Moving Into A New Age

1979- Present
The ten years that followed here saw many interesting changes in the Thunderbird. Gone are distinctive characteristics that made this automobile more than just a car, such as the delineation of the chrome bumpers and trims, and the distinctive fine detailing on the landau model. In their place were the clean, crisp lines of the high-tech, space-age technology.

Am/Fm stereo cassettes have been replaced with quadraphonic compact disc players. Those jet fighter-looking dials and switches on the dash of the ’64 model, that we all spooned over, have given way to computerized digital readouts. Front-disc brakes have advanced to “anti-lock” brakes, and cruise control (once the height of highway driving luxury, will, in the very near future, be given over to onboard computer generated trip routing – voice activated yet. Thanks to the world’s pollution problems, we now have something called an “anti-smog device,” although we really know it’s just another gadget to muck-up the engine’s performance.

The 1995 Thunderbird, however far removed from the 1955 design, remains yet in a class of its own. With its familiar wingspan badge, it is clearly recognizable by all. Continuing with a long and proud history, the 1995 Thunderbird features the most up-to-date interior equipment and most fuel-efficient engine. The LX model is generously equipped with driver and front-passenger air bags to supplement seat belts, illuminated controls for power door locks and windows, dual cup holders in the full center console, and separate heat ducts for passenger comfort. In addition, it carries CFC-free air conditioning, solar tinted glass, speed control, tilt steering, and six-way power driver’s seat adjustment, to name but a few. Not expected in a personal coupe is the generous room for five; most other 2-door coupes fall short in this area.

The 3.8-liter V-6 is standard in LX; the 4.6-liter V-8 is optional. The Super Coupe features a high-performance 3.8 liter supercharged and intercooled V-6. The T-Bird also offers an electronic 4-speed automatic overdrive transmission controlled by computer (standard in LX but optional with Super Coupe). The 3.8-liter V-6 has sequential electronic fuel injection, which releases fuel precisely and efficiently to each cylinder in “sequence” with the engine’s spark firing order. The 4.6-liter SEFI V-8 is one of the most advanced engines in its class; in addition to sequential EFI; the 4.6L features the precise air metering of an electronically governed mass airflow sensor.

The 1995 Thunderbird wheelbase is 113.0 inches, with an overall length of 200.3 inches. The ’95 also offers some of the most exciting color choices for the ’90s, such as Rose Mist, Evergreen Frost, Chamelion Blue, and the elegant Silver Blue Mist.

The future can only hold new surprises for lovers of the T-Bird. Perhaps we may even see the return of something that resembles chrome and the return of a two-seater sports edition whose styling may rival even that of its 1955 ancestor would not go unnoticed. One thing remains clear…whatever styling and technical changes come about, today’s dream car, however mundane we may deem the design, will be the collector’s choice of the next generation.

Happy 40th Birthday Thunderbird!