If you think nostalgia is what the car industry needs even more of, then there's some potentially good news: the Ford Thunderbird may be coming back. This is according to Ford Authority, which cites anonymous insiders as saying the Thunderbird will be revived as a new grand touring coupe to compete with the Chevy Corvette. Car companies—Ford included—have brought back old nameplates time and again, so that alone wouldn't be surprising. The idea of a two-door Ford car that's not a Mustang, though, would really be something.
Ford first launched its two-seat 1955 Thunderbird to rival the Corvette, which had been lighting enthusiast fires for two model years already. In subsequent years, the Thunderbird grew and changed, morphing into a substantial four-door sedan with a Dust Buster snout in the late '60s, a two-door hardtop in the '70s, and a turbo coupe in the '80s. The Blue Oval then pulled the Thunderbird from the lineup, only for it to reemerge as a retro-styled coupe in 2002 with elements from the mid-'50s and early-'60s. It ran for a few more years before the ‘Bird fell silent once again.
Ford filed a trademark for the Thunderbird name on Jan. 13, 2021, and rumors have been circling ever since. After all, the Bronco and Maverick have made their own respective comebacks in the last couple of years. If the sales success of those two models is anything to go off of, Ford might as well rejuvenate every shelved name from the past 50 years—alright, maybe not the Pinto.
This could also be a great way for the Thunderbird to redeem itself after a somewhat rocky ending in the early 2000s. The seats were skimpy on padding and the transmission was all but good, and a new Thunderbird would surely be electrified to provide the oomph that the old 3.9-liter V8 just couldn't. Of course, this is all just speculation at this point, so we’ll have to wait and see.
But with the new F-150 Lightning already back in the mix, what better time for a new Thunderbird?
Got a tip? Send it to email@example.com.