Need feedback from TBird owners

Notice: This site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated. As an eBay Partner, and Amazon Associate I may be compensated if you make a purchase at no cost to you. Thank you for your support!
Not open for further replies.
HELP!!I can't decide if I should buy a TBird or not. I need feedback. Anyone not happy with their car? How well do you think they will hold their value? Will the first model year necessarily be more collectable? I'm interested in the Thunderbird Blue but have heard that is only available on the '02. I would be putting a lot of miles on it initially, until I graduate from college (I commmute). Better to wait to buy one and keep it low miles? Anyone know '03 colors? How good of a deal can I expect to get? I have found a new one with the premium package for 40,500. Has anyone negotiated off sticker? I've heard some people are paying more than sticker price. True? Do most of you have a second car or is this your driver? Does it handle well in snow/bad weather (I would be trading in a 4WD) I love the looks of the TBird; I've wanted a classic one since highschool. The new style would give me the best of both worlds as I would plan on keeping it forever. I think I need someone to tell me its ok!! I'm a 39 year old mom with a 16 year old. This wouldn't exactly be a practical family car. I told my son we could use his Mustang! Maybe I'm just having a midlife crisis and it will pass without the car. I spotted this car while we were buying my husband his F150 Lighting. Now I can't quit thinking about it!!
Originally posted by Rita:
How well do you think they will hold their value? Will the first model year necessarily be more collectable?

I believe the car will depreciate just like other comparable cars, there is a very specific market for two seater convertables. I doubt the car will be a collectable during anyone on the board's lifetime.

So in other words, buy it because you like it, expecting it to depreciate like mobile homes and cars, and computers.
I have a blue premium and I love it If you don't want a lot of attention and if you don't like getting your hair messed up and if you think two seats instead of four or five is impracticle then don't buy one but if the opposite is true on any or all of the above, then get the blue it's the best color of the year next year will be the standard black, red and white and gunmetal grey and robin's egg blue (yuk). It's a great car well designed a real attention getter get an extended warranty if your going to keep it for a while (first year bugs etc.) it will probably hold some value although depreciation will happen regardless. Don't pay any more then MSRP I doubt you will get it for less then MSRP. Go for it, You'll love it. It's the best cure for MLC (mid life crisis)
Hi, Rita. Welcome to the forum! I've had my blue Bird just half a year now and have to say it's the most fun I've found on four wheels. The classic lines, smooth handling, and the attention it gets make it a car you'll never tire of. Any car loses a good fraction of its book value as soon as you drive it off the lot. But if this is a car you plan on keeping forever, so what?

The price you mention sounds reasonable if it includes the removable hardtop. Be sure not to pass up that feature. It adds a whole other dimension to the car and will increase its collectability in years to come. You're right about the TB Blue. It's only available for 2002. Next year's model will feature a non-metallic robin's egg blue.

So if you love it and can afford it, why not go for it?
No one has touched the subject you have asked about how it handles in the snow. I have never driven mine in the snow or ice and in fact in nine months yesterday was the first time that I had even driven it in the rain. The vehicle has 4 wheel ABS and also has traction control. This does not make it a four wheel drive, but it should be able to hold its own in the slippery stuff. To a point I agree that the car won't be a collectable with the exception of the blue & the yellow. These two colors being only a one year color will stand the best chance of becoming collectable. Per RTBRD's graphs it looks like there will be only 3,800 yellows built and about 5,300 blues. Nobody but nobody today can tell you whats going to happen tomorrow. In 55 do you think anybody knew for a fact that the 55 T-Bird was going to become an American Icon, a collectors center piece......I think not. Only time itself will answer that question. One thing holds true, when have you ever seen a car with production numbers in the millions become collectable? Never. Its always the cars with the lower production numbers. Therefore is why I say the Thunderbird Blue & the Inspiration Yellow are the two that stand the best chance of becoming collectable if any of them stands a chance.

Yellow/Yellow Prem. 02 Bird w/full accent
1999 F150 Super Cab 4x4 Off Road
1998 Taurus SE Sport 24V
Rita, consider what everyone here has said. I can't add much to this. Then if you still like the idea of driving around in a two seater and you have the $$$ then go for it. Hay at least you picked a good color, same as mine.

02 T-Bird 9293
69 Vette
73 MGB
97 F-150 4x4
2-Seadoo Jet Skies
Live Long and Prosper!

It is the coolest and most beautiful car on the road. It drives like a dream. It is very comfortable, and getting into it is like taking a vacation.

If you can afford it without putting a strain on your budget or way of life, then buy it because you will enjoy it.

It is NOT an investment. No collector car is.

Even a 1955 Tbird, purchased new for $3,000 and worth maybe $30,000 to $40,000 today would have represented an annual rate of return of about 5%. Big deal.

Buy a car because you enjoy it and it makes you happy and you can afford it.

Buy stocks intelligently for investment. Don't confuse the two.

Good luck and keep us posted on what you decide.

blue/blue/full blue prem
Vin 16050;Rotation 5856
Delivered 4/29
Rita, Buy your car now don't wait, the Launch Year WILL be a collectabile in your lifetime. Buy Yellow with any color top other than yellow for added value, go full premium. Our family collects cars and this is a keeper for sure. I disagree that no one knew the 55 thunderbird would not be a collecatble, I know personaly of ones held back just for an investment with under 10,000 miles, my father bought one from a dealer we were freinds with who did just that and I have met others at car auctions like Barrett Jackson and Kruse. Dean Kruse with Kruse International (Largest collector car auctions in the world) just named the 2002 Thunderbird as a future collectable and one to buy now and enjoy. Don't be fooled cars are an investment also but like stocks pick and sell wisly. The 2002 Thunderbird is a true joy to drive and great conversations crop up at all your stops. This car will not make you rich, but to compair it to a mobile home depreciation is a little over the top negative by Mr. tbird. The 2002 Thunderbird market is a little different than the market for any other car, it's aim is at the boomers looking for a crusier, a little nostalgia, enough horsepower that viragra is not necessary and an owner with an active lifestyle. I have obtained all the videos used on the "Rolling Thunder Tour", the training videos for the "Launch Year" sales and "Taking Flight" (about 2-3 hours of tapes). I have learned in depth about every feature and detail to these cars, why they were done and the market they are aimed at, they nailed us to a "T". Sorry for the long reply , go for it you are only young once and the feeling you will get from driving the car is really unexplainable.
I didn't buy my car as an investment but as a car to have fun in. I just picked mine up on 7/3 and drove it 1150 miles to get it home. IT WAS A BLAST! I too have the Thunderbird Blue and the reason that I chose that color is because I liked it the best of the five colors available. My second choice would be the yellow although all of the colors are great.

Good luck with your decision.
Rita: Again welcome to the forum. You too will learn how to care for a car at a new level. This car deserves TLC and needs it to keep its (better than) showroom finish. I know there was a bird owner who lives in Seattle (my home town full of hills) and was going to drive it in the snow. I hope he didnt. I would not plan to drive it in the snow, especially if it handles like thunderbirds of the past. It should do ok, but I wouldnt chance it. Another thing to remember is anyone over 6'2" doesnt really fit too well with the hardtop on. Sit in the car first as the seat can be a little tricky to get comfortable. Get your kid(s) to do the same. When purchasing the car look it over carefully for paint defects and defects in the mouldings, lenses, etc. Make sure to look at the chrome finish on the wheels. DONT BE AFRAID to point out defects. There wont be many. Some air noise is inevitable with all ragtops...remember this. If you cant put up with a little wind noise then you may be disappointed. I love my car and it has never seen rain. For God's sake dont let a valet park your car. A guy tried to convince me to do this at the Cleveland Marriott. Another car owner was inside demanding to see the manager because his car had an additional 60 miles on it...looks like the AMPCO valet took it for a little spin (M3 owner)...needless to say he was a little aggitated....have fun...todd White/white premium... tag - 1stbird/ohio
Thanks for all the wonderful advice so far. I'm not looking at the car as an investment; just want it for personal enjoyment. It's just that I usually don't make such spontaneous decisions and even though I LOVE the looks of the TBird, I don't know alot about them. Another question for O2birdman, what would make the yellow more collectable since both it and the blue are only available in the O2? (just curious). Thanks for your opinion, the mobile home response kind of had me concerned! What about the mileage factor. I don't want to drive a junker back and forth to school (relability reasons) but don't like the idea of putting a lot of miles on the bird. If I decide to buy one, I don't intend to sell it, but for my own financial peace of mind, do you think it better to wait and buy a used yellow or blue O2 in three years or buy now and go for it with the miles. I know your not a fortune teller but any idea of the cost of a used 02 in three years?
If you want the car buy it. When I was 16 my dad and I went shopping for my first car. There was an awesome white '55 bird with red leather. They were asking $600.00. I had $500 and my dad say no way, because it had around 100,000 miles on it, would cost a lot for insurance, etc. Long story short...I ended up with a '69 Belaire that was gun-metal grey and UGLY. I always held this against my dad. When I saw the retro version I was the 6th in line for my blue beauty. I love it and it makes me smile all the time. Do what you need to do. It is an attention getter...even for a 40+ year old. It is a little difficult for my dad to get in and out, but he loves the ride at 79. My husband likes it too and encouraged me to get it.
I honestly wish the front fenders were more like the '55. That would be my only dislike as for the appearance.
Rita, To answer your question about why Yellow. I didn't want anyone to take it wrong I love all the colors, my first choice would be black, I just love chrome and black together. I predict yellow will be the most sought after car for future collectables and the optional color roofs will make a difference if you can prove it came with a differnt color than Yellow like White or Black. I feel the production numbers on them will in the low hundreds, and always go with the full premium package. My wife loves the Thunderbird Blue more than any color so it's a toss-up at our house, but for investment grade foward thinking going with Yellow over Blue will mean possibly a few dollars but both colors will command a premium over the standard stock colors (Black, White, Red). If you love the Blue and got a good deal going my advise is buy it, drive it, love it and join in the fun. If your not concerned with owning the Launch Year Thunderbird then wait for the improvements and possibly deals on used 02's, I expect to see next summer the used 2002's selling for 27,000.00 to 32,000.00 depending on options and condition.
Rita, I live in Alaska and have had my since Jan. It was put on a flat bed hauler with chains and "driven" to my house. Although, the T-Bird has "traction control", a four wheel drive it is NOT. If you require 4 wheel drive, do not sell your winter rig. I did drive it on hadr pack snow and ice. The car did well on the flat. However, never expect a 2 wheel drive car to navigate where 4 wheel drive is a safety issue. Also, remember the tires are not winter - snow and mud - tires. If available you probably son't even want to know the price.

2002 Black T-Bird
1974 Green Cougar XR7
2000 F-350 4 X 4
Well, I drive mine in the snow and ice. I was shocked at how well it handles those conditions. The traction control (standard on premiums & in Canada) and ABS works really great on slick roads, (you can be going really fast really quickly, watch out) and the grip on curves is good. It's better than any other rear drive car I've owned. It's pretty heavy and the IRS and the 50/50 weight distribution must help a lot. The windshield where the wipers park is heated to keep the ice from building up on the wipers and that's a really nice touch. You should be very happy with this car.


VIN #7729, seq.#7505, blue premium,
partial blue interior, no top, Louisville Ky.

It's ok for you to have this car. I'm deliriously happy with mine. Like you, I plan on driving it forever. The wonderful, liberating thing is that there is no other car that I aspire to, so I am free of that preoccupation now. To quote Frank Lloyd Wright (which I do often): "I have always believed in being careful about my clothes; getting well dressed because I then could forget all about them." I am as well dressed as I could ever hope to be with this car. Having always preferred unusual cars (I sold my beloved '62 Falcon "Hazel" to make room for the T-Bird), I have found that people do associate you with your vehicle. To quote a woman writer (whose name I forget at the moment): "You are not just choosing a man or a house or a job; you are choosing a life." So, if you see this car as a part of your beautiful life, go ahead and be as gorgeous as you are!
I drove mine once in a light dusting of snow, and would not count on this bird to be considered a good winter condition car. Even with traction control and 4 wheel ABS.

The car is just too light and light for good winter driving.

I had a 91 Thunderbird that was a great rear wheel winter driver. No ABS no traction control, and a lot of rear end play in the snow.

These days I have a winter rig, a V70 AWD Croscountry volvo.... Hard to beat this one for comfort, safety and handling.

My bird was not meant for Quebec winters. It will hibernate in a heated garage.

As to deciding on buying or not... If you are looking for a 2 seater convertible, that can be driven from early spring to early winter, with a hartop, rag top, or topless. Pick the Thinderbird, it will give you the joy of driving 3 cars in one package.

I have yet get off the new car high and I have had mine since late january..

Hope your decision is the right one for you...

Good luck Rita.
Not open for further replies.