Get a Grill

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Supporting Contributor
Last seen
Jun 15, 2002
It has been alleged this post I made today was already covered:
I have always been quit surprised at the cheaply made grill Ford puts into the new bird. Does anyone know of a replacement? Please give your opinion about the OEM plastic grill to me. ADD: May I have your opinion regarding the plastic grill? Thumbs up or thumbs down in reply ... will do fine.
Thanks, Guy Giordano

Here is the prior topic I posted previously:
Where to get a nice grille replacement (Billet aluminum anodized or stainless to replace the cheap looking factory grille? Anybody know? Thanks, Guy.
You blocked today's post with this remark:

The topics are quite different although the subject is the same. In the new post I have endeavored to take a poll which I can submit to FORD. I think it is important to know how many owners feel the same as I do about the cheap looking grill. In this way, I think might be able to get some action going by FORD. The post is hereby reinstated. This paragraph has been included for puropse of clarification.
Thanks, Guy Giordano at Harveys Lake, PA.
OK, Lets see now, Who wants a nicer metal grill and who does not? Please state your opinon.

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I don't think the grill looks "cheap" at all.

Most people wouldn't know it was plastic unless someone told them....or probably wouldn't think about it one way or another unless it was mentioned. Didn't headlight and taillight lens used to be made out of glass? Do we actually think they look cheap now since they are plastic? We probably don't think much about it. I agree that it would be nicer to know, in the back of our minds, that the grill is crafted out of metal, but.......does it really matter? My '62 and '64 Thunderbirds don't have any plastic on the dash anywhere. If it did, it would probably look really cheap but we assume that a dash in a car of today is going to have a plastic the '02 and '03 T-birds have. I don't believe anyone thinks they look cheap because they expect it. My '64 convertible has a plastic rear window but the '02 & '03 T-birds have a glass window....metal dash knobs....and now plastic knobs. I'm sure there are other examples. Things just change and become a sign of the times. It just makes us realize the the quality of days gone by.
This is my vote. No reason to get upset at anyone here ... everyone is entitled to their own opinon as they say. I personally would be very happy to connect with someone who could make up a replacement grille. By the way, in retrospect, I think plastic would be OK if it just didn't look so cheap! The T-Bird grill looks exactly like the chrome plated plastic you would find on a miniture model car or pther toy. I don't think pressing something out of stainless would have been much more expensive. This is the only part of my car I find objectionable under considerable scrutiny. I am a former C-4 Corvette owner and that car has plenty of good looking quality plastic! In order to really experience the low ball approach Ford took, you have to hand wash the the car to experience rigidity or lack thereof in various parts. The tailights and other plastic parts are fine ... the grill just seems to be too much fake chrome for my particular taste. This difference in individual likes is why I want to see your opinions in the form of a vote. Just select thumbs up or thumbs down regarding the stock grill when you reply.
Couldn't be any happier with my Bird! If it
got any more looks on the road there would
a chain reaction of wrecks.

In my opinion the "grill" is a "thumbs-up".
Moreover, the plastics used by GM in my opinion, interior & exterior, could not
look any cheaper....
Only having my Bird for a week, I can only make this comment. I don't think the grill looks cheap. It however, could have been made with more chrome plating so as not to look as plastic like.

03 Torch Red with Perf. White Top and Full Red Accent
1996 4.6L Mustang GT Conv. with performance enhancements
Guysfun, I'm not sure why you chose the word "upset" unless you perceived my comments in the wrong manner. Hopefully, you didn't. I thought I was simply stating my opinion to the subject you brought up. It appears others felt like responding as well and I don't think they are upset either! I guess you wanted a response in a specific manner.
Not a vote! This is just a response to a question as to my use of the word upset. My intention was/is to set the tone for a creative exchange without the slightest hint of animosity. I see that all of the new posts are positive regarding grill quality. Well, that is very nice and, I guess good to see such a consensus of opinion. I am perhaps looking at the grill too critically. I should have added that it is about the only thing on the card I dislike. For some reason the rear view of the new bird looks much classier that the front view. My take on this is that the short snubby nose is not at all complimented by the grillwork. Otherwise the car is a diamond in the rough and one day we may all be rewarded with greater than average values for well kept vehicles. I guess I look at it too much, huh?
My 2 cents worth; I would like to see a chromed metal grille offered in the after market arena. Hopefuly priced right.
As for Plastic....The headlights on my '99 Caddy are rough with all the sand etc. from the roads here in New England. Personally, I'd like to see Glass as a standard.
Just my opinion
I think sometimes we loose track of Fords idea in the new birds. They were made to resemble as close as reasonable the 57 birds, the same as the new retro 49 Ford was made to resemble the 49 Ford. I think they do. I have a 57 Torch red with white top. I think the two cars do resemble each other, grill included. Granted the 57 is metal.
This was the first and only item on the car that I was a little concerned about. I do love the look, but a little skeptical that the plastic will hold up without the chipping. I would prefer metal and hope to find an aftermarket.
Ryan: My thoughts exactly. The grill is the only part I really dislike on the car, as you have stated as well. Perhaps we can hope for an aftermarket grill as suggested by 'George' on 01/02/03, above ... at a fair price. By the looks of the comments comming through, there is no support basis to ask the factory to make the change. Frankly, I can't understand it. I don't believe a stamped stainless grill would cost much more than the plastic thing they are using now. What I don't understand is the failure to gain support for this idea -- there is no longer any doubt that it takes all kinds to make up our world. No doubt about different strokes for different folks as they say.
Guy Giordano at Harveys Lake, PA.
Guysfun.....I don't think it's about "lack of support" it just doesn't seem like it's that big of a deal. Every item on the car won't possibly be to everyones liking. I'm sure many wish the price was lower so they could afford one. If the car didn't have as many great things about it as it does, it would probably have been cheaper. An alternative grill would be nice for those who wish to have it. You wish to see one and it would be great for you to be able to have what makes YOU as well as others happy. I think it would have been GREAT if the black plastic cover over the engine were chrome like the chrome engine dress up option from '62. It's not but if one were eventually made available, I would buy one. It's probably no big deal to others. Your comment about it taking all kinds of people makes it sound like you put everyone who agrees with you on one scale and everyone else who doesn't feel like you do on another. I'm not upset with you....I'm just stating my opinion as you have!
Response to: Your comment about it taking all kinds of people makes it sound like you put everyone who agrees with you on one scale and everyone else who doesn't feel like you do on another. I'm not upset with you....I'm just stating my opinion as you have!
Wish I knmew you name. I have to agree with you. I am responding to specific comments. I would also love to see the chromed engine part. Hey though, I have to pass along a few more thoughts about this great little car. First, I love the trunk space. My old corvette convertible had none, NADA, none! I can put my wheelchair in the T-Bird trunk and actually go to the mall ... where I get lots of stares. Quite a nice feature for me. Also, this is funny, I had a call from Ford asking me if there was anything I didn't like about the car. I remember on more thing beside the grille. I told the girl I wished they had some of the feayures like my Corvette and other cars have had: Automatic gas mileage calculator, compass, ET clock for rallys, combo CD + cassette radio, I don't recall anything else. The point is, I think most of these features are already in the car's design because it is really the Lincoln LX. The girl said something like, 'Oh yes, we considered those options but we wanted it to be more like a sports car." Come on! ...Among scads of other questions, I wonered, where is the standard shift for starters? So, all in all we have a great car here. There isn't much to improve upon, but to take out features that already existed, that never made sense to me. In fact it actually might have cost Ford more to take out those minor convenience features they don't consider worthy of a true sports car. Make no mistake about it, I love this little doll of a car more than any Corvette I have had. The power is very adequate for me at my age. I also like the 3000 pound tow rating but I haven' found a 2" box receiver hitch yet (I know they are for much higher capacities but I did find one in JC Whitney for my Wrangler which only had a 2000 pound tow rating. All my tow accessories now take a 2" receiver box channel tube). Why would I tow? Because I think taking my SEADOO on a little excursion with the Bird would be a real blast! (Different strokes -- remember?) I really would like a better grill ... that's just me I guess. I think Ford should make its execs all hand wash their new cars before final design is accepted. What was that free optional parking lamp thing all about ... it sounded crazy to me; we can't make you order it but we reccommend it and we won't charge you for it??? I do love my little yellow bird anyway ... nothing will change that. Incidentally, is there anybody out there who does not like their new T-Bird and why? Thanks, Guy
Hi Guy: If we didn't enjoy each others opinions, we wouldn't have read them! There is no doubt that someone will eventually market the things we want in order to individualize our cars. I don't think I would have ever thought of the chrome engine cover if you didn't keep prompting me to try to make my point! The good that has come out of all of this is that now I'm going to have to press for the chrome engine cover and and promote the idea while you do the same with the grill!!!! By the way, my name is David.
Hey David, nice to meet you ... indeed, along with the other folks who corresponded. Let me ask you, what do you think od starting a wish list for the T-Bird? Would it be interesting to see everybody elses' ideas ... just to dream about them? If you want to do it let me know, we can call the topic something like "New T-Bird Wish List."
OK David ... If you want to do it let me know, we can call the topic something like "New T-Bird Wish List."
The topic will be created now. Thanks, Guy.
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