The Mythical 1955 Ford Thunderbird’s Origins

When America fell in love with the Thunderbird back in 1954 it was a lively two seater. Yet the Ford Thunderbird has continued to evolve into many different auto market segments over its lifespan and miles of the product. Yet nothing seems to hold T-Bird fans attention and rapt attention at the original 1955 “bird”.

“Thunderbird” is undoubtedly a fine name for a motor car, with its connotations of power, flight with just a hint of mystery. Yet Ford Thunderbirds is also a truly American car badge and label, the icon being a magical one for the Pueblo Indians of the South-West United States. That is more than appropriate because the “T-bird” was and still remains the essence itself of the American car illustrating over it more than 50 year most of the foibles as well as many of the strengths of that particular breed.

 

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The Ford Capri

In January 1969, a few months before man walked on the moon, Ford introduced the new Capri into Europe, in a bid to capitalise upon the massive success that the Capri’s American cousin the Mustang had enjoyed in the pony car and sports coupe market throughout the decade.

When the Mark 1 Capri was launched at the Brussels Motor Show with the slogan ‘The Car You always Promised Yourself’ it became an instant success with the baby boomer generation.

Within a year of production, almost one in four of all cars that Ford sold in Europe, was a Capri.

In 1970 nearly 250,000 Capris were sold. The car was assembled at Liverpool and Dagenham in the UK and at Ford’s plants in Ghenk in Belgium and Cologne in Germany. By 1973 the millionth Capri an RS 2600 rolled off the production line at Ford’s Halewood plant in Liverpool.

The early success in Europe led to Ford introducing the car into the US and Australian markets in 1970 and guaranteed the production of two further models, the Mark 2 and Mark 3 Capris. Continue reading “The Ford Capri”