Sunday, January 17, 2021

Automotif CXCVIII...

Behold the nadir of the Ford Thunderbird, the Eighth-Generation version from the 1980-1982 model years.

This was the second round of downsizing for Ford's personal luxury coupe, which entered the '72 model year as a nearly five thousand pound boulevard barge built on the same platform as its sister ship, the Lincoln Continental Mark IV. The first round of downsizing saw the '77 T-bird moved to the Panther platform shared with the Torino, Cougar, and LTD II. That downsizing shaved nearly ten inches of length and a thousand pounds of weight off the '72-'76 cars.

For the Eight Generation, the Thunderbird was moved to the Fox platform, also used by the Fairmont and Mustang. This whacked another foot and 700 pounds off the bill of lading.

Styling-wise, the car kept a lot of the baroque cues from the bigger Seventh Generation version, which looked weird all crammed together on the smaller body.

Under the hood, the base motor was a 255 cubic inch version of the Windsor V8 making a weaksauce 115bhp, with an upgrade to a 131 horsepower 302 available on the option sheet. Performance was...less than stellar.