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Jinx`s Ford Thunderbird gets the axe and is retired for the second time

27-Apr-2003 • Die Another Day

The Washington Times have reported that Ford have axed the Ford Thunderbird (which Jinx drove in "Die Another Day") for the second time:

Car collectors are overjoyed. Ford Motor Co. is retiring the Thunderbird for the second time because of slow sales of the $39,000 retro-styled roadster. A top Ford official announced it will stop building the ragtop T-bird at its Wixom assembly plant in Detroit after the 2005 or 2006 model year.

"We have always planned to build it for four model years, and that is what we`re going to do," Ford Division President Steve Lyons told Detroit auto writers Monday. "We`re going to take a pause, but we don`t know what the long-term plans is."

The redesigned Thunderbird recreated a sensation when it was revived for 2001, selling for as much as $10,000 over its $39,000 sticker price. But sales of the V-8 convertible cooled to 19,085 in 2002 and 4,065 through March.

Ford had hoped to sell 25,000 to 30,000 Thunderbirds a year and used the car heavily in national advertising for its centennial ad campaign. Actress Halle Berry drove a coral-colored special edition Thunderbird in the James Bond film, "Die Another Day."

Ford indicated it might bring back the T-bird if demand for it picked up with the economy. "We could bring it back," Lyons said. "But there is no timetable. We will have to have the right design."

In the meantime, the current model likely will create its own niche among car collectors who have time to wait for it to appreciate in value. The original two-seat 1955 Thunderbird is coveted by collectors. Later models also are still sought after. Ford killed the Thunderbird in 1997 after it had morphed into a full-sized coupe.

Thanks to TheScurra for the alert.

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