deletion plate in center console?

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In the space between the cigarette lighter and the transmission shifter, there is a blank plate that appears to be a deletion plate on my supposedly loaded premium BlueBird #5808. From my Mystery Drive experience I seem to recall a spring-loaded cover in that spot, under which was a little compartment for coins and other small stuff. Does anyone have any info on this? The folks at the 800 phone number in the owner's manual didn't have an answer for me.

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That's a hell of a question. E-mail some of the veteran members on this one. Jodrod, etc. Look through the BB to see who's been around.

I missed the L.A. Mystery ride but seem to be using my ashtray for coins. I suggest you look at the Lincoln LS to see whether they have this in their interiors.

If it wasn't designed or done on any Birds, what's adding the feature do other than solve a problem they didn't have the foresight to fix?

Does it affect value?

PBB #1049

Good idea. I'll check an LS. Deletion covers look cheesy to me. Several friends who have ridden in the car tap the cover, fully expecting a muted click followed by a nicely dampened retracting cover. No such luck, at least on my Bird.
Kt, I noticed that the first day I took delivery. And your right it does look like an oversite or a coverup. I'm just wondering what could possibly go in that spot. Would be nice for hidden space or a GPS, maybe?
Isn't the final item of the Ford Collection an engraved plate? Maybe that's where it goes.

The Lincoln LS has its ash tray and seat heater switches on the panel where the TBird has the cigarette lighter, top up/down button, airbag off switch. On the LS this panel curves without a seam (such as the TBird has) down to the console. I don't know what is behind the blank panel on the TBird, but evidently the Lincoln didn't use the space for anything either, so that leads me to believe that there are wires, etc for other things just behind that panel.
OK, here's the scoop on the blank console cover plate from a source at the Wixom plant. All 2002 Thunderbirds have this cover plate. Underneath the plate is an airbag control module. For 2003, the controls for HEATED SEATS will be located in this spot. Darn, it was chilly the other night - woulda been nice to have heated seats. Oh well, we are early adopters...
Heated seats, that would be great here in Pa. I looked at one at the dealer and it had two cup holders in it. The one had an ash tray in it and the other was empty. Is this the same spot that all of you are talking about?

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No, the space I'm talking about is on the other side of the gearshift where the console transitions from horizontal to vertical (directly under the cigarette lighter and key switch for the passenger airbag). There was a peel-off instruction sticker for the passenger airbag on the plate when the car was delivered.
Wait a minute - no heated seats???

I thought I read that the TBird did have heated seats....

Gobird, I agree heated seats are a must in PA, they extend "convertible season" by a month or two!

Oh well, I'll be the one with the frozen smile in Feb.!

Tom M

Nope, no heated seats available for the 2002 model year.

If you've gotta have 'em, wait for the 2003's. I wonder if we'll be able to retrofit our "old" 2002's next year?

Seats for modern cars are unbelievably expensive. For instance BMW seats are over $2000 each.

I have friends who thought about retrofitting, it turns out to be cheaper to trade the car in!

Guess I'll learn to live with it. BMW also sells a heate vest if I get desperate!

Tom M
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