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Ford Thunderbird (1989–97)
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1989 Ford Thunderbird.jpg

Ford Thunderbird (MN12). 1989–97 (prod. 961,624). F/R, 3797 cm³ (V6 OHV), 4601 cm³ (V8 OHC), 4942 cm³ (V8 OHV). Far more high-tech approach to T’bird, with wider body, longer wheelbase, but shorter overall length. Four-wheel independent suspension, with MacPherson struts at front, aiding handling and ride. Much heavier than before (3,542 lb at its lightest), and more expensive to build for Ford. Base V6, with 140 hp, struggled, though the Super Coupé’s supercharged V6, the only other powerplant at launch, had 210 hp and gave the ’Bird the performance expected of a sporting personal–luxury car. Thirty-fifth anniversary model 1990; OHV V8 returned 1991. Small styling tweaks in 1992, and base model deleted 1993. Dual airbags from 1994, the same year the Modular V8 replaced the previous one. Super Coupé deleted after 1995. New instrument cluster in 1997, but sales continued dropping as Ford focused on its SUVs. Not replaced until the new millennium.

Manufacturing location: Lorain, Ohio, USA

Marque: Ford | Model: Ford Thunderbird | Predecessor: Ford Thunderbird (1987–8) | Successor: Ford Thunderbird (2002–5)

q.v. Mercury Cougar (1989–97)


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Out now: Autocade Yearbook 2024