production Ends In July (by Superfly Mar 11 2005 in Non Aviation)


User currently offlineSuperfly From Thailand, joined May 2000, 40035 posts, RR: 74
Reply 5, posted (2 years 7 months 2 weeks 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 4300 times:

Quoting mham001 (Reply 4):
The search feature at this site is useless. I started a thread about this a few years ago and it had a lot of replies and was active for over a week. Now I can't find it.
Sad News: Ford Thunderbird Production Ends In July (by Superfly Mar 11 2005 in Non Aviation)

That wasn't the thread I was looking for.
I started one a few years ago about your 'Favorite Ford Thunderbird'.



Bring back the Concorde
User currently offlinekric777 From United States of America, joined Jun 2002, 280 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (2 years 7 months 2 weeks 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 4282 times:

Quoting Superfly (Reply 3):
I happen to like the 'Big Birds' (1972-1976) but they were stripped down Lincoln Mark IV.


Fair enough, Superfly, different strokes for different folks, right   While I don't like them, I can see the appeal of the "junior Mark IV / V" T-birds.

However, I would definitely maintain that Ford completely lost the plot when it put the T-Bird on the Fox platform for 1980 ..that thing was a disgrace. A Fairmont with power windows...


User currently offlineSuperfly From Thailand, joined May 2000, 40035 posts, RR: 74
Reply 7, posted (2 years 7 months 2 weeks 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 4252 times:

Quoting kric777 (Reply 6):
However, I would definitely maintain that Ford completely lost the plot when it put the T-Bird on the Fox platform for 1980 ..that thing was a disgrace. A Fairmont with power windows...

Thank the government CAFE laws for that one.
You can tell that Ford still wanted to keep the Thunderbird big because it had all the styling cues of the the larger once of the previous year.
Keep in mind that the 1977-1979 models (in the commercial in reply #3) were not full-sized. They were downsized and build on the mid-size Torino platform. Then downsized again in 1980 and build on the Fairmont platform. In 1983, they were reskined and given the futuristic, aerodynamic look but still on the Farimont platform. At least it didn't 'look' like a Fairmont. That would last until the 1988 model year.


Funny story.
I have a friend who is kind of the trailer-park variant, but a good guy.
His father had two Thunderbirds (1984 model and a 1986 model).
One had front-end damage, the other had been rear-ended.
He got a blowtorch and cut the two cars in half, then welded the two good ends together.
It took him 1 year to do this. Funny thing is that he did it on their front yard.



Bring back the Concorde
User currently offlinestasisLAX From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 3286 posts, RR: 6
Reply 8, posted (2 years 7 months 2 weeks 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 4239 times:

My favorite Thunderbirds are the 1978 Diamond Jubilee Edition Thunderbird (the silver-blue on, not the burnt orange- this special edition came in those colors only) and my father's boiler-plate reliable 1989 Thunderbird with a 5.0 liter V-8..... which he later traded on on one of the worst Ford cars in recent history, the awful 1995 Ford Contour SE V-6 - which suffered numerous electrical problems and had a dashboard top that warped so much that it seemed like it was made from silly putty - it was soon traded in for a new Toyota Camry....


"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety!" B.Franklin
User currently offlineTSS From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 3070 posts, RR: 5
Reply 9, posted (2 years 7 months 2 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 4222 times:

Quoting kric777 (Reply 2):
Interesting that, in my view, some of the the most attractive and interesting T-Birds are now some of the rarest...I guess it's a function of production volume, but those late '60s, early-70s T-Birds were the best!

Yep, production volume is the key: It took Ford from 1955 until 1972 to build the first one million T-Birds, yet Ford built 936,038 of the '77-'79 models.

Quoting kric777 (Reply 2):
Certainly better than the land yachts that showed up in the mid to late '70s.
Quoting Superfly (Reply 3):
I happen to like the 'Big Birds' (1972-1976) but they were stripped down Lincoln Mark IV.

While the '72-'76 Thunderbirds had less standard equipment than the Mark IVs, those Thunderbirds could easily be optioned up to Mark IV levels of luxury and convenience... for a similar price. Other than the possible exception of the Cartier dash clock, and of course the retractable headlight covers, I'm not aware of anything that was standard or optional equipment on the Mark IV that was not also available on the '72-'76 Thunderbirds. Having owned a '73 Mark IV and having spent a fair amount of time in a '74 Thunderbird that belonged to my boss, I actually prefer the Thunderbird over the Mark IV due to it's more legible instruments (white-on-black versus black-on-brushed-silver) and the more comfortable upholstery pattern on the Thunderbird seats (the '72-'74 Mark IVs have a line of buttons up the middle of the seat that dig into my spine).

Edited to add:
'74 Thunderbird White and Gold Luxury Group, just like the one my boss had-
http://automotivemileposts.com/files/tbird1974whitegoldluxurygroupv2.jpg

Quoting Superfly (Reply 3):
Following the release of the 1964 &1/5 Mustang, Ford felt a need to move the Thunderbird upmarket because it was too close to the [s]Thunderbird[/s] Mustang. Therefore they came out with the optional 4-door Thunderbird in 1967 which featured suicide doors. It was the smaller Continental.

It should be noted that although the '67-'71 Thunderbirds offered a 4-door with suicide rear doors similar to the Continental, the suicide door Continentals and Thunderbirds used entirely different chassis.

[Edited 2012-04-15 22:34:16]


Able to kill active threads stone dead with a single post!
User currently offlineSuperfly From Thailand, joined May 2000, 40035 posts, RR: 74
Reply 10, posted (2 years 7 months 2 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 4212 times:

Quoting stasisLAX (Reply 8):
My favorite Thunderbirds are the 1978 Diamond Jubilee Edition Thunderbird (the silver-blue on, not the burnt orange- this special edition came in those colors only)

Those were nice. There are two still in San Francisco or both colors.
I prefer the Town Landau of that era because you get all the features of the Diamond Jubilee and the opera window.
The Diamond Jubilee had a blocked out C-pillar.

Quoting TSS (Reply 9):
While the '72-'76 Thunderbirds had less standard equipment than the Mark IVs, those Thunderbirds could easily be optioned up to Mark IV levels of luxury and convenience... for a similar price. Other than the possible exception of the Cartier dash clock, and of course the retractable headlight covers, I'm not aware of anything that was standard or optional equipment on the Mark IV that was not also available on the '72-'76 Thunderbirds.

Come to think of it, you are right. I remember seeing a 1976 Thunderbird at a wrecking yard that had the automatic headlights, lumbar adjustment, towing package and quadrasonic 8track tape player.



Bring back the Concorde
User currently offlineTSS From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 3070 posts, RR: 5
Reply 11, posted (2 years 7 months 2 weeks 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 4203 times:

Quoting Superfly (Reply 10):
I remember seeing a 1976 Thunderbird at a wrecking yard that had the automatic headlights, lumbar adjustment, towing package and quadrasonic 8track tape player.

Apparently automatic headlights were not standard equipment on all Mark IVs, either. Mine did not have them, but it did have the "auto-dim" feature.



Able to kill active threads stone dead with a single post!
User currently offlineSuperfly From Thailand, joined May 2000, 40035 posts, RR: 74
Reply 12, posted (2 years 7 months 2 weeks 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 4192 times:

Quoting TSS (Reply 11):
Apparently automatic headlights were not standard equipment on all Mark IVs, either. Mine did not have them, but it did have the "auto-dim" feature.

That is true. I've even seen a few Town Cars of that era that didn't have that feature.


Stuntman Kenny Powers tried to get his Mark IV airborne and fly from Canada to the US.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0eVqOBiucqA



Bring back the Concorde
User currently offlinePHLBOS From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 7554 posts, RR: 23
Reply 13, posted (2 years 7 months 2 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 4165 times:

Quoting zippyjet (Thread starter):
Fact: Air Conditioning was not available in the classic 2 seat first generation T-Birds.

Since many of those T-Birds were convertibles; A/C wasn't viewed as a necessity back then. Windows (including the front pivoting vent panes) and floor vents were the rule of the day for most cars of that era.

Quoting zippyjet (Thread starter):
Fact: The best selling models of T-Birds were 1958 and the downsized 1977 Torino/LTD II platform T-Birds.

The below-source (from Edmunds) indicates that the 1960 model year was the best sales among the '58-'60 "Square Birds" at 92,798 .

The best sales year (and best of all model years) for the '77-'79 Torino/LTD II-based 'Birds was the 1978 model at 333,767.

http://www.edmunds.com/ford/thunderbird/history.html

Quoting zippyjet (Thread starter):
Fact: 1971 and 1972 T-Birds, the Opera Window was an option not standard.

Fact: the '71 & '72 T-Birds were not the same vehicle. Opera Windows (at least from the factory) didn't start becoming available until the '72 model year (first year of the "Poor-Man's Mark IV" 'Birds).

Quoting zippyjet (Thread starter):
Question regarding factory air on 1958-1966 birds; I remember two center dash vents were there any outboard registers/vents? It's hard to tell in pictures.

As with a lot of cars of that era, A/C units were typically dealer-installed under-the-dash add-ons. These units (w/extra vents) were placed in the middle. With this type of system, I'm not 100% whether the A/C would flow through the factory vents as well or not. I'm also not sure whether those T-Birds even offered a factory-installed A/C option. I know Mustang didn't until 1967.

Quoting zippyjet (Thread starter):
True or False/Factory A/C was standard in the Continental based T-Birds years 1971-1976 but optional for the 1977-1979 generation and the 1980-1986 models.

I would like to say True; although most of the later models produced were equipped w/A/C. As with the full-size Fords & Mercurys of the time; A/C may have been listed as an option, but most already had it. Making A/C a standard feature for the 1987 model year was simply a formality.

Again, the first model year for Continental Mark IV-based T-Birds was 1972; NOT 1971.

Quoting zippyjet (Thread starter):
What was your favorite model/year T-Bird?

My favorite would be the '64-'66 era; except for the '66 Town Landau model (I wasn't a fan of the deleted rear-side window/large blindspot rear-roof).

Quoting Superfly (Reply 3):
Following the release of the 1964 &1/5 Mustang, Ford felt a need to move the Thunderbird upmarket because it was too close to the Thunderbird.

That's one reason why I refer to the '64-'66 T-Birds as the The Transition T-Birds; transitioning from Sport to Luxury.

Tid-Bit; Motor Trend's Car of the Year for 1964 was awarded to Ford's entire car line-up (T-Bird, Fairlane, Falcon & Ford (full/standard size) for that model year. The later-introduced Mustang would get the COTY award a year later.



"TransEastern! You'll feel like you've never left the ground because we treat you like dirt!" SNL Parady ad circa 1981
User currently offlineSuperfly From Thailand, joined May 2000, 40035 posts, RR: 74
Reply 14, posted (2 years 7 months 2 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 4123 times:

PHLBOS:
Was the 1967-1971 shared with the Mark III?

Quoting PHLBOS (Reply 13):
The best sales year (and best of all model years) for the '77-'79 Torino/LTD II-based 'Birds was the 1978 model at 333,767.

I remember riding to the ORD many times in one of those as a kid.

Quoting PHLBOS (Reply 13):
(I wasn't a fan of the deleted rear-side window/large blindspot rear-roof).

Same here. It's OK for the convertible because you can always lower the roof on sunny days.



Bring back the Concorde
User currently offlineTSS From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 3070 posts, RR: 5
Reply 15, posted (2 years 7 months 2 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 4087 times:

Quoting Superfly (Reply 7):
Keep in mind that the 1977-1979 models (in the commercial in reply #3) were not full-sized. They were downsized and build on the mid-size Torino platform.

From the 1976 to the 1977 models, Thunderbirds dropped 6.4 inches of wheelbase, 10.2 inches of overall length, and a whopping 901 pounds on base models... a particularly impressive feat since the '72-'76 T-Birds as well as the Lincoln Mark IVs and Vs were all built on an extra-long version of the same basic Torino chassis as used on the '77-'79 T-Birds.



Able to kill active threads stone dead with a single post!
User currently offlineSuperfly From Thailand, joined May 2000, 40035 posts, RR: 74
Reply 16, posted (2 years 7 months 2 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 4076 times:

Quoting TSS (Reply 15):
From the 1976 to the 1977 models, Thunderbirds dropped 6.4 inches of wheelbase, 10.2 inches of overall length, and a whopping 901 pounds on base models... a particularly impressive feat since the '72-'76 T-Birds as well as the Lincoln Mark IVs and Vs were all built on an extra-long version of the same basic Torino chassis as used on the '77-'79 T-Birds.

That is true and a reason why those models sold so well. They are very nimble cars too.
Lots of interior room, long hood, formal styling, yet has small car handling.
I used to have a 1976 Mercury Cougar XR-7 that was very fun to drive, especially on mountain roads. I even test drove a 1978 Diamond Jubilee Edition Thunderbird in Amber Gold Moondust (burnt orange).
Would be fun to get a 1977 or 1978 Town Landau Edition Thunderbird and drop in a 1970 spec.- 460cu", 4bbl carb, dual straight exhaust which puts out around 365HP, then use 255/75/15 white walls with factory aluminium turbine wheels and that car would handle like a Porsche around the turns.
Winston - now Uniroyal makes tires for these land-yachts that allows these cars to corner better. I had a set on my Mark V and I was able to go around curves at high speeds without fishtailing - even in the rain.
They even have them in whitewalls so it looks 100% factory.



Bring back the Concorde
User currently offlineSuperfly From Thailand, joined May 2000, 40035 posts, RR: 74
Reply 17, posted (2 years 7 months 2 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 4072 times:

Quoting TSS (Reply 9):
I actually prefer the Thunderbird over the Mark IV due to it's more legible instruments (white-on-black versus black-on-brushed-silver) and the more comfortable upholstery pattern on the Thunderbird seats (the '72-'74 Mark IVs have a line of buttons up the middle of the seat that dig into my spine).

Consumer reports had the same complaints about the Mercury and Lincolns that had the brushed silver displays and preferred the Fords for that reason. I never had problems reading the gauges with the brushed silver.

These designers series that would start in 1976 were magnificent.
The Givenchy Mark IV (light blue in back) was the only one to have simulated maple would while all the others would have the darker walnut grain wood.
http://i270.photobucket.com/albums/jj96/Rush8track/MarkIVDesigners.jpg



Bring back the Concorde
User currently offlinePHLBOS From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 7554 posts, RR: 23
Reply 18, posted (2 years 7 months 2 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 4059 times:

Quoting Superfly (Reply 14):
Was the 1967-1971 shared with the Mark III?

   Yes, right down to the 117" wheelbase.

Quoting Superfly (Reply 14):
Quoting PHLBOS (Reply 13):
(I wasn't a fan of the deleted rear-side window/large blindspot rear-roof).

Same here. It's OK for the convertible because you can always lower the roof on sunny days.

The '66 convertible still had rear-quarter windows.

Quoting TSS (Reply 15):
From the 1976 to the 1977 models, Thunderbirds dropped 6.4 inches of wheelbase, 10.2 inches of overall length, and a whopping 901 pounds on base models... a particularly impressive feat since the '72-'76 T-Birds as well as the Lincoln Mark IVs and Vs were all built on an extra-long version of the same basic Torino chassis as used on the '77-'79 T-Birds.

The price also dropped as well since the T-Bird went from Eldorado/Toronado/Riviera (full-size) competitor to a Monte Carlo/Cutlass Supreme/Grand Prix/Regal/Cordoba/Charger-Magnum XE (mid-size) competitor. The '77 T-Bird essentially replaced the '76 Elite.



"TransEastern! You'll feel like you've never left the ground because we treat you like dirt!" SNL Parady ad circa 1981
User currently offlineSuperfly From Thailand, joined May 2000, 40035 posts, RR: 74
Reply 19, posted (2 years 7 months 2 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 4057 times:

Quoting PHLBOS (Reply 18):
Yes, right down to the 117" wheelbase.

So technically the Thunderbird and Mark series shared the same platform from 1967 - 1979, then again from 1984-1988, and again from 1993-1997.

Quoting PHLBOS (Reply 18):
The price also dropped as well

Ford boasted about that in their ads.
This is one of those rare example of when I like a downsized model over the larger previous model. Not because the bigger one was inferior, but because it was the top in it's class on the mid-sized platform. The 1972-1976 Thunderbirds was a poorman's Mark IV.
The 77-79 Thunderbirds was also a rare moment where it out-shined it's Mercury equivalent. The Cougar didn't have concealed headlights.

True story, a friend of the family had a Thunderbird in this exact color (white with red trim) and her car was crushed by a tree in a heavy rainstorm in 1983. She bought a 1983 Buick Cutlass Supreme Brougham as her replacement.



Bring back the Concorde
User currently offlinePHLBOS From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 7554 posts, RR: 23
Reply 20, posted (2 years 7 months 2 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 4040 times:

Quoting Superfly (Reply 19):
So technically the Thunderbird and Mark series shared the same platform from 1967 - 1979, then again from 1984-1988, and again from 1993-1997.

Slight correction(s):

The T-Bird & Mark shared the same platform from 1968 through 1979 (there was no '67 Mark III).

As far as the '84-'97 models are concerned; technically, all of those models were based off the Fox platform despite the longer platform introduced for the '89 T-Bird. It's just that, for some reason, the Mark VII/VIII changeover was delayed by a few years.

Quoting Superfly (Reply 19):
The 77-79 Thunderbirds was also a rare moment where it out-shined it's Mercury equivalent. The Cougar didn't have concealed headlights.

One trade-off was that the concealed lights on the T-Bird were single vs. dual. They were also round vs. square/rectangular. It was the only Ford product that featured concealed single headlights. When I first saw a T-Bird w/the light doors opened; I was scratching my head. Ford's reasoning for the singles was likely done w/the assumption that since the previous Elite had singles (not concealed), why not the new ('77) T-Bird?

It's interesting that Ford continued the concealed single (but square) headlights with the '80-'82 models.

Nonetheless, sales of the similar '77-'79 Cougar XR-7 weren't too shabby either.

Total Production: 1977: 194,823 (XR-7 124,799) 1978:213,270 (XR-7 166,508) 1979: 172,152 (XR-7 163,716)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mercury_Cougar



"TransEastern! You'll feel like you've never left the ground because we treat you like dirt!" SNL Parady ad circa 1981
User currently offlineSuperfly From Thailand, joined May 2000, 40035 posts, RR: 74
Reply 21, posted (2 years 7 months 2 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 4037 times:

Quoting PHLBOS (Reply 20):
One trade-off was that the concealed lights on the T-Bird were single vs. dual.

The Mercury Cougar had available belts on the rear trunklid.
That looked really cool.  
Were any of the Torino based Fords & Mercurys models available with rear center arm-rest?



Bring back the Concorde
User currently offlinePHLBOS From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 7554 posts, RR: 23
Reply 22, posted (2 years 7 months 2 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 4027 times:

Quoting Superfly (Reply 21):
The Mercury Cougar had available belts on the rear trunklid.
That looked really cool.

Belts? Could you elaborate? Were these used to tie cargo down?

Quoting Superfly (Reply 21):
Were any of the Torino based Fords & Mercurys models available with rear center arm-rest?

I don't believe so. Back then, not too many cars featured a rear-center armrest. Ironically, the rear-center armrests didn't start appearing on the full-size Fords and Mercurys until the downsized '79s rolled out.



"TransEastern! You'll feel like you've never left the ground because we treat you like dirt!" SNL Parady ad circa 1981
User currently offlineSuperfly From Thailand, joined May 2000, 40035 posts, RR: 74
Reply 23, posted (2 years 7 months 2 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 4024 times:

Quoting PHLBOS (Reply 22):
Belts? Could you elaborate? Were these used to tie cargo down?

These were two belts the ran near the edge of the trunk lid. I recall seeing these a lot on those cars. It was to make the truck look sort of like a treasure chest.

Quoting PHLBOS (Reply 22):
Ironically, the rear-center armrests didn't start appearing on the full-size Fords and Mercurys until the downsized '79s rolled out.

The 1975 - 1975 LTD Landau had them.
My friend who has a 1978 LTD Landau has a rear center arm-rest.



Bring back the Concorde
User currently offlinezippyjet From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 5501 posts, RR: 13
Reply 24, posted (2 years 7 months 2 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 4013 times:

Quoting PHLBOS (Reply 13):
As with a lot of cars of that era, A/C units were typically dealer-installed under-the-dash add-ons. These units (w/extra vents) were placed in the middle. With this type of system, I'm not 100% whether the A/C would flow through the factory vents as well or not. I'm also not sure whether those T-Birds even offered a factory-installed A/C option. I know Mustang didn't until 1967.

Actually the factory A/C on the 58-66 T-Birds, Square, Bullet, and Flair Birds had the factory air vents in the dash front and center. I'm trying to find out if there were also outboard vents. It's hard to tell from pictures. Till 1965, most Ford motor company cars had the A/C slung under the dash. As a matter of fact they offered two different A/C systems. The premium was the "Select Aire" system that had large sized registers slung under the dash in the center. I remember my Aunt had a
1963 Country Squire wagon equipped with this unit.

There was a cheaper unit that was older it had two registers but it was thinner and smaller than the Select Aire. A stand out design was the vents were rounded at their center ends with the controls in the middle. T-Birds and Lincolns were the exception with the in dash integrated A/C system.

I noticed with the 77 and later T-Birds not including the final retro model standard interiors/seats were literally Torino like bare bones bench Depression era seats. I guess this was to keep the price down and create a loss leader model and more prospective customers into Ford showrooms to consider buying a "T-Bird."

That wasn't my favorite design however in the right color combo, it was snazzy looking. A buddy of mine had a '66 Town Landau with a white vinyl top and powder blue body with a dark leather blue interior. He kept it in mint condition back in the day. Of course the blind spot was severe as were many cars from that era.

REgarding the 2 seat birds not offered with A/C the Corvette didn't offer A/C until the 1963 Stingray style generation/models.

With the 1967 to 1971 Galmour birds with the suicide 4 door which chassis was it based/made on? Was that generation bird considered full or mid size? It's a shame Ford discontinued the 4 door. It seemed to sell well at least in the Baltimore, Washington area back in the day.

Quoting PHLBOS (Reply 13):
My favorite would be the '64-'66 era; except for the '66 Town Landau model (I wasn't a fan of the deleted rear-side window/large blindspot rear-roof).


[Edited 2012-04-17 15:35:44]


I'm Zippyjet & I approve of this message!
User currently offlinezippyjet From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 5501 posts, RR: 13
Reply 25, posted (2 years 7 months 2 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 4013 times:

Quoting Superfly (Reply 16):
That is true and a reason why those models sold so well. They are very nimble cars too.
Lots of interior room, long hood, formal styling, yet has small car handling.

Compared to the sundry LTD II's/Torino it was like night and day. The Bread and butter Torinos/LTD II's had handeling that left much to be desired. This was also the case with the base GM and Mopar midsizes of the day. When you stepped up to a Monte, Grand Prix and even a Cordova (with fine Corinthian leather) you got the nimble performance.

And I remember one of my dad's close friends had a 1972 or 1973 Mercury Grand Marquis in Miami. It had a rear center armrest, from what I remember.



I'm Zippyjet & I approve of this message!
User currently offlineTSS From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 3070 posts, RR: 5
Reply 26, posted (2 years 7 months 2 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 4010 times:

Quoting zippyjet (Reply 24):
With the 1967 to 1971 Glamour birds with the suicide 4 door which chassis was it based/made on?

The "Glamour Birds" used the same basic chassis as a Galaxie/LTD, although with 4 inches less wheelbase on the two-doors and 2 inches less wheelbase on the four-doors.

Quoting zippyjet (Reply 24):
Was that generation bird considered full or mid size?

I'm gonna say "full-size", although on the short end of that category.



Able to kill active threads stone dead with a single post!
User currently offlinestasisLAX From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 3286 posts, RR: 6
Reply 27, posted (2 years 7 months 2 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 3994 times:

Quoting Superfly (Reply 23):
These were two belts the ran near the edge of the trunk lid. I recall seeing these a lot on those cars. It was to make the truck look sort of like a treasure chest.

I remember there was a 1977-1979 Cougar "chamois package" - midnight blue/ almost black with tan trim (landau roof, bodyside mouldings, luggage "straps", tan turbine wheels, and a tan vinyl covered "continental" hump on the trunk) in my neighborhood when I was a kid. My dad owned a 1976 Pontiac Grand Prix and coveted that damn Cougar (think it was a 79) that our neighbor had. But the second Arab oil embargo hit, and we ended up with an navy blue '79 Cutlass Supreme Brougham coupe with a baby blue crushed velvet interior - with a tiny V8 engine. My mom loved that Olds Cutlass and owned it for several years,



"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety!" B.Franklin
User currently offlineSuperfly From Thailand, joined May 2000, 40035 posts, RR: 74
Reply 28, posted (2 years 7 months 2 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 3989 times:

Quoting zippyjet (Reply 25):
Compared to the sundry LTD II's/Torino it was like night and day. The Bread and butter Torinos/LTD II's had handeling that left much to be desired.

I didn't know that there were any difference with the mechanicals of the LTD II.

Quoting stasisLAX (Reply 27):
I remember there was a 1977-1979 Cougar "chamois package" - midnight blue/ almost black with tan trim (landau roof, bodyside mouldings, luggage "straps", tan turbine wheels, and a tan vinyl covered "continental" hump on the trunk) in my neighborhood when I was a kid. My dad owned a 1976 Pontiac Grand Prix and coveted that damn Cougar (think it was a 79) that our neighbor had.

Those were some of the most beautiful and elegantly styled vehicles. That was a very common color combo too. For some reason, I can't find a photo with the luggage straps.

When I was a kid growing up in Gary, Indiana, I had a friend who's father had the 1976 Pontiac Grand Prix. His was red with white interior and had T-tops. I thought he was the coolest cat in town. He was a small time pimp that wore alligator boots, polyester suits, feather in the hat and sometimes wore a cape.


Another friend of mine just one block away had the exact Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme Brougham coupe. His family was much more conservative but very friendly people.



Bring back the Concorde
User currently offlineTSS From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 3070 posts, RR: 5
Reply 29, posted (2 years 7 months 2 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 3984 times:

Quoting Superfly (Reply 28):
Quoting zippyjet (Reply 25):
Compared to the sundry LTD II's/Torino it was like night and day. The Bread and butter Torinos/LTD II's had handeling that left much to be desired.

I didn't know that there were any difference with the mechanicals of the LTD II.

Apparently '77-'79 T-Birds had a rear stabilizer bar and a stiffer front stabilizer bar than regular Torinos/LTD IIs, which would account for their superior handling characteristics-
http://www.fordclassics.com/stories/...erepergel/thunderbirds19771979.pdf



Able to kill active threads stone dead with a single post!
User currently offlineSuperfly From Thailand, joined May 2000, 40035 posts, RR: 74
Reply 30, posted (2 years 7 months 2 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 3974 times:

Quoting TSS (Reply 29):
pparently '77-'79 T-Birds had a rear stabilizer bar and a stiffer front stabilizer bar than regular Torinos/LTD IIs, which would account for their superior handling characteristics-

I wonder if the 1976 and older Cougars and Gran Torino also had the superior handling as well over their cheaper Montego and Torino brethren.
Thanks for the link!
I like all of the subtle aviation references.
Luxury Liners
new extended-range 27.5 gallon gas tank Ford Thunderbird ER



Bring back the Concorde
User currently offlineTSS From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 3070 posts, RR: 5
Reply 31, posted (2 years 7 months 2 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 3971 times:

Quoting Superfly (Reply 30):
I wonder if the 1976 and older Cougars and Gran Torino also had the superior handling as well over their cheaper Montego and Torino brethren.

I'd bet good money that the '74-'76 Cougars did, and possibly Ford Elites as well, but not regular Gran Torinos.



Able to kill active threads stone dead with a single post!
User currently offlineSuperfly From Thailand, joined May 2000, 40035 posts, RR: 74
Reply 32, posted (2 years 7 months 2 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 3968 times:

Quoting TSS (Reply 31):
I'd bet good money that the '74-'76 Cougars did, and possibly Ford Elites as well, but not regular Gran Torinos.

My 1976 Mercury Cougar was beat up by the time I bought it in 1991 but it still handled very well. Driving that beast up & down Topanga Canyon Road and Mullholand Dr. was a lot of fun! It hugged the turns very well and glided over bumps.
I'm still kicking around the idea of getting another one of these Torino based Cougars or Thunderbird Town Landaus and dropping in a 1970 spec. 460cu" V8.
That would be my small, sporty alternative to my Town Car.

I love Cougars....



http://i270.photobucket.com/albums/jj96/Rush8track/KGrHqFhEE5o7Hq2IrBOg5kFW8C60_3.jpg



By the way PHLBOS, here is an image of the "belts" on the rear trunk lid. This is a Thunderbird but I do remember seeing this on the Mercury Cougar also.

http://i270.photobucket.com/albums/jj96/Rush8track/Thunderbird_straps.jpg

What kind of aircraft is that?
Perhaps the Mizar air car should have used this aircraft to get the car off the ground.



Bring back the Concorde
User currently offlinePHLBOS From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 7554 posts, RR: 23
Reply 33, posted (2 years 7 months 1 week 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 3947 times:

Quoting Superfly (Reply 23):
The 1975 - 1975 LTD Landau had them.
My friend who has a 1978 LTD Landau has a rear center arm-rest.

   I stand corrected but not all LTD Landaus were equipped with such; neither my '76 Landau 2-door nor my brother's '78 Landau 4-door had those. It was likely offered as part of the Interior Luxury Group option. Actually the base interior for the '77-'78 Landaus were essentially the same as the '75-'76 LTD Brougham's interior.

Quoting zippyjet (Reply 24):
I noticed with the 77 and later T-Birds not including the final retro model standard interiors/seats were literally Torino like bare bones bench Depression era seats. I guess this was to keep the price down and create a loss leader model and more prospective customers into Ford showrooms to consider buying a "T-Bird."

That may have been true for the base/standard model interiors; but the T-Birds offered many interiors as either part of an option package or a separate trim level. One interior trim for the '80-'82 offered seats tha mimicked the "Floating Pillow" design offered on the '75-'79 Continentals.

Quoting zippyjet (Reply 24):
With the 1967 to 1971 Galmour birds with the suicide 4 door which chassis was it based/made on? Was that generation bird considered full or mid size?

Mid-size; primarily due to its 117" wheelbase (indentical to that of the 2-door model). Back then, any car with a wheelbase of 119" and larger was considered a standard/full-size car. The only full-size T-Birds were the '72-'76 "Mark IV"-'Birds which sat on a 120.4" wheelbase.

By the time, the '89 T-Bird rolled out (which had a wheelbase roughly a half-a-foot shorter than the Crown Vic); size classifications by wheelbase were long since abandoned in favor of the current interior volume standards.

Quoting zippyjet (Reply 25):
I remember one of my dad's close friends had a 1972 or 1973 Mercury Grand Marquis in Miami. It had a rear center armrest, from what I remember.

That model was likely a Marquis Brougham; the first Grand Marquis (as a separate trim/model) did not roll out until 1975. And again, the rear center-armrest was likely an option based on what interior trim was chosen.

As I mentioned earlier, most cars did not feature this item as standard equipment. The below-example on e-Bay is a '77 Grand Marquis in Lakeland, Florida without the rear-center armrests.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eB...3D7810660021203029345&cmd=ViewItem

Quoting TSS (Reply 26):
Quoting zippyjet (Reply 24):
Was that generation bird considered full or mid size?

I'm gonna say "full-size", although on the short end of that category.

Mid-size, see above-reply. The T-Bird's wheelbase was only an inch longer than that of the Fairlane/Torino but 2 inches shorter than that of the full-size Ford.

Quoting TSS (Reply 31):
Quoting Superfly (Reply 30):
I wonder if the 1976 and older Cougars and Gran Torino also had the superior handling as well over their cheaper Montego and Torino brethren.

I'd bet good money that the '74-'76 Cougars did, and possibly Ford Elites as well, but not regular Gran Torinos.

I think 'Fly was indeed referring to the Elite when he mentioned Gran Torino. When the Elite first rolled out in 1974, it was indeed called the Gran Torino Elite. The name was cut-down to just Elite a year later to further separate it from its Torino/Gran Torino bretheren.

Quoting Superfly (Reply 32):
By the way PHLBOS, here is an image of the "belts" on the rear trunk lid. This is a Thunderbird but I do remember seeing this on the Mercury Cougar also.

   Thanks for the pic. Now that you mention it, I did see a few T-Birds equipped with these belts back then... but never any XR-7s. I'm guessing that this option, while stylish, was offered to discourage the use of a roof-rack.



"TransEastern! You'll feel like you've never left the ground because we treat you like dirt!" SNL Parady ad circa 1981
User currently offlineN1120A From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 26718 posts, RR: 75
Reply 34, posted (2 years 7 months 1 week 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 3935 times:

I like the beautiful early models. From the 70s through the 90s, they were disgusting. Then the retro T-Bird was beautiful, but underwhelming mechanically.

Quoting zippyjet (Thread starter):
I really liked the retro/classic last T-Bird generation.

Those looked great, but had wimpy engines and no manual option. They should have put the Mustang Cobra engine and a stick in them. They they would have been awesome cars.



Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
User currently offlinePHLBOS From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 7554 posts, RR: 23
Reply 35, posted (2 years 7 months 1 week 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 3933 times:

Correction to an earlier post (slash added):

Quoting PHLBOS (Reply 33):
Quoting zippyjet (Reply 24):
With the 1967 to 1971 Galmour birds with the suicide 4 door which chassis was it based/made on? Was that generation bird considered full or mid size?

Mid-size; primarily due to its 117" wheelbase (indentical to that of the 2-door model).

My bad. The '67-'71 2-door T-Bird had a 115" wheelbase.

[Edited 2012-04-18 13:23:27]


"TransEastern! You'll feel like you've never left the ground because we treat you like dirt!" SNL Parady ad circa 1981
User currently offlinezippyjet From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 5501 posts, RR: 13
Reply 36, posted (2 years 7 months 1 week 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 3927 times:

Now, as it seems Ford is killing off the Retro Mustang it would be prime time to revive the T-Bird. If I were Ford, I'd base it on the Bullet and Flair Birds with contemporary lines. This way you could have a drop top. I'd also include a Landau style coupe like the Flair Birds but have an opera window. The car would have 4 seats and appeal to more buyers out there.

Quoting PHLBOS (Reply 33):
That may have been true for the base/standard model interiors; but the T-Birds offered many interiors as either part of an option package or a separate trim level. One interior trim for the '80-'82 offered seats tha mimicked the "Floating Pillow" design offered on the '75-'79 Continentals.

Again it was to get buyers in the show rooms and up sell them.



I'm Zippyjet & I approve of this message!
Top Of Page
Forum Index

This topic is archived and can not be replied to any more.

Printer friendly format

Similar topics:More similar topics...
Howard Faces Hicks, Shoes And Questions On Q&A posted Mon Oct 25 2010 07:32:24 by Baroque
Night Vision Types And Questions posted Tue Oct 13 2009 15:15:55 by AGM100
Green Tea: Health Benefits And Questions posted Tue Jun 28 2005 18:10:01 by Bongo
Sad News: Ford Thunderbird Production Ends In July posted Fri Mar 11 2005 17:52:00 by Superfly
Random Facts And Trivia About Your Town posted Sat Jun 28 2003 07:16:12 by DesertJets
Gcse 2002 Results And Questions posted Thu Aug 15 2002 01:51:18 by QatarAirways
James Bond Edition 007 Ford Thunderbird posted Fri Aug 2 2002 13:52:15 by Superfly
I Am In Love With The New Ford Thunderbird posted Thu Oct 25 2001 07:14:24 by Superfly
KSM Trial ... Questions And Rhetoric posted Mon Feb 1 2010 11:06:32 by AGM100
Questions About Visitng AUS And NZ In September posted Sun Jul 12 2009 14:46:40 by Marcus