ICOTY Awards -
Memorable Car of the Year-
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
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.