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2002 ICOTY Awards - Classic
Most Memorable Car of the Year- Ford Thunderbird

ROAD & TRAVEL's 2002 Most Memorable -- Ford ThunderbirdA car becomes a classic when it successfully blends heritage, design, and memories into a beautiful package. Such is the case with the new Ford Thunderbird. For almost 50 years the Tbird has been loved as an American icon. From its early beginning in 1954 to its current iteration, few vehicles have generated as much interested, anticipation, and fame as this vehicle. People form emotional attachments to cars, and one visit to a Thunderbird club will prove their owner's undying love and dedication to the vehicles. For 2002, the Tbird is back, and in the best way possible.

The two-seat, rear-drive, V-8-powered roadster is everything we could ask for in a modern heritage vehicle. All the design cues are there, from the porthole windows in the removable top to the familiar egg-crate grille. It's a design that is instantly loveable, as evidenced by the fact that most of the vehicles are sold out for the first year of production. Ford understood the impact it would have on our emotions from the minute it decided to reintroduce the Tbird, and executed the rebirth perfectly. What we like best about the new Thunderbird is that it's a classic that extremely driveable. With a 50/50 weight distribution, fully independent suspension, and extensive structural rigidity, its a tossup whether we'd rather be inside driving or outside looking. We know the other contender here, the Mercedes Benz SL 500, is a classic in its own right, but the Tbird wins by virtue of our memories. It is, has been, and will always be the most likely to be remembered.

Most Respected
Luxury Car of the Year
Infiniti Q45

Most Likely to Change the World
ECO- Friendly Car of the Year
Th!nk City

Most Likely to Survive Anything
SUV of the Year
Jeep Liberty