With so many bland copycat machines crowding driveways and freeways alike, it's refreshing to see an automotive giant like Ford prioritize design and heritage as much as it did with the 2002 Thunderbird. It was this iconic American design, along with a smooth ride, V-8 power, high-quality convertible top, and value-packed sticker price, that got it named the Motor Trend 2002 Car of the Year. Winning the Golden Calipers results in automatic inclusion into our One-Year Test program, which gave us a genuine opportunity to log numerous road miles in this Torch Red two-seater. Somewhat unusual for a car entering our long-term fleet, this T-Bird came to us with over 9000 miles already on the odometer. Availability of Ford's new 'Bird was thin, and not wanting to wait months to take delivery of a factory-fresh car, we agreed to accept one that had been around the block a few times. Prior to our delivery, Ford serviced the car and replaced the tires, effectively resetting the odometer to the extent possible. The T-Bird proved an excellent conversation starter everywhere it went. Nearly every editor made logbook entries about the questions and comments they received from perfect strangers while filling up the gas tank, parking, or simply backing out of their driveways. Some admirers just wanted to catch a closer glimpse, while others fired off remarks about its price, performance, and retro styling. The only common complaint was that the wheels' design and finish looked cheap and didn't measure up to the rest of the car. While the exterior of our 'Bird received many compliments in the logbook, the interior stirred considerable controversy among our staff. Some praised the high-quality materials, thoughtful color accents, and retro-look gauge cluster. Editor Stone wrote that he "loves that Ford didn't short-sheet the aluminum trim; this is real aluminum, not aluma-look plastic." On the other hand, some staffers speculated that Ford spent most of its design budget on the exterior styling, therefore having to skimp on the look and feel of the interior. Editor Sessions noted that, "it's painfully evident that the interior got sloppy seconds from the Lincoln LS." While it's true that the dash, steering column, instrumentation, and center stack were borrowed from the LS, sharing parts is the only cost effective way to get certain products to market. The seats, despite their bolstered appearance, offered little real support. One editor remarked that the vintage-looking buckets went well with the retro styling, but didn't keep his bottom half from going numb on a four-hour trip. Early in our T-Bird's tenure, the in-dash CD changer became finicky. It would load discs, then refuse to eject them. A trip to the dealer resulted in removal of the unit and ejection of the discs manually. We also noted that the player operated at an unusually high temperature, resulting in hot-to-the-touch plastic discs when ejected. hat said, the Thunderbird is likely to go on hiatus, or disappear altogether, sometime after the 2005 model year (due to disappointing sales). This is true, even though horsepower went up last year, those early waiting lines at the dealership are long gone, and some of the bugs present in our early-production test unit have probably been exorcised. The T-Bird remains the only V-8-powered roadster you can buy for under, or anywhere near, $40 grand. If you want one, we'd say, "Why not!"
Digitally connect with dealers to answer questions about the virtual buying process, available inventory, financing options and more!
Shop safe! Inspect the details, ask all your questions and experience the benefits of the dealership from a distance with video walkarounds.
Easily find local dealerships offering online loan applications for simple, fast and contactless auto financing.
By placing this call you agree to the Terms and Conditions of Use of this website and that this call may be recorded by AUTO HOUSE FLORIDA, using technology powered by Carsforsale.com, for business purposes.
Sales tax, licence fees and dealer fees are not included in price.
2303 West McNab RD
Pompano Beach, FL 33069