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Lincoln Mark VIII style and performance on a Ford Contour budget. This is the perfect car for closet enthusiasts who need a car that is more mature than the Mustang.
The Thunderbird seriously needs a complete redesign. After eight years, the body is looking a little long-in-tooth.
The Thunderbird receives few updates this year. A revised center console, a few new colors, and standard four-wheel disc brakes are the big news for 1997.
The long-lived Thunderbird has received many exterior and interior refinements over the last few years. Nonetheless, the Thunderbird is looking a bit staid when compared to fresher offerings like the Pontiac Grand Prix coupe or the Nissan 240SX. Considering all of the upheaval in the FoMoCo lines the last two years, it comes as no surprise that a new Thunderbird is being penned in the Dearborn design studios that will share a platform with the next-generation Mustang.
This doesn't mean that we don't like the Thunderbird. In fact, we think that it is one of the wisest choices in the personal coupe segment. An optional 4.6-liter V8 engine, rear-wheel drive, four-wheel disc brakes, rack-and-pinion steering, optional traction control and a very reasonable price make this an ideal car for people who like to drive, but are constrained by budget and the need for a more mature car then, say, a Chevy Camaro. Slap on the Sport Option, premium sound system, and leather seats and then ask yourself why anyone would spend the extra $15,000 it takes to get into a Lincoln Mark VIII.
Changes for 1997 include the addition of four-wheel disc brakes and driver's side courtesy lights to the standard equipment list and the deletion of the underhood light and leather-wrapped shift knob. Of course, there is also the usual random shuffling of package options -- the leather-wrapped shift knob mysteriously re-appears in Preferred Equipment Package 157A -- and the addition and deletion of various paint and interior colors.
People looking for an unpretentious, fun-to-drive car that has a lot of class at a good price are advised to check out their local Ford dealer and see if the Thunderbird offers the right set of wings. There is a reason that this car has been around for so long.
Laura's old car was costing her a small fortune every month for gas and repairs. She didn't even want to drive her kids to the park any more. But buying a new Kia Soul changed all that.