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Well its good to see were not the only ones wanting birds back, but idk about the whole next gen retro? I don't wanna drive a square bird, but, for now ill stick with my MN12 :)
 

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Well its good to see were not the only ones wanting birds back, but idk about the whole next gen retro? I don't wanna drive a square bird, but, for now ill stick with my MN12 :)
Well... the article sure could use expansion. BTW, I agree the 58-60 were the best looking ones ever built... and I had a 62. The very fact that Greene didnt mention the unique MN12 tells us why the brand died.
Apparently he didnt recognize it as what he wanted.. perhaps because there was no ragtop.

Ford already tried bringing the bird back and it was a flop.. because they looked at the wrong one to bring back; in an era of 'sport 4 door sedans' {which is in eyes of old school performance fans}, just silly.
But the two seater? At the time.. pretty but no guts, no handling and impractical as hell for cruisin with your friends... and too expensive to use as a street rod.

Nope, the squarebird IS the target.. if this market ever returns:

The very name -- Thunderbird -- felt ideal for the nation's post-World War II self-image: confident and powerful and a little cocky, unworried about what was around the next bend, strong enough to roll over any obstacles that might arise.
Problem is you couldnt find those either. They didnt sell a whole lot and those that were bought found top bidders on the used car market.
 

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I had a 63; I'd buy a new sport version of it in a heartbeat.

But it needs to be sportin' a Coyote motor to even consider it...

The new ones drive like my Contour; bad.
 

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I had a 63; I'd buy a new sport version of it in a heartbeat.

But it needs to be sportin' a Coyote motor to even consider it...

The new ones drive like my Contour; bad.
They handled great for a sixties car. But I thought they were too heavy then, - and that was BEFORE they made them even heavier, and still do.

Contour... there's an better idea {mondeo} better forgotten. Funny how that foreign mystique loses its glitz when actually put in practice.
Anyone who dabbled in the Sierra/Merkur deal learned that.
Such things ARE overcome, though...
I was talking with a guy yesterday who noticed how clean my 93 was. He said his '08 Focus hadnt given him a bit of trouble in 3 years.. much unlike his previous Jetta.
 

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There's been so many generations and differing themes of the Birds it's really hard to find the right demographic to go after when considering retro. It's not like the Mustang where a super majority liked the 64-1/2 to 68 body styling the most, there's huge fanbases for the 2 seaters, square birds, bullet birds, aero birds ect. Who's to say which one is best to clone? The DEWbirds popular 55-57 styling basis was a flop soooo...

I do however think it's a waste of a nameplate considering it still has positive heritage to most people, the problem really is that there isn't a suitable platform (IMO) to put it on and what it would end up being if it's not retro.
 

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They handled great for a sixties car. But I thought they were too heavy then, - and that was BEFORE they made them even heavier, and still do.
I think 5500lbs (my 63) was the high point; anyone know what they weighed year to year? :)

It was made of what looked like 12awg steel, lol.

I drove mine to school in the 80s; 69 miles in 40 minutes, everyday, for a couple of years... and part of that was a gravel road. :) It only got about 18mpg.
 

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All I know is that it better have some balls this time around... and the option for manual tranny, I hate that tiptronic crap... Fords last attempt ended as a great choice for a woman.
 

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All I know is that it better have some balls this time around... and the option for manual tranny, I hate that tiptronic crap... Fords last attempt ended as a great choice for a woman.
Come to think of it, almost every time I see one of the 02-05 'Birds, it's a woman driving it.
 

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Come to think of it, almost every time I see one of the 02-05 'Birds, it's a woman driving it.
TRUE.. or a mid-life crisis guy with discretion
Things change, though... used to hear that about Mustangs. And every long-term MN12 owner I've MET locally, happens to be a woman. Guy I bought my car from bought it from a woman who owned it for about 5 years, IIRC.
 

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Old people here love the retro birds. And the reason MN12s are talked about is that they are from Fords point of view a mistake from beginning to end. They should have been cancelled even before 97 from fords point of view but they needed to wring out a few more bucks from it before burying the carcass. The SN95 overshadowed this gen of birds mid life and thats the end Ford wanted just something in between the Fox and SN95 for the Ford brand exposure. Funny thing is that the mn12 was the longest lasting generation so those who say the 98 should have come out and so on should really be realistic as the mn12 gen was already on borrowed time by 96. The mistake generation lasted a while and we should be happy it wasnt axed at the end of 95.
 

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Everything Splattered said! And remember.. what's good for Ford is good for us. The SN95 was high profile and greatly benefited even us.

I'm no longer a 'Stanger' but many of you guys dont realize how close Mustang came to nothing but a name; it and the Taurus along with the trucks kept our marque healthy*.

Better than other car companies who flop around a lot looking for the image they want.

* Sadly Lincoln hasnt been able to find a niche since the Navigator and Town Car. Second after Escalade and SRS is same as last.
 

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I think the grand touring car market is returning with cars like the Audi S5, BMW 6 series, Cadillac CTS Coupe, and Mercedes Eclass coupe. I think the MN12 is the perfect model for a car that competes with cars costing thousands of dollars more and offers real performance and personal luxury for the price, with seating for four or five. Bring back the grand touring Thunderbird.

With the 1983-1997 Thunderbirds, Ford had a better idea:

All of the classic Thunderbird purists have their head up the ass and know nothing about Fox or MN12 Thunderbirds. I like how the article completely ignores our cars as completely insignificant as if they were garbage or something. The MN12 is one of the most sophisticated American cars ever made, and were the first Thunderbirds to offer any real performance since their precious overpriced 50s 'bird...

Making a another new retro Thunderbird is ridiculous, I wish they would get over this retro kick with the whole auto industry. The designers need to grow some creativity and some balls.
 

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I like the blatant f-u to Beemer in that ad...and WOW 44K for a car in the 1980s? Lately I want a turbo coupe...or a super coupe
 

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I like the blatant f-u to Beemer in that ad...and WOW 44K for a car in the 1980s? Lately I want a turbo coupe...or a super coupe
But then Ford goes and blatantly copies the styling and design... :tongue:

 

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Yup yup. They essentially took a CSI, put it into a wind tunnel and spent a few billion dollars to soften the edges for improved CoD :D
Yep, and made it longer, lower, wider, sleeker, sexier. The BMW looks too short/too tall the MN12 is that BMW done correctly.
Well that BMW was designed in 1975. If BMW had chosen to redesign the 6 series in 1989, it probably would have looked like an MN12.
 

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I still dont see any similarities between the BMW and the Thunderbird ( besides being 2 door cars ) ...

The Tbird was designed to compete with the European market ( much like the Corvette was built to copy the european sports car during the 50's, and the Thunderbird followed in its footsteps )

.. also, the mn12 Thunderbird concept was originally designed with a swoop down front end with pop up Headlights, and a Hatchback. These were replaced with the styling we have today due to "Consumer Feedback / Market research"

The Billions of dollars spent were to design a completely brand new platform from the ground up, new suspension, AWD Tbird, Eaton tuning, etc etc .. all of this research that ended up going into other vehicles ( Terminator Mustang Cobras, Lightning, etc .. would have been a lot more costly to develop or not happened if it werent for all of the money spent on the Tbird's Research and Development during the mid to late 1980's. )
 

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The body lines, side window shapes, taillight profiles all match the 6 series in every way but size. Those aspects on the Tbird weren't something that evolved naturally from the predecessor 83-88s, those aspects are distinctly shared with that BMW which was at the time very distinct itself and considered by many to be the best looking BMW made. European GT coupes at the time were pretty much the Bimmer CSI and the Merc SEC.

The MN12 was almost to not exist at all. Those pop up headlight/hatch concept drawings/models initially coexisted with the mindset to put the Thunderbird name onto the Taurus platform.

* Sadly Lincoln hasn't been able to find a niche since the Navigator and Town Car. Second after Escalade and SRS is same as last.
I'd add the Mark VII to that.

That car was a very dramatic departure from the Mark VI and the Mark series it preceded had stood for since it's re-inception with the III. It went from plush ultra luxury to high tech sport-luxury, a similar tactic Cadillac would follow 20 years later weirdly with equal success. Had Lincoln continued that path through the 90s and 00s with the rest of the lineup, they'd probably be right up there with Cadillac now, if not ahead. Instead they chose to water the Town Car down into a mere Crown Vic clone, stuff a heavy detuned 32V into an already front heavy Taurus chassis and soften the styling across the line (including, dare I say, the Mark VIII)

There was of course the LS which was based on a world class platform that still is in use today as the Jag XF but the styling inside and out was half hearted at best and wasn't particularity special in regards to performance.

Recently it's very clear someone high up within FoMoCo thought the failed Lincoln Versailles and Cadillac Cimarron concept deserved a second chance within the ENTIRE LINEUP! Literally every model is a trim differentiated corporate twin and nothing is a flagship or has the prospect to be one. It's the exact problem Mercury had but with slightly more brand equity... For now.
 
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