Thunderbird emblem dating
Crusoe saw a painted clay model on May 18, 1953, which corresponded closely to the final car; he gave the car the go-ahead in September after comparing it with current European trends.After Henry Ford II returned from the Los Angeles Auto Show (Autorama) in 1953 he approved the final design concept to compete with the then new Corvette.Crusoe, a retired GM executive lured out of retirement by Henry Ford II; George Walker, chief stylist and a Ford vice-president; Frank Hershey, chief stylist for Ford Division; Bill Boyer, designer Body Development Studio who became manager of Thunderbird Studio in spring of 1955, and Bill Burnett, chief engineer. Boyer was lead stylist on the original 1955 two-seater Thunderbird and also had a hand in designing the future series of Thunderbirds including the 30th Anniversary Edition.Hershey's participation in the creation of the Thunderbird was more administrative than artistic. Walking in the Grand Palais in Paris, Crusoe pointed at a sports car and asked Walker, 'Why can’t we have something like that?Unlike hardtop models that utilized a conventional key-secured, forward hinged design, the convertibles combined the trunk opening and closing within the convertible top operating system.As a result of this design, the trunks of convertible models were notorious for leaking.This design reduced available trunk space when the top was down.
The word "thunderbird" is a reference to a legendary creature for North American indigenous people.
The Second to Fourth Generation Thunderbird convertibles were similar in design to the Lincoln convertible of the time and borrowed from earlier Ford hardtop/convertible designs.
While these Thunderbird models had a true convertible soft top, the top was lowered to stow in the forward trunk area.
The Thunderbird entered production for the 1955 model year as a sporty two-seat convertible.
Unlike the Chevrolet Corvette, it was not marketed as a sports car.