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Thunderbooks - T-Bird Reference

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The Ford Thunderbird

The Ford Thunderbird by Roy Bacon. Hardcover; 128 Pages.

Automotive Mileposts Review
The Thunderbird has assumed many personalities since its inception in 1955. From its early days as a sporty two seater, it grew into a luxury car for four passengers, then into a family sedan, then even larger as the taste for large luxury cars grew. As gas prices rose, the Thunderbird became smaller, until it finally came full circle back to its roots as a two seater. The Thunderbird is an American symbol of status and luxury. This book explains the transformations that have taken place during this time.

Illustrated Thunderbird Buyer's Guide

Illustrated Thunderbird Buyer's Guide by Paul G. McLaughlin. 160 Pages.

Automotive Mileposts Review
If you are bewildered about which particular Thunderbird models or years are truly the best investment, this book is required reading. Ratings, by year and model, of the most desirable cars, as well as many photographs of prototypes. A thorough accounting of each model year is provided, without being too wordy. Over 200 photographs.

Soaring Spirit

Out of print—limited availability

Soaring Spirit by John F. Katz. Hardbound; 64 pages.

Automotive Mileposts Review
Published by Automobile Quarterly, Soaring Spirit has been out of print for years. Covering 35 years of the Ford Thunderbird, it is well researched and written, with beautiful photography. Enjoyable reading for all Thunderbird enthusiasts, and an important part of any Thunderbird library. Available used, and in very limited quantities.

Image: Standard Catalog of Thunderbird, 1955-2004

Standard Catalog of Thunderbird, 1955-2004 by John Gunnell. 240 Pages.

Good reference that provides production information, detailed trim and option availability for each year, and notes the various changes made between the years, which helps to identify the various T-bird models.

There are color photographs of the cars, and this book contains every year except 2005, which was the last year to date for a production Thunderbird. This is a good reference guide, and should be consulted by anyone prior to purchasing a Thunderbird.

T-BIRD 45 Years of Thunder

T-BIRD 45 Years of Thunder (Second Edition) Edited by John Gunnell. 352 Pages.

Automotive Mileposts Review
Celebrating Thunderbird's 45th Anniversary, this book covers all years between 1955-1997, with photos of the new 2001 Thunderbird as well. Includes an exhaustive listing of every printed Thunderbird ad, as well as every piece of literature. A concise listing of optional equipment and prices, as well as technical specifications, paint and trim codes, standard features of each model, and more. Over 500 photographs with 16 pages in full color.


T-BIRDS by Doug Mitchell. Hardbound; 120 Pages.

Automotive Mileposts Review
Large color photos dominate this book. Original factory photos as well as restored cars are used. Rare options such as the 1960 Sun Roof Hardtop, 1962-1963 "M" engine, 1963 factory tachometer, and 1966 Highway Pilot Speed Control are shown. Covers Thunderbirds 1955-1997. This is a beautiful book for the serious collector, as well as the casual interested observer.


THUNDERBIRD 1955-66 by Alan Tast. 160 Pages.

Automotive Mileposts Review
Reading this book, you almost feel as if you worked at Ford when these cars were being developed and built. Get the real details behind some of the most interesting automobiles to ever roll down the highway! Get the facts about some of the "true stories" you've heard that are actually myths! Great photos courtesy of Ford Motor Company, including many of prototypes that were developed over the years. Hard to put down.

Thunderbird 2002

Thunderbird 2002 by Michael Lamm. Hardcover; 128 Pages.

Automotive Mileposts Review
The story of the rebirth of Ford's classic Thunderbird. Unveiled during the 1999 North American auto show circuit, the retro-styled two seater was a huge hit with the spectators. In June 2000, Ford announced it would sell a production version of the car. This book explains in detail the planning, design, and engineering that went into this wonderful new car.

THUNDERBIRD! An Illustrated History of the Ford T-Bird

THUNDERBIRD! An Illustrated History of the Ford T-Bird by Ray Miller. Hardbound; 304 Pages, 18 in color.

Automotive Mileposts Review
Covers 1955-1966 models, with over 1,000 photos of the specific features that set each year apart. Includes a color photograph of the first 1958 production model. Detailed photos of wheel covers and script, as well as a guide that shows the various characteristics of each year.

Thunderbird Fifty Years

Thunderbird Fifty Years by Alan Tast and David Newhardt. Hardbound; 192 pages.
Former Automotive Mileposts Automotive Book of the Month

Automotive Mileposts Review
At long last there are books being published that don't give the impression that Ford quit making the Thunderbird after 1966! In fact, the period of 1967-1979 was one of the most popular for the Thunderbird. We've always felt that publications that ended with the 1966 model year were leaving out the most interesting and challenging period of time for the marque. This was the car that started the whole personal luxury car trend, one of the most lucrative ever for auto makers, and many of the most interesting and unique Thunderbirds to ever be built were built during the post 1966 model year. This includes the Four Door Landau, built from 1967 to 1971, without question one of the most unique cars ever manufactured by Ford Motor Company.

Thunderbird Fifty Years is beautifully photographed by David Newhardt, and includes many excellent examples of original, restored, and modified Thunderbirds. There are a few images of modified cars, however, and one wonders if more effort to locate an original example should have been taken. In its pages one can see the changes America's first personal luxury car took to fit the needs of consumers, and to meet the challenges presented by new competition entering the market.

The story of how the Thunderbird debuted as a sporty two passenger convertible, then grew to accommodate two additional passengers by adding a rear seat, then became America's glamour queen by adding new models and special editions, four doors, and a host of gadgets and features that set it apart from all other cars is captured by this book. A must have for all Thunderbird enthusiasts.

Thunderbird ID Numbers 1955-93

Thunderbird ID Numbers 1955-93 Compiled by the Staff of Cars & Parts Magazine. 183 Pages.

Automotive Mileposts Review
Everything you need to decipher all the codes! Broken down by year, each chapter identifies the code numbers for engine, transmission, axle, body type, exterior paint codes, interior trim codes, and patent plates. Includes a list of Regular Production Options (RPOs), exterior paint color charts, and interior trim color charts. A great resource if you want to verify the authenticity of a vehicle, or if you just want to know what all those numbers mean!

Thunderbird Milestones

Thunderbird Milestones by Mike Mueller. 96 Pages.

Automotive Mileposts Review
Beautiful photography covers 1955-1997, including photos of the very last Thunderbird built in 1997. This book covers some of the models and years that have been overlooked for too long. A red 1963 Sports Roadster with a factory tachometer, the one millionth Thunderbird (a 1972 model), a 1975 sporting the 20th Anniversary Copper Luxury Group, and a 1978 Diamond Jubilee Edition are all beautifully represented.

Thunderbird Performance Portfolio 1955-1957

Limited availability

Thunderbird Performance Portfolio 1955-1957 by R. M. Clarke. Softbound; 140 pages.

Automotive Mileposts Review
A collection of contemporary reprinted magazine articles, complete including photos, road tests, driving impressions, specifications, etc.

Thunderbird Performance Portfolio 1958-1963

Thunderbird Performance Portfolio 1958-1963 by R. M. Clarke. Softbound; 140 pages.

Automotive Mileposts Review
A collection of contemporary reprinted magazine articles, complete including photos, road tests, driving impressions, specifications, etc.

Thunderbird Performance Portfolio 1964-1976

Thunderbird Performance Portfolio 1964-1976 by R. M. Clarke. Softbound; 140 pages.

Automotive Mileposts Review
A collection of contemporary reprinted magazine articles, complete including photos, road tests, driving impressions, specifications, etc. Interesting to read the comments that were written that show how the perception of the Thunderbird changed over the years.

Thunderbird Restoration Guide 1958-1966

Thunderbird Restoration Guide 1958-1966 by William Wonder. 240 Pages.

Automotive Mileposts Review
If you are contemplating a restoration, this guide is a necessity! Hundreds of photos and facts show you how to do an authentic, correct restoration. Specific paint colors are listed for restoring engine compartment and undercarriage. Original factory decals, nameplates, and tags as well as their proper locations are noted. Complete listing and brief history of all known 1962-1963 "M" Thunderbirds at time of printing.

This is a very impressive book that answers many questions that arise during a restoration. A must have for anyone with a 1958-1966 Thunderbird.

CD-ROM: Thunderbird Anthology

Thunderbird Anthology (CD-ROM) by Harry W. Ilaria

This expanded version of the original includes the 1967-1969 Thunderbird models, as well as the latest cars to bear the legendary Thunderbird name, the 2002-2005 models. This is an incredible journey through the Thunderbird's history, with well over 500 photographs, and hundreds of graphics, videos, television commercials, and more.

You can use the disc to browse the various colors and options available, or use it to print out a book. A screen saver program is included as well. (For Windows 98/Me/XP/2000 and later versions.)

(VHS) Visual History of Cars - Thunderbird

Out of print—available used

Visual History of Cars: Thunderbird (VHS) Approximately 25 minutes. (Normally available as used only)

Automotive Mileposts Review
This is the true story of Ford's legendary car, built to compete with Chevrolet's Corvette, that began as an experiment in engineering. Using many existing parts straight out of the parts bins, the T-bird sparked something in the American psyche, and became an icon.

The Visual History of Cars: Thunderbird is a lavish tribute to the car of our memories and dreams that started the personal luxury car market segment in 1958, and which grew rapidly in the 1960s. An incredible array of footage from around the world is included.

See also Movie and TV-Birds for hundreds of movies and television shows featuring Thunderbirds, all indexed by the year of the Thunderbird appearing in the show.

Automotive Mileposts
All You Ever Wanted to Know About Classic Personal Luxury Cars