You know, Ford’s Thunderbird has had so many reincarnations – Square Bird, Four-Door Bird, Down-Sized Bird, Aero Bird, and Retro Bird – that it probably should have been better named the Phoenix. That is, if Pontiac hadn’t already owned the rights to that name. There are no new Thunderbirds gracing Ford’s dealer lots today, and that brings up the question as to whether or not its last iteration – that Retro Bird – bears a modicum of collectibility?
Harkening back to the original ’55 – ’57 two-seat T-birds, although oddly featuring styling tropes from later models as well, the 2002-’05 ‘Birds also rivaled their ’80-’82 predecessor Crap Birds for shortest time on the market. That last until they make some more ‘Bird rode on the DEW98 platform shared with Lincoln’s LS and Jaguar’s equally backward-looking S-Type. The 252-bhp 3.9-litre V8 and Ford stable 5R55N 5-speed automatic proved a competent if uninspiring drivetrain, while the platform itself offered up a capable cruiser, but was far short of a sports car.
The last to date T-birds were also only the second of the long line of Ford’s personal coupes to offer independent suspension all the way around, and in a nice juxtaposition, also provided a round porthole in its removable hardtop – a soft top was also included – as a nod to the original. Interior fittings were mostly lifted from the Lincoln LS, and over all the car looked well built and has since not gained a reputation for unfavorable reliability.
All well and good, but is it good enough – especially in light of all the other, albeit vastly more expensive to maintain, two seat droptops of recent vintage out there – to warrant picking one up in the hope of seeing its value increase? What do you think, is the 2002-2005 Thunderbird Collectable or Forgettable?