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Ford Thunderbird (1977–9)
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1978 Ford Thunderbird.jpg

Ford Thunderbird. 1977–9 (prod. 955,032). 2-door coupé. F/R, 302, 351, 400 in³ (V8 OHV). Downsized ’Bird, created by transferring the nameplate to the intermediate platform, after seeing that Elite worked with buyers. Similar to Ford LTD II but with slightly different styling, and in 1977, outsold its sister line. Drop in weight (900 lb off) and overall length (10 inches) as well as huge reduction in price. Far more manœuvrable than predecessor. Improved trunk volume and back seat actually usable (interior volume, overall, was comparable with the 1972–6 edition), but average in reliability (poorer for 1977s). T-roof option introduced 1978. Diamond Jubilee edition in 1978, essentially renamed Heritage for 1979. Largest 400 in³ engine deleted for 1979 as CAFE raised to 19 mpg (from 18 mpg). Suffered in comparison to GM’s downsized personal–luxury cars such as Pontiac Grand Prix (1978–87).

Manufacturing locations: Chicago, Illinois, USA; Los Angeles, California, USA; Canada

Marque: Ford | Model: Ford Thunderbird | Predecessors: Ford Thunderbird (1972–6), Ford Elite | Successor: Ford Thunderbird (1980–2)

q.v. Mercury Cougar (1977–9)

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