first impressions of a proud new owner

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I just washed my BlueBird for the first time today. I really enjoy the first hand wash of a new car. So many little discoveries of design sublteties. I was surprised to find absolutely no water leaks with the soft top! I'm really impressed with the quality of assembly. Fit and finish is superb. The paint is excellent, but I don't think the DuPont paint is as orange-peel free and glossy as the BASF paint used in early production.

Any ideas on cleaning lint and light colored dusty stuff on the soft top? The black fabric really shows anything that's not dark.

My only real complaints are a VERY noisy turn signal relay! I've heard much softer clickers on other cars, and wish the TBird was a little more discreet. Also, the inside mirror is mounted so low on the windshield that visibility through the right side of the glass isn't great. But the position is low to get the optimum view out the rear glass so we're stuck with the mounting position. Wow that windshield is raked!

The boot is a bit of a hassle to install. I'm betting most folks will unlatch the top, hit the switch, and drive off without the boot installed, even though the boot finishes the top down look so nicely. Storing the boot in the trunk when the top is up isn't very practical either considering the size of the trunk. A minor detail.

The curved black plastic panel in the console below the lighter looks like a deletion plate for an ashtray. I'm surprised there isn't a coin tray or something else useful there. Since I don't smoke I'm going to see if a plastic plug is available to replace the cigarette lighter.

I can't imagine anyone wanting more engine performance. The Bird screams! Excellent handling too. Better than other American cars I've driven.

Even in car-jaded Los Angeles the Thunderbird gets constant thumbs-up. The Starbucks crowd went nuts over my freshly cleaned Bird this morning.

Congratulations Ford Motor Company. You hit a home run with the new Thunderbird!

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Congratulations on getting your car. It is definitely FUN, FUN, FUN.

The boot easily folds into and snaps together with the provided snap making it fit very nicely in the trunk when the top is up. Also, putting boot on becomes easier each time with just a little experiementing as to which snap should be first.

Glad to hear you are having fun with your bird!

A couple of tips re lint on the top:

1. Get a megaroller at They work great, WAY better than the men's store one I got. It also has other uses, cat fur on a blue suit doesn't stand a chance!

2. Autofanatics also sells a roller but I've never used it. They have lots of other cool stuff like Raggtopp top sealer, highly recommended.

3. The simplest tip for not getting visible lint on a black top... get black towels! Cannondale makes them, my wife got some at JC Penney. We ripped off the label, ran them through the wash a couple of times, they work like a charm!!

Best to you & enjoy,

Tom M

Let's put together a SoCal 2002 owners group. I know of two others in Los Angeles thus far with premium black birds.

Send me an e-mail at rt2esq@********* when you have a chance and we can discuss the thought. Maybe we can help out with the SoCal greet of the Thunder on 66 effort.

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