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Vellum Venom: 1990 Ford Thunderbird 35th Anniversary
Ford’s plan to sell a BMW-influenced touring coupe at 1989 Taurus GL prices likely failed for three reasons: the resulting car was big, went over budget, and insert unoriginal statement about SUVs killing coupes. Not that Thunderbird owners knew this sad situation, but karma was unkind to both the MN-12 platform and the career of its creator, Tony Kuchta. Which is a shame, since this clean-sheet redesign sported premium car performance without the luxury of a global platform parts bin.
The low-slung, fastback’d, and high-tailed Thunderbird looked distinctly American, likely designed withNASCARCAFEin mind: Remember that the range-topping Super Coupe’s staggeringly tall 2.73:1 axle ratio kept it from flying miles above its global competition. Cruiser gears aside, the sheetmetal was shockingly minimalist in the details.
Let’s see how little there was to the 1990 Ford Thunderbird, in 35th Anniversary guise.
This is the Thunderbird the 2000s reboot should have done. Tidy this up to modern standards without the modern gimmicks (i.e., toss bumps and more grill on everything) and keep the back seat usable with headroom --and sell it at a price that not just retired professionals can afford. ---aka be to BMW, Mercedes and such what Corvette has always been to GTs and supercars: the democratized option for the masses.