(Found In) Northwest Berkeley (Berkeley, California) : 1970 Ford Thunderbird Landau Sports-Back Coupe

img_6719The Ford Thunderbird saw many persona changes to cope with the changing times throughout its life as a personalized chariot for a select few. From luxurious sports personal convertible to overwrought George Barris Custom to fascinatingly land bound ode to space and air travel, to suburban bordello on wheels, where was the Thunderbird by the time it turned sweet 16?

In reality, it faced its first true identity crisis. Due to some new beauty standards in the field, the Thunderbird underwent a major dose of rhinoplasty to keep up with newer, fresher faces influenced by a new boss from a new studio. As the Thunderbird transitioned to adulthood, we look at what the awkward adolescence looked like.

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(Found In) Alberta Arts District (Portland): 1962 Ford Thunderbird Landau Two Door Hardtop

11830178_10152970839432201_804884135_nThe truth of the matter is, even if the Ford Thunderbird wasn’t the absolute best choice in its field, it definitely found itself being a trend setter. Although I don’t consider it the first and foremost Personal Luxury Coupe it did carry the sales torch in that genre for more than a decade.

Glittering gadgets, glamour and unique styling were one way that the Thunderbird stayed ahead of the rest of the personal nests from the best of the manufacturing world. In 1962, Ford tested two distinct oceans of taste. One of those was an homage to the baby bird stages of the Thunderbird’s life, and another that would see it through many years of middle aged bloat before it became a fit senior citizen.

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(Found In) Portola District (San Francisco) – 1962 Pontiac Grand Prix 2 Door Hardtop Coupe

11301581_10152876411207201_154592208_nThe personal coupe/personal luxury market took many a year to mature into the market definition it would become in the early 1970’s. As strides were made by individual brands in the early 1960s, there was a question of which tactics would be the most successful.

The key elements to this style of automobile were the perfect ratio of luxury, performance, style and accessible price. The 1953 Studebaker Coupes pointed in the initial direction, as did the 1958 Thunderbird. The initial response from all other brands ran a full gamut of responses. Pontiac had a special way of dealing with the dilemma as well.
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