Meet the 1966 Ford Thunderbird, a car that was inspired by European models. Check out the history of this car below!
The story of Ford Thunderbird begins in World War II. Back then, American soldiers in Europe were surrounded by sleek convertibles. They fell in love with them, and when they returned home, they wanted cars like that.
American manufacturers did not have anything like this in their lines. Then former soldiers began to bring them from abroad. The bigwigs of domestic car brands did not like this.
So Ford had to come up with something that matched the European offer. That's how the Corvette was born and instantly became a success.
Seeing that they were losing ground in this segment, Ford had to create a sophisticated roadster of its own – that was the Ford Thunderbird. The bird was designed by Lewis Crusoe and Ford chief designer Frank Hershey.
Hershey's favorite car was the Jaguar XK120, so the Firebird was built on the same platform.
The first generation Ford Thunderbird was unveiled at the 1954 Detroit Auto Show and hit the road the following year. The first generation outperformed the Corvette 23 to one.
Although the car was a huge success, Ford executives feared that the two-seater layout would limit its sales potential. So, in 1958, for the second generation, it switched to a four-seat design.
The third generation, released in 1961, is undoubtedly the best, at least the most popular today. It has been completely redesigned to be as aerodynamic as possible, giving it a bullet-like shape. It's incredibly cool, but it only lasted until 1963, when the fourth generation was released.
O Ford Thunderbird was a personal luxury car, so the emphasis was not on performance. That said, the power plant is a 6.4 liter (390 ci) V8. Being a 1966 model, the engine was revised and now has 320 hp (325 hp), 20 more than before. You could also get it with a 7.0 liter (428 ci) V8 that produced 345 hp (350 ps). But this car's engine provides more than enough power for comfortable cruising.