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The Ford Thunderbird was a car manufactured in the United States by the Ford Motor Company. It entered production for the 1955 model year as a two-seater sporty car but, unlike the similar Chevrolet Corvette, the Thunderbird was never sold as a full-blown sports car. Ford described it as a personal luxury car, a description which named a new market segment. In 1958, the Thunderbird gained a second row of seats. Succeeding generations became larger until the line was downsized in 1977 and again in 1980. Sales were good until the 1990s, when large 2-door coupes became unpopular; production ceased after 1997. In 2002, a revived 2-seat model was launched, which was available through the end of the 2005 model year.
Eleventh generation (2002–2005)
2002–2005 Ford Thunderbird
After being on hiatus for several years, Ford introduced a new Thunderbird for 2002. Returning to the original formula for the Thunderbird, the latest version had a two-seat coupe/convertible layout like the first-generation Thunderbird and retrofuturistic styling to match. The eleventh generation Thunderbird was built at Ford's Wixom Assembly Plant and was based on the company's DEW98 platform, which was shared with the Lincoln LS and Jaguar S-Type. Though the Thunderbird's exterior styling was very much unique relative to its platform mates, the interior, particularly the appearance of the dash area, instrument panel, and steering wheel, was very similar to that of the Lincoln LS. The sole engine of the Thunderbird was a Jaguar-designed AJ-30 3.9 L DOHC V8, a short-stroke (85mm) variant of the Jaguar AJ-26 4.0 L V8, making 252 horsepower (188 kW) and 267 lb·ft (362 N·m) of torque. The engine was mated to Ford's 5R55N 5-speed automatic transmission. The AJ-30 V8 was replaced by the AJ-35 in 2003 and later Thunderbirds, bringing with it variable valve timing (VVT) and electronic throttle control (ETC) as well as 280 horsepower (210 kW) and 286 lb·ft (388 N·m) of torque. Complementing the extra power and torque provided by the AJ-35 V8, a manual shift feature for the 5-speed automatic called SelectShift was available as an option in 2003 and later Thunderbirds. With sales dropping off significantly after its first model year, Ford decided to make the 2005 model year the Thunderbird's last with no scheduled successor.
The last one rolled off the assembly line on July 1, 2005.
1955-1957 "Classic Birds" or "Little Birds"
1958-1960 "Square Birds"
1961-1963 "Bullet Birds"
1964-1966 "Flair Birds"
1967-1971 "Glamour Birds"
1972-1976 "Big Birds"
1977-1979 "Torino Birds"
1980-1982 "Box Birds"
1983-1988 "Aero Birds"
1989-1997 "Super Birds"
2002-2005 "Retro Birds *
*Source: wikipedia encyclopedia