1977 Ford Thunderbird: Dad’s Coworker

This is the 1977 Ford Thunderbird. Larry at Upjohn had one, yellow with brown velour seats. “Cramped back seat.” That was the official reason we couldn’t have one in a 4 teenager household.

At the time, I thought these were cool. I liked the 1978s better because they had Thunderbird logos on the headlight covers. Ideally, mine would be midnight blue and chamois. [Ed.: It was a thing.]

These were wildly successful for Ford. The previous generation was blobby and overwrought, on top of fat and slow. These were crisp and underpowered and mostly slow. Except in NASCAR form. Or when flogged by Car and Driver. A great car for the disco era, but it’s pretty transparent as a cosmetic burnish. What’s cool is how it echoes the brand and corporate styling cues of the time. What is not so cool for this period is that the only things making this a “Thunderbird” and not an LTD II Landau Brougham or a Lincoln Mark V Junior, are the badges (the words and the birds).

Yes, the greenhouse is unique. Basket handle B pillar treatments are not inherently Thunderbirdian. It just identifies it as a T-bird because the T-bird is the only model on the lot with that look.

And, cynically, it disguises the profile, so as to not be equated with its twin under the skin when pitching that sticker price.

It’s the New Taurus MT-5!

2016 Ford Focus SE

There will be a more in depth post to come, but for now, welcome to the fleet, Mr. 2016 Ford Focus SE. Yes, I am a sucker for a deep red clearcoat Ford.  Yes, I still love my ’88 Festiva and ;06 Mustang. Yes, I also support orphan cars – this 1.0L EcoBoost Focus (2016 only). See: Fiat 500L. See also: 1971 VW 411, 1973 Plymouth Fury, 1973 Honda CB350 – Four, 1979 Futura, 1990 Suzuki Swift (remember those?!), 1993 Geo. 2008 Scion.

I get it from my dad. He always wanted a 1980s Maxima wagon with a stick. And a Taurus MT-5. No one remembers MT was a nod to Motor Trend for being named car of the year. POS orphan car with a big 4 and a stick, so of course.

Likewise this car – no one makes performance mods for this specific model: a classy car with a Geo Metro motor on speed. No worries. I am content (for now) with it not sticking out.

2016 Ford Focus SE-1-3
Faster than the 1988 Festiva, with similar mileage. Way more responsible than the 2006 Mustang. #SuckerForARedFord

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