2002 Thunderbird New Car Test Drive
The world has been waiting patiently for this all-new two-seat Thunderbird roadster for at least five years, ever since Ford announced it was dumping the old coupe and taking the Thunderbird back to its original limited-production roots in the Fifties. It gives new life to Ford's whole line of passenger cars, adds a second convertible choice in addition to the Mustang, provides a new luxury car that Ford hasn't had, and promises lots of dealer showroom traffic for the next year or so as the curious stream in.
The first choice the buyer will have to make is whether he or she wants to opt for the hard top with its trademark porthole, a $2500 option that must be ordered when the car is ordered as you won't be able to buy it separately from the dealership later. The hard top is not easy to remove or install even with two people, so you might want to skip the expense and the storage problem.
Thunderbird comes four ways: The Deluxe, or base, model without the removable top ($34,965); Premium without the removable top ($35,965); Deluxe convertible with the removable top ($37,465); or Premium convertible with removable top ($38,465). (Destination charge adds $530.)
Only four options are available for the new roadster: all-speed traction control ($230); a Black Accent Package ($295) featuring high-gloss black accents on the steering wheel and shifter); the Partial Color Accent Package ($595) with color inserts in the seats, steering wheel, and shifter; and the Full Color Accent Package ($800), which adds color accents to the lower instrument panel, center console and door trim panels. Traction control and 17-inch wheel and tires are standard on the Premium models.