When the retro-styled Ford Thunderbird hit the streets in 2001, most of them were snapped up and put away as "future collectables." That's nice, but it also means that prices are up and the mileage is so low that you risk driving the value out of a car that you buy. That's why this 2003 Ford Thunderbird is so refreshing: it's just a car. With enough miles to know that it's been properly enjoyed and proper maintenance behind it, it's a stylish 2-seater that can be used, you know, as a real car.
The color is called Whisper White, and it's a classic look on anything called Thunderbird. The styling recalls the first 2-seater 'Birds of the 1950s, so white was a natural choice and it certainly looks good on the handsomely styled Thunderbird of the 21st century. Only 2460 Thunderbirds were painted this color, so it's not exactly common, and it showcases the car's many design details that make it special. The grille and headlights are certainly vintage-looking, finished in chrome, and the vents on the front fenders recall the faux chrome details on the original. The finish is in good condition for being 13 years old, with a few touch-ups here and there and more recent paint on the left front fender and hood. No matter, it looks great and people will admire this car everywhere it goes because it embodies everything that' great with top-down motoring. This is A-list motoring for the price of a used Honda Civic.
The black and white leather interior should create a sense of Deja-vu with its pleated seats and brushed metal accents. This car has obviously been properly maintained, as the leather shows only modest comfort marks and no splitting, cracking, or significant wear. The same is true of the carpets, which, in a convertible, is pretty remarkable, and the door panels don't show so much as a divot where the driver's elbow might have rested. That's a testament to the quality of the build as much as the care it's received. Everything was standard in the Thunderbird, and the steering wheel is wrapped in black leather. White-faced gauges are a modern touch that somehow seems to work rather well here, and as you'd expect, everything works properly. There's a black canvas convertible top that disappears with the touch of a button, and it provides great contrast that works well with the white bodywork. The Thunderbird also offers a good-sized trunk ready for a vacation.
Ford's 3.9 liter DOHC V8 pumped out 280 horsepower in the Thunderbird, making for some very entertaining performance. After 13 years, these engines' reliability has been proven and it starts quickly, idles smoothly, and pulls well in all five gears. There's a little dust on the black plastic engine cover, but otherwise the engine is tidy and unmolested, so factory reliability remains intact. The suspension is supple yet athletic, the perfect combination for cruising easily and having some fun when the road starts to twist, but it isn't a sports car. Likewise, the 4-wheel disc brakes are massive, but that's mostly for security and safety, not eyeball-detaching race detail. The exhaust has a pleasing V8 burble and a mellow roar at full throttle and those chrome wheels were unique to the T-Bird and now carry 235/50/17 Uniroyal radials.
These are really nice cars and are sure-fire collectables in the future. Why not enjoy the retro look on a more reasonable budget? Call today!