Friday, November 28, 2014

Friday Car Pr0n #58

Keeping with the numerical theme, today's car was easy:

1958 Ford Thunderbird. Picture from this classified ($14.5K? Serious?)

The '58 T-bird is one of those love-it-or-hate-it cars. It represents everything that a car company can do wrong with a vehicle. The T-Bird was introduced in 1955 as a competitor to the Corvette, a lithe, two-seat convertible with an 8-cylinder motor meant to move the small (for the time period) car quickly.

But in 1958, Ford changed the parameters for the 'Bird.

The Thunderbird was always designed with more of a "personal luxury car" feel, so making it larger to accommodate the entire family was a smart move. Not smart, however, was taking a small (again, for the time), light (ditto) car with a V8 and making it larger - they'd have been better served with a different marque and left the T-bird as a 'Vette competitor.

What it did do, though, was pave the way for the Mustang, which is - after the F150 - Ford's greatest success story. As the Thunderbird grew ever larger, which turned it into just another large car, there was a decidedly missing component to Ford's stable. The Mustang - designed by none other than Lee Iaccoca - filled that hole, and has done so for more than 50 years now.

OTOH, the T-bird had to die so that the 'Stang could live, and the '58 T-Bird was the beginning of the end...

That is all.


Old NFO said...

That it was... And 'stangs started life as re-bodied Falcons... :-)

NotClauswitz said...

Ford should have made the T-Bird a Lincoln, a GTO kinda touring car.