Kyle Johnson
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Will the Ford Thunderbird Rise from the Ashes?

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A green 1955 Ford Thunderbird with a woman at the wheel
Could the iconic Ford Thunderbird make a comeback?
Photo: Ford

A trademark filing with the United States Patent and Trademark Office suggests that Ford Motor Company could be bringing back one of its most iconic nameplates. No, not the Pinto. Not the Aspire, either. We’re talking about the Ford Thunderbird

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Earlier this week, Muscle Cars & Trucks uncovered the USPTO application originally filed on Jan. 13. Covering “motor vehicles, namely, concept motor vehicles; four-wheeled motor vehicles,” the trademark suggests that Ford could be dusting off a classic namebadge after a more than 15-year absence.

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A promotional photo of a couple looking at a red 1957 Ford Thunderbird
“Say, I sure do love suburban living and this cherry Thunderbird!”
Photo: Ford

Ford last sold the Thunderbird in 2005 as part of the 11th generation, which was based on the same platform as the Jaguar XF. The Thunderbird is credited as the originator of the personal luxury car segment. Ford’s classic Thunderbird offered the two-seat droptop style of a car like the Corvette with a greater focus on luxury than performance.

This by no means confirms that the Thunderbird will rise like a phoenix from its 15-year slumber. As MC&T is quick to note, Ford is keen on refreshing its trademarks on the regular and re-upped the Thunderbird trademark as recently as 2016.

Ford would not likely bring back the Thunderbird as a coupe, sedan, or convertible as it’s been clear on the fact that it’s done with cars not named Mustang for the time being. This begs the question: Could Ford be bringing back the Thunderbird name for a new style of vehicle?

Past Thunderbirds have been two-door convertibles, four-seat coupes and convertibles, four-door sedans, six-passenger coupes, so you don’t quite have the same risk of purists yelling about what it is and isn’t. But if Ford brought the Thunderbird back as, say, an electric crossover coupe, it certainly wouldn’t stop the outcry.

But could you imagine the chaos that would ensue if Ford introduced its new Thunderbird as a battery-electric three-row crossover with 500 horsepower and 400 miles of range? Oh, the delicious schadenfreude. Go ahead, Ford. Do it. Watch it all burn.

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