Joined
Dec 10, 2020
Thunderbird Year
2004
Thought I'd share a recent occurrence:

[After changing all eight COPs and spark plugs a few months ago]

Me: "All right, Bird, that should smooth out your rough running engine. It was a grueling two hours, but you're worth it. Just thankful for all the info on the Forum so I was able to do it myself."
2004: "Of course I'm worth it. But thanks, I was weary of playing good COP, bad COP. Hopefully you didn't screw anything up. No, I feel all right."
Me: "Great! Now let us never speak of it again."

[2004 purrs like a kitten and runs like a top for a while]

[Recent cold start, previously never heard and alarming rattling from the engine]

Me: "What was that horrible rattling noise!? Seriously, Bird? You have 40K miles, now what's going on?"
2004: "Yeah but I'm no spring chicken. Check my production date, we're pushing up against 18 years, buddy."
Me: "But you've had every possible fluid changed, and checked out perfectly not long ago. I just changed your COPs and plugs! Not to mention the premium fuel. Why are you rattling?"
2004: "It's a Thunderbird thing, you wouldn't understand. Get out your wallet."

[Checking the mail a few days later, special offer from Ford for $1,250 off any new vehicle. Somehow arriving at local Ford dealership]

2004: "The Ford house? I'm not due for an oil change. You know service isn't open this late so can't get my rattle checked. Why are we here?"
Me: "Um, er, just, you know, curious what's on the lot. Here, park next to this new Bronco and say hello."
2004: "Where are you going? Come back here! Are...are you walking toward that herd of Mustangs?"
Me: "Sorry, didn't catch that, back in a bit."

[Test drives 2020 Mustang Ecoboost Premium. Offer too good to refuse, last of the 2020's pricing with incentives, $11K below MSRP, $13K trade for Bird]

[Approaching 2004, looking nonchalant]

2004: "You reek of new car smell."
Me: "Bird, look, there's something I've got to say and it isn't easy. We've been friends for nearly six years now, and I really like you, but, well, I'm only your second owner and maybe it's time for you to meet new people and all."
2004: "Owner??!!"
Me: "Let's not get hung up on semantics. Look, you're a two-seater with an absurdly difficult to remove and install hardtop, your radio works about half the time, you don't have Bluetooth, I never know when or why your ABS and traction control lamps are going to light up, parts are getting scarce as hen's teeth, and now you're rattling at me. I just think maybe it's time to go our separate ways. No hard feelings, and I'm sure there's a sucker, er, I mean, there's someone out there who would love to have such a unique and impractical car. It could turn out to be an adventure for you."
2004: "You bastard."
Me: "We've had fun together. Remember the trip to San Antonio through the hill country? You did all right on those winding roads, even though you're no sports car. And the drive up to the Red River area, and Paris - that was a good trip. We'll always..."
2004: "Don't even think about saying it!"
Me: "...have Paris."
2004: "I hate you."
Me: "Well, I'm sorry, but I've got to be practical, and you're just not a practical car."
2004: "That's what the 2017 Fusion is for. Say, where is Fusion? Haven't seen her for a while and you've been driving me all week. You said she's at a farm upstate but now I'm starting to wonder. Did you SELL Fusion, like you're thinking of SELLING me?"
Me: "Don't be ridiculous. But yes, Fusion was sold, I can't justify the cost of two cars."
2004: "That's cold, she was great. Boring, but great. And 'practical'. And I thought you just LOVE 'practical'. Guess I'll have to step up and be your daily driver, rattle and all. Stupid to run up my mileage though. Ever hear of a little thing called depreciation?"
Me: "About that. I don't really see you as a daily driver."
2004: "So you ARE going to SELL me!"
Me: "Of course not!"
2004: "I should think not."
Me: "I'm going to trade you."
2004: "Holy Henry Ford!" I'm still dealing with the trauma from my first owner trading me for a Lexus! You TRADER!"
Me: "I am sorry, but I've tasked Pony Power, and it's so modern and it has a warranty, and, well, I think it's what I want."
2004: "Not that I like any of this, but I can't argue against the new Mustangs. That GT with the Coyote is something. Makes my V8 seem a bit tame."
Me: "Um, yes, the GT is something. But you know, they don't have a 2020 GT on the lot, but hey, one heck of a deal on an Ecoboost Premium. And it's silver with black interior, exactly like you. It's sort of an homage to..."
2004: "Wait, you're replacing me with a frigging Mustang ECOBOOST? Please, just kill me now. A GT I could understand, but an ECOBOOST? It has FOUR cylinders, you moron. Four! Now follow my math if you can, but that's ONE HALF what I have!"
Me: "Did I mention it's a Premium? And it has 310 horses, and..."
2004: "I don't care if it has 310 unicorns, it's still a four-banger! It sounds like a smoothie machine on high, never mind how fast it may be."
Me: "It has the active exhaust. Oh, and driving modes. And paddle shifters". No offense, but you drive like a Lincoln LS, and I wouldn't describe your exhaust note as particularly interesting."
2004: "That was below the belt molding."
Me: "This isn't easy, you know. I love your styling and uniqueness and there's nothing on the road like you, but I've made up my mind, and I think it's for the best."
2004: "Go to your Mustang. I'm collectible, and T-birds always have fun, fun fun, so I'll be fine."
Me: "Thank you, I appreciate your understanding."
2004: "It's a good thing I'm not carbureted or I'd be all choked up right now."
Me: "Ah Bird, I don't want to see you like..."
2004: "I was joking."
Me: "So no hard feelings?"
2004: "No, I've cooled down quite a bit. Being parked and abandoned while you galloped around with Mustangs gave me time to cool down."

[Inside dealership, finalizing the deal.
Salesman pushes valuation for 2004 across the desk for me to review.
Trying not to look out the front windows.
Salesman called away, excuses himself for a moment.
Eyes forward.
Eyes glancing to the side.
Looking out the large front windows.
2004 looking at me.
That grille! That silhouette! Those body lines! So unlike anything else. So - Thunderbird!
Salesman returns.
Salesman puzzled as I hastily scribble check for the amount offered for trade.
Salesman shrugs and reworks the deal.
Rushing outside]

2004: "Oh, you're back. You're looking well."
Me: "It's been 40 minutes."
2004: "Cars don't really have a sense of time. And I was being polite, Brutus. I suppose you've come to clean out my compartments and trunk. Just be sure and leave my special hardtop roof screwdriver with Thunderbird logo on the handle. That's irreplaceable, you know. Also one of your CD's may be stuck in my changer, so hope it wasn't one you really like."
Me: "Come on, bird, let's go home."
2004: "Right, you need to get the boot cover and my title. Why don't you have your precious Mustang take you, since I'm so impractical. Just leave me here, I like it, reminds me of when I was new and on the dealer lot. Maybe they'll detail me. Or just send me to the auto auction. Or the crusher. Not that you care."
Me: "I'm not trading you."
2004: "Don't toy with me, you're driving me crazy. That was a car pun."
Me: "I got that. It was awful."
2004: "Humor wasn't an option for my model year."
Me: "Well some people think you're funny looking."
2004: "Some people are idiots with no taste and drive cars and trucks that you couldn't tell one from another if they removed their nameplates."
Me: "I don't disagree."
2004: "At least Mustangs don't look like every other car. Other than a Camaro. So if I had to be replaced by another car, I'm glad it's a Ford, and a Mustang. Even if it is a frigging ECOBOOST."
Me: "It can't replace you, but you'll have more time to rest and we'll catch up on weekends."
2004: "OK, let's go home. This has been a long day and I'm exhausted."
Me: "Another pun?"
2004: "Yes you fool, I'm a machine, I don't get tired. I just break down. And you'll never know where or when. I'm like a ticking time bomb, just like the ad that online Thunderbird store uses to sell replacement spare tires. Tick...tick...tick..."
Me: "Thanks for reminding me."
2004: "And no warranty."
Me: "Please, rub it in."
2004: "At least you did replace the spare tire so no explosion in the trunk. Do you think that could really happen? My battery is in there, it'd give me quite a shock."
Me: "Yeah, $200 for a spare tire that will probably never be used."
2004: "Ah, about that - 18 years old, you're rolling the dice every time we head out on the road together. You did get towing coverage, right?"
Me: "You're fine, rattle and all. I still enjoy driving you even after six years."
2004: "Of course. Thunderbird, buddy. Thunderbird."
Me: "With a lot of Lincoln LS sprinkled in."
2004: "Hot-rod Lincoln LOL".

[Epilogue]

[Mustang delivered by dealer, parked next to 2004]

Me: "Well Bird, meet Pony 2020. I hope the two of you will be friends. I need two cars like a hole in the head, but hell, we're probably witnessing the end of the Republic, and runaway inflation on the horizon, so may as well enjoy some of the money now. Plus this will keep your miles low, Bird."
2020: "Very pleased to meet you, Mr. Thunderbird."
2004: "Call me Bird, my father was Mr. Thunderbird."
2020: "But I was made to respect my elders, so..."
2004: "Listen, my little pony, I've got a V8 so talk to the tire. Call me when you've grown four more."
Me: "Sorry 2020, I'm sure we'll all learn to get along. Bird is just a little temperamental. And in more ways that one!"
2004: "Shut up and deal, let's roll the dice and go for a long drive together. It's a nice day, you can take off my hardtop."
Me: "We sure can. We surely can."

And that's how I ended up going from two cars and back again to two cars. Be careful if you ever decide to trade or sell your 2002-2005 Thunderbird - they have magical powers, not unlike their mystical namesake.
 

nrlady

Active Member
Joined
Nov 6, 2019
Thunderbird Year
2005
Ha-ha -ha! Absolutely love your "conversation". I too have been thinking about selling my bird because of the hassle of having to remove the hard top before I can enjoy her in the warmer weather. Here in the Northeast we have not had great "top down" weather this year as there were only 3 days in July we did not get rain. My bird does not go out in the rain so have not driven her much at all this summer.
 

biddle

Forum Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Mar 9, 2003
the hassle of having to remove the hard top before I can enjoy her in the warmer weather.
If you don't have a garage, a hardtop is probably not as enjoyable. If you have a hardtop of any make and model, a hardtop hoist and hardtop stand is a must!

Thought I'd share a recent occurrence:

[After changing all eight COPs and spark plugs a few months ago]

Me: "All right, Bird, that should smooth out your rough running engine. It was a grueling two hours, but you're worth it. Just thankful for all the info on the Forum so I was able to do it myself."
2004: "Of course I'm worth it. But thanks, I was weary of playing good COP, bad COP. Hopefully you didn't screw anything up. No, I feel all right."
Me: "Great! Now let us never speak of it again."

[2004 purrs like a kitten and runs like a top for a while]

[Recent cold start, previously never heard and alarming rattling from the engine]

Me: "What was that horrible rattling noise!? Seriously, Bird? You have 40K miles, now what's going on?"
2004: "Yeah but I'm no spring chicken. Check my production date, we're pushing up against 18 years, buddy."
Me: "But you've had every possible fluid changed, and checked out perfectly not long ago. I just changed your COPs and plugs! Not to mention the premium fuel. Why are you rattling?"
2004: "It's a Thunderbird thing, you wouldn't understand. Get out your wallet."

[Checking the mail a few days later, special offer from Ford for $1,250 off any new vehicle. Somehow arriving at local Ford dealership]

2004: "The Ford house? I'm not due for an oil change. You know service isn't open this late so can't get my rattle checked. Why are we here?"
Me: "Um, er, just, you know, curious what's on the lot. Here, park next to this new Bronco and say hello."
2004: "Where are you going? Come back here! Are...are you walking toward that herd of Mustangs?"
Me: "Sorry, didn't catch that, back in a bit."

[Test drives 2020 Mustang Ecoboost Premium. Offer too good to refuse, last of the 2020's pricing with incentives, $11K below MSRP, $13K trade for Bird]

[Approaching 2004, looking nonchalant]

2004: "You reek of new car smell."
Me: "Bird, look, there's something I've got to say and it isn't easy. We've been friends for nearly six years now, and I really like you, but, well, I'm only your second owner and maybe it's time for you to meet new people and all."
2004: "Owner??!!"
Me: "Let's not get hung up on semantics. Look, you're a two-seater with an absurdly difficult to remove and install hardtop, your radio works about half the time, you don't have Bluetooth, I never know when or why your ABS and traction control lamps are going to light up, parts are getting scarce as hen's teeth, and now you're rattling at me. I just think maybe it's time to go our separate ways. No hard feelings, and I'm sure there's a sucker, er, I mean, there's someone out there who would love to have such a unique and impractical car. It could turn out to be an adventure for you."
2004: "You bastard."
Me: "We've had fun together. Remember the trip to San Antonio through the hill country? You did all right on those winding roads, even though you're no sports car. And the drive up to the Red River area, and Paris - that was a good trip. We'll always..."
2004: "Don't even think about saying it!"
Me: "...have Paris."
2004: "I hate you."
Me: "Well, I'm sorry, but I've got to be practical, and you're just not a practical car."
2004: "That's what the 2017 Fusion is for. Say, where is Fusion? Haven't seen her for a while and you've been driving me all week. You said she's at a farm upstate but now I'm starting to wonder. Did you SELL Fusion, like you're thinking of SELLING me?"
Me: "Don't be ridiculous. But yes, Fusion was sold, I can't justify the cost of two cars."
2004: "That's cold, she was great. Boring, but great. And 'practical'. And I thought you just LOVE 'practical'. Guess I'll have to step up and be your daily driver, rattle and all. Stupid to run up my mileage though. Ever hear of a little thing called depreciation?"
Me: "About that. I don't really see you as a daily driver."
2004: "So you ARE going to SELL me!"
Me: "Of course not!"
2004: "I should think not."
Me: "I'm going to trade you."
2004: "Holy Henry Ford!" I'm still dealing with the trauma from my first owner trading me for a Lexus! You TRADER!"
Me: "I am sorry, but I've tasked Pony Power, and it's so modern and it has a warranty, and, well, I think it's what I want."
2004: "Not that I like any of this, but I can't argue against the new Mustangs. That GT with the Coyote is something. Makes my V8 seem a bit tame."
Me: "Um, yes, the GT is something. But you know, they don't have a 2020 GT on the lot, but hey, one heck of a deal on an Ecoboost Premium. And it's silver with black interior, exactly like you. It's sort of an homage to..."
2004: "Wait, you're replacing me with a frigging Mustang ECOBOOST? Please, just kill me now. A GT I could understand, but an ECOBOOST? It has FOUR cylinders, you moron. Four! Now follow my math if you can, but that's ONE HALF what I have!"
Me: "Did I mention it's a Premium? And it has 310 horses, and..."
2004: "I don't care if it has 310 unicorns, it's still a four-banger! It sounds like a smoothie machine on high, never mind how fast it may be."
Me: "It has the active exhaust. Oh, and driving modes. And paddle shifters". No offense, but you drive like a Lincoln LS, and I wouldn't describe your exhaust note as particularly interesting."
2004: "That was below the belt molding."
Me: "This isn't easy, you know. I love your styling and uniqueness and there's nothing on the road like you, but I've made up my mind, and I think it's for the best."
2004: "Go to your Mustang. I'm collectible, and T-birds always have fun, fun fun, so I'll be fine."
Me: "Thank you, I appreciate your understanding."
2004: "It's a good thing I'm not carbureted or I'd be all choked up right now."
Me: "Ah Bird, I don't want to see you like..."
2004: "I was joking."
Me: "So no hard feelings?"
2004: "No, I've cooled down quite a bit. Being parked and abandoned while you galloped around with Mustangs gave me time to cool down."

[Inside dealership, finalizing the deal.
Salesman pushes valuation for 2004 across the desk for me to review.
Trying not to look out the front windows.
Salesman called away, excuses himself for a moment.
Eyes forward.
Eyes glancing to the side.
Looking out the large front windows.
2004 looking at me.
That grille! That silhouette! Those body lines! So unlike anything else. So - Thunderbird!
Salesman returns.
Salesman puzzled as I hastily scribble check for the amount offered for trade.
Salesman shrugs and reworks the deal.
Rushing outside]

2004: "Oh, you're back. You're looking well."
Me: "It's been 40 minutes."
2004: "Cars don't really have a sense of time. And I was being polite, Brutus. I suppose you've come to clean out my compartments and trunk. Just be sure and leave my special hardtop roof screwdriver with Thunderbird logo on the handle. That's irreplaceable, you know. Also one of your CD's may be stuck in my changer, so hope it wasn't one you really like."
Me: "Come on, bird, let's go home."
2004: "Right, you need to get the boot cover and my title. Why don't you have your precious Mustang take you, since I'm so impractical. Just leave me here, I like it, reminds me of when I was new and on the dealer lot. Maybe they'll detail me. Or just send me to the auto auction. Or the crusher. Not that you care."
Me: "I'm not trading you."
2004: "Don't toy with me, you're driving me crazy. That was a car pun."
Me: "I got that. It was awful."
2004: "Humor wasn't an option for my model year."
Me: "Well some people think you're funny looking."
2004: "Some people are idiots with no taste and drive cars and trucks that you couldn't tell one from another if they removed their nameplates."
Me: "I don't disagree."
2004: "At least Mustangs don't look like every other car. Other than a Camaro. So if I had to be replaced by another car, I'm glad it's a Ford, and a Mustang. Even if it is a frigging ECOBOOST."
Me: "It can't replace you, but you'll have more time to rest and we'll catch up on weekends."
2004: "OK, let's go home. This has been a long day and I'm exhausted."
Me: "Another pun?"
2004: "Yes you fool, I'm a machine, I don't get tired. I just break down. And you'll never know where or when. I'm like a ticking time bomb, just like the ad that online Thunderbird store uses to sell replacement spare tires. Tick...tick...tick..."
Me: "Thanks for reminding me."
2004: "And no warranty."
Me: "Please, rub it in."
2004: "At least you did replace the spare tire so no explosion in the trunk. Do you think that could really happen? My battery is in there, it'd give me quite a shock."
Me: "Yeah, $200 for a spare tire that will probably never be used."
2004: "Ah, about that - 18 years old, you're rolling the dice every time we head out on the road together. You did get towing coverage, right?"
Me: "You're fine, rattle and all. I still enjoy driving you even after six years."
2004: "Of course. Thunderbird, buddy. Thunderbird."
Me: "With a lot of Lincoln LS sprinkled in."
2004: "Hot-rod Lincoln LOL".

[Epilogue]

[Mustang delivered by dealer, parked next to 2004]

Me: "Well Bird, meet Pony 2020. I hope the two of you will be friends. I need two cars like a hole in the head, but hell, we're probably witnessing the end of the Republic, and runaway inflation on the horizon, so may as well enjoy some of the money now. Plus this will keep your miles low, Bird."
2020: "Very pleased to meet you, Mr. Thunderbird."
2004: "Call me Bird, my father was Mr. Thunderbird."
2020: "But I was made to respect my elders, so..."
2004: "Listen, my little pony, I've got a V8 so talk to the tire. Call me when you've grown four more."
Me: "Sorry 2020, I'm sure we'll all learn to get along. Bird is just a little temperamental. And in more ways that one!"
2004: "Shut up and deal, let's roll the dice and go for a long drive together. It's a nice day, you can take off my hardtop."
Me: "We sure can. We surely can."

And that's how I ended up going from two cars and back again to two cars. Be careful if you ever decide to trade or sell your 2002-2005 Thunderbird - they have magical powers, not unlike their mystical namesake.
This post is so long. Lol If anybody reads all that, you need a hobby or girlfriend. Lol
 
Joined
May 25, 2017
Thunderbird Year
2002
This post is so long. Lol If anybody reads all that, you need a hobby or girlfriend. Lol
Yupper I read the whole post and it struck home.. I have owned my indulgence for 4.5 years now. Just got paid off this past February, Over the 4.5 years I had to do the rear end suspension (rubber parts issue), and I just did the valve cover COPS and plugs. Also the power steering pump.. Luckily all the major issues have been one a year over the past 4.5 years.. Also sprinkled in are fluid changes on most fluids and other PM stuff like filters etc. I know enough to be dangerous with a wrench so I leave it to the pros. That is very expensive over time..

As @biddle often reminds us, they are getting to be between 15-20 years old now. That's still very young for "cool" collector cars and just now entering classic status. I can't imagine what it will be like when they hit vintage or antique. I won't be around for that.. But like our human bodies, as they get older stuff shows wear and tear or just fails over the years.. I'm thinking what will it be like when they are 30 - 50 years old + years old.. As i talk to any owner of a Classic / plus vehicle, it's a labor of love. I wish I would of taken up camshafting (my term for auto mechanics) back in my early days. It would of savbed me money over the years and it would of been a great hobby.

I just ran into a group of people at one of our Saturday morning Cars and Coffee events who own Franklins. The Franklin automobile was built in Syracuse from 1902 - 1934, and the claim to fame as being one of the only air cooled engines in a luxury car in those early days.. The cars and their owners come from all over the Northeast to have a yearly week long get together here near Syracuse. There were beautiful restored examples and others that were in the restoration transition. This year the get together was less formal and cut short to 4 days because of coved. Each owner (and car) had a story to tell. Some just got into the hobby while others are 2nd or 3rd generation owners of Franklins passed down from father or even grandfathers.. Some work on then themselves while others find a mechanic who does the work. But all said it was a labor of love. The feeling they get when they get behind the wheel and they take a drive it's all worth the hassle.

I think it's the same for T-birds and those early 1st generations ones are so cool right up through the years to out 11th gens.. They all bring a bit of nostalgia, adding more age just makes it more magical. I think the problem with the 11th gens are they are visually a great looking car, but they are entering "young" old age. They are having problems that any 15-20 year old car would have but we tend to think of them as a new technology car. Supposedly less problems and more reliable.. And Parts, we are experience parts issues not unlike the people with Franklins or other vintage cars.. The parts are not there..

Yupper @biddle is right, we need a new hobby or girlfriend. The Tbird has to be cheaper than a new girlfriend - or not..
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Joined
Oct 2, 2017
Thunderbird Year
2003
Thought I'd share a recent occurrence:

[After changing all eight COPs and spark plugs a few months ago]

Me: "All right, Bird, that should smooth out your rough running engine. It was a grueling two hours, but you're worth it. Just thankful for all the info on the Forum so I was able to do it myself."
2004: "Of course I'm worth it. But thanks, I was weary of playing good COP, bad COP. Hopefully you didn't screw anything up. No, I feel all right."
Me: "Great! Now let us never speak of it again."

[2004 purrs like a kitten and runs like a top for a while]

[Recent cold start, previously never heard and alarming rattling from the engine]

Me: "What was that horrible rattling noise!? Seriously, Bird? You have 40K miles, now what's going on?"
2004: "Yeah but I'm no spring chicken. Check my production date, we're pushing up against 18 years, buddy."
Me: "But you've had every possible fluid changed, and checked out perfectly not long ago. I just changed your COPs and plugs! Not to mention the premium fuel. Why are you rattling?"
2004: "It's a Thunderbird thing, you wouldn't understand. Get out your wallet."

[Checking the mail a few days later, special offer from Ford for $1,250 off any new vehicle. Somehow arriving at local Ford dealership]

2004: "The Ford house? I'm not due for an oil change. You know service isn't open this late so can't get my rattle checked. Why are we here?"
Me: "Um, er, just, you know, curious what's on the lot. Here, park next to this new Bronco and say hello."
2004: "Where are you going? Come back here! Are...are you walking toward that herd of Mustangs?"
Me: "Sorry, didn't catch that, back in a bit."

[Test drives 2020 Mustang Ecoboost Premium. Offer too good to refuse, last of the 2020's pricing with incentives, $11K below MSRP, $13K trade for Bird]

[Approaching 2004, looking nonchalant]

2004: "You reek of new car smell."
Me: "Bird, look, there's something I've got to say and it isn't easy. We've been friends for nearly six years now, and I really like you, but, well, I'm only your second owner and maybe it's time for you to meet new people and all."
2004: "Owner??!!"
Me: "Let's not get hung up on semantics. Look, you're a two-seater with an absurdly difficult to remove and install hardtop, your radio works about half the time, you don't have Bluetooth, I never know when or why your ABS and traction control lamps are going to light up, parts are getting scarce as hen's teeth, and now you're rattling at me. I just think maybe it's time to go our separate ways. No hard feelings, and I'm sure there's a sucker, er, I mean, there's someone out there who would love to have such a unique and impractical car. It could turn out to be an adventure for you."
2004: "You bastard."
Me: "We've had fun together. Remember the trip to San Antonio through the hill country? You did all right on those winding roads, even though you're no sports car. And the drive up to the Red River area, and Paris - that was a good trip. We'll always..."
2004: "Don't even think about saying it!"
Me: "...have Paris."
2004: "I hate you."
Me: "Well, I'm sorry, but I've got to be practical, and you're just not a practical car."
2004: "That's what the 2017 Fusion is for. Say, where is Fusion? Haven't seen her for a while and you've been driving me all week. You said she's at a farm upstate but now I'm starting to wonder. Did you SELL Fusion, like you're thinking of SELLING me?"
Me: "Don't be ridiculous. But yes, Fusion was sold, I can't justify the cost of two cars."
2004: "That's cold, she was great. Boring, but great. And 'practical'. And I thought you just LOVE 'practical'. Guess I'll have to step up and be your daily driver, rattle and all. Stupid to run up my mileage though. Ever hear of a little thing called depreciation?"
Me: "About that. I don't really see you as a daily driver."
2004: "So you ARE going to SELL me!"
Me: "Of course not!"
2004: "I should think not."
Me: "I'm going to trade you."
2004: "Holy Henry Ford!" I'm still dealing with the trauma from my first owner trading me for a Lexus! You TRADER!"
Me: "I am sorry, but I've tasked Pony Power, and it's so modern and it has a warranty, and, well, I think it's what I want."
2004: "Not that I like any of this, but I can't argue against the new Mustangs. That GT with the Coyote is something. Makes my V8 seem a bit tame."
Me: "Um, yes, the GT is something. But you know, they don't have a 2020 GT on the lot, but hey, one heck of a deal on an Ecoboost Premium. And it's silver with black interior, exactly like you. It's sort of an homage to..."
2004: "Wait, you're replacing me with a frigging Mustang ECOBOOST? Please, just kill me now. A GT I could understand, but an ECOBOOST? It has FOUR cylinders, you moron. Four! Now follow my math if you can, but that's ONE HALF what I have!"
Me: "Did I mention it's a Premium? And it has 310 horses, and..."
2004: "I don't care if it has 310 unicorns, it's still a four-banger! It sounds like a smoothie machine on high, never mind how fast it may be."
Me: "It has the active exhaust. Oh, and driving modes. And paddle shifters". No offense, but you drive like a Lincoln LS, and I wouldn't describe your exhaust note as particularly interesting."
2004: "That was below the belt molding."
Me: "This isn't easy, you know. I love your styling and uniqueness and there's nothing on the road like you, but I've made up my mind, and I think it's for the best."
2004: "Go to your Mustang. I'm collectible, and T-birds always have fun, fun fun, so I'll be fine."
Me: "Thank you, I appreciate your understanding."
2004: "It's a good thing I'm not carbureted or I'd be all choked up right now."
Me: "Ah Bird, I don't want to see you like..."
2004: "I was joking."
Me: "So no hard feelings?"
2004: "No, I've cooled down quite a bit. Being parked and abandoned while you galloped around with Mustangs gave me time to cool down."

[Inside dealership, finalizing the deal.
Salesman pushes valuation for 2004 across the desk for me to review.
Trying not to look out the front windows.
Salesman called away, excuses himself for a moment.
Eyes forward.
Eyes glancing to the side.
Looking out the large front windows.
2004 looking at me.
That grille! That silhouette! Those body lines! So unlike anything else. So - Thunderbird!
Salesman returns.
Salesman puzzled as I hastily scribble check for the amount offered for trade.
Salesman shrugs and reworks the deal.
Rushing outside]

2004: "Oh, you're back. You're looking well."
Me: "It's been 40 minutes."
2004: "Cars don't really have a sense of time. And I was being polite, Brutus. I suppose you've come to clean out my compartments and trunk. Just be sure and leave my special hardtop roof screwdriver with Thunderbird logo on the handle. That's irreplaceable, you know. Also one of your CD's may be stuck in my changer, so hope it wasn't one you really like."
Me: "Come on, bird, let's go home."
2004: "Right, you need to get the boot cover and my title. Why don't you have your precious Mustang take you, since I'm so impractical. Just leave me here, I like it, reminds me of when I was new and on the dealer lot. Maybe they'll detail me. Or just send me to the auto auction. Or the crusher. Not that you care."
Me: "I'm not trading you."
2004: "Don't toy with me, you're driving me crazy. That was a car pun."
Me: "I got that. It was awful."
2004: "Humor wasn't an option for my model year."
Me: "Well some people think you're funny looking."
2004: "Some people are idiots with no taste and drive cars and trucks that you couldn't tell one from another if they removed their nameplates."
Me: "I don't disagree."
2004: "At least Mustangs don't look like every other car. Other than a Camaro. So if I had to be replaced by another car, I'm glad it's a Ford, and a Mustang. Even if it is a frigging ECOBOOST."
Me: "It can't replace you, but you'll have more time to rest and we'll catch up on weekends."
2004: "OK, let's go home. This has been a long day and I'm exhausted."
Me: "Another pun?"
2004: "Yes you fool, I'm a machine, I don't get tired. I just break down. And you'll never know where or when. I'm like a ticking time bomb, just like the ad that online Thunderbird store uses to sell replacement spare tires. Tick...tick...tick..."
Me: "Thanks for reminding me."
2004: "And no warranty."
Me: "Please, rub it in."
2004: "At least you did replace the spare tire so no explosion in the trunk. Do you think that could really happen? My battery is in there, it'd give me quite a shock."
Me: "Yeah, $200 for a spare tire that will probably never be used."
2004: "Ah, about that - 18 years old, you're rolling the dice every time we head out on the road together. You did get towing coverage, right?"
Me: "You're fine, rattle and all. I still enjoy driving you even after six years."
2004: "Of course. Thunderbird, buddy. Thunderbird."
Me: "With a lot of Lincoln LS sprinkled in."
2004: "Hot-rod Lincoln LOL".

[Epilogue]

[Mustang delivered by dealer, parked next to 2004]

Me: "Well Bird, meet Pony 2020. I hope the two of you will be friends. I need two cars like a hole in the head, but hell, we're probably witnessing the end of the Republic, and runaway inflation on the horizon, so may as well enjoy some of the money now. Plus this will keep your miles low, Bird."
2020: "Very pleased to meet you, Mr. Thunderbird."
2004: "Call me Bird, my father was Mr. Thunderbird."
2020: "But I was made to respect my elders, so..."
2004: "Listen, my little pony, I've got a V8 so talk to the tire. Call me when you've grown four more."
Me: "Sorry 2020, I'm sure we'll all learn to get along. Bird is just a little temperamental. And in more ways that one!"
2004: "Shut up and deal, let's roll the dice and go for a long drive together. It's a nice day, you can take off my hardtop."
Me: "We sure can. We surely can."

And that's how I ended up going from two cars and back again to two cars. Be careful if you ever decide to trade or sell your 2002-2005 Thunderbird - they have magical powers, not unlike their mystical namesake.
OMG... this is me! But we did not end up buying the Mustang. Other than that, I had the same conversation with my 2003! What a happy ending for you and me. Excellent essay!
 

Pcrpete

Active Member
Joined
Jun 4, 2018
Thunderbird Year
2004
Thought I'd share a recent occurrence:

[After changing all eight COPs and spark plugs a few months ago]

Me: "All right, Bird, that should smooth out your rough running engine. It was a grueling two hours, but you're worth it. Just thankful for all the info on the Forum so I was able to do it myself."
2004: "Of course I'm worth it. But thanks, I was weary of playing good COP, bad COP. Hopefully you didn't screw anything up. No, I feel all right."
Me: "Great! Now let us never speak of it again."

[2004 purrs like a kitten and runs like a top for a while]

[Recent cold start, previously never heard and alarming rattling from the engine]

Me: "What was that horrible rattling noise!? Seriously, Bird? You have 40K miles, now what's going on?"
2004: "Yeah but I'm no spring chicken. Check my production date, we're pushing up against 18 years, buddy."
Me: "But you've had every possible fluid changed, and checked out perfectly not long ago. I just changed your COPs and plugs! Not to mention the premium fuel. Why are you rattling?"
2004: "It's a Thunderbird thing, you wouldn't understand. Get out your wallet."

[Checking the mail a few days later, special offer from Ford for $1,250 off any new vehicle. Somehow arriving at local Ford dealership]

2004: "The Ford house? I'm not due for an oil change. You know service isn't open this late so can't get my rattle checked. Why are we here?"
Me: "Um, er, just, you know, curious what's on the lot. Here, park next to this new Bronco and say hello."
2004: "Where are you going? Come back here! Are...are you walking toward that herd of Mustangs?"
Me: "Sorry, didn't catch that, back in a bit."

[Test drives 2020 Mustang Ecoboost Premium. Offer too good to refuse, last of the 2020's pricing with incentives, $11K below MSRP, $13K trade for Bird]

[Approaching 2004, looking nonchalant]

2004: "You reek of new car smell."
Me: "Bird, look, there's something I've got to say and it isn't easy. We've been friends for nearly six years now, and I really like you, but, well, I'm only your second owner and maybe it's time for you to meet new people and all."
2004: "Owner??!!"
Me: "Let's not get hung up on semantics. Look, you're a two-seater with an absurdly difficult to remove and install hardtop, your radio works about half the time, you don't have Bluetooth, I never know when or why your ABS and traction control lamps are going to light up, parts are getting scarce as hen's teeth, and now you're rattling at me. I just think maybe it's time to go our separate ways. No hard feelings, and I'm sure there's a sucker, er, I mean, there's someone out there who would love to have such a unique and impractical car. It could turn out to be an adventure for you."
2004: "You bastard."
Me: "We've had fun together. Remember the trip to San Antonio through the hill country? You did all right on those winding roads, even though you're no sports car. And the drive up to the Red River area, and Paris - that was a good trip. We'll always..."
2004: "Don't even think about saying it!"
Me: "...have Paris."
2004: "I hate you."
Me: "Well, I'm sorry, but I've got to be practical, and you're just not a practical car."
2004: "That's what the 2017 Fusion is for. Say, where is Fusion? Haven't seen her for a while and you've been driving me all week. You said she's at a farm upstate but now I'm starting to wonder. Did you SELL Fusion, like you're thinking of SELLING me?"
Me: "Don't be ridiculous. But yes, Fusion was sold, I can't justify the cost of two cars."
2004: "That's cold, she was great. Boring, but great. And 'practical'. And I thought you just LOVE 'practical'. Guess I'll have to step up and be your daily driver, rattle and all. Stupid to run up my mileage though. Ever hear of a little thing called depreciation?"
Me: "About that. I don't really see you as a daily driver."
2004: "So you ARE going to SELL me!"
Me: "Of course not!"
2004: "I should think not."
Me: "I'm going to trade you."
2004: "Holy Henry Ford!" I'm still dealing with the trauma from my first owner trading me for a Lexus! You TRADER!"
Me: "I am sorry, but I've tasked Pony Power, and it's so modern and it has a warranty, and, well, I think it's what I want."
2004: "Not that I like any of this, but I can't argue against the new Mustangs. That GT with the Coyote is something. Makes my V8 seem a bit tame."
Me: "Um, yes, the GT is something. But you know, they don't have a 2020 GT on the lot, but hey, one heck of a deal on an Ecoboost Premium. And it's silver with black interior, exactly like you. It's sort of an homage to..."
2004: "Wait, you're replacing me with a frigging Mustang ECOBOOST? Please, just kill me now. A GT I could understand, but an ECOBOOST? It has FOUR cylinders, you moron. Four! Now follow my math if you can, but that's ONE HALF what I have!"
Me: "Did I mention it's a Premium? And it has 310 horses, and..."
2004: "I don't care if it has 310 unicorns, it's still a four-banger! It sounds like a smoothie machine on high, never mind how fast it may be."
Me: "It has the active exhaust. Oh, and driving modes. And paddle shifters". No offense, but you drive like a Lincoln LS, and I wouldn't describe your exhaust note as particularly interesting."
2004: "That was below the belt molding."
Me: "This isn't easy, you know. I love your styling and uniqueness and there's nothing on the road like you, but I've made up my mind, and I think it's for the best."
2004: "Go to your Mustang. I'm collectible, and T-birds always have fun, fun fun, so I'll be fine."
Me: "Thank you, I appreciate your understanding."
2004: "It's a good thing I'm not carbureted or I'd be all choked up right now."
Me: "Ah Bird, I don't want to see you like..."
2004: "I was joking."
Me: "So no hard feelings?"
2004: "No, I've cooled down quite a bit. Being parked and abandoned while you galloped around with Mustangs gave me time to cool down."

[Inside dealership, finalizing the deal.
Salesman pushes valuation for 2004 across the desk for me to review.
Trying not to look out the front windows.
Salesman called away, excuses himself for a moment.
Eyes forward.
Eyes glancing to the side.
Looking out the large front windows.
2004 looking at me.
That grille! That silhouette! Those body lines! So unlike anything else. So - Thunderbird!
Salesman returns.
Salesman puzzled as I hastily scribble check for the amount offered for trade.
Salesman shrugs and reworks the deal.
Rushing outside]

2004: "Oh, you're back. You're looking well."
Me: "It's been 40 minutes."
2004: "Cars don't really have a sense of time. And I was being polite, Brutus. I suppose you've come to clean out my compartments and trunk. Just be sure and leave my special hardtop roof screwdriver with Thunderbird logo on the handle. That's irreplaceable, you know. Also one of your CD's may be stuck in my changer, so hope it wasn't one you really like."
Me: "Come on, bird, let's go home."
2004: "Right, you need to get the boot cover and my title. Why don't you have your precious Mustang take you, since I'm so impractical. Just leave me here, I like it, reminds me of when I was new and on the dealer lot. Maybe they'll detail me. Or just send me to the auto auction. Or the crusher. Not that you care."
Me: "I'm not trading you."
2004: "Don't toy with me, you're driving me crazy. That was a car pun."
Me: "I got that. It was awful."
2004: "Humor wasn't an option for my model year."
Me: "Well some people think you're funny looking."
2004: "Some people are idiots with no taste and drive cars and trucks that you couldn't tell one from another if they removed their nameplates."
Me: "I don't disagree."
2004: "At least Mustangs don't look like every other car. Other than a Camaro. So if I had to be replaced by another car, I'm glad it's a Ford, and a Mustang. Even if it is a frigging ECOBOOST."
Me: "It can't replace you, but you'll have more time to rest and we'll catch up on weekends."
2004: "OK, let's go home. This has been a long day and I'm exhausted."
Me: "Another pun?"
2004: "Yes you fool, I'm a machine, I don't get tired. I just break down. And you'll never know where or when. I'm like a ticking time bomb, just like the ad that online Thunderbird store uses to sell replacement spare tires. Tick...tick...tick..."
Me: "Thanks for reminding me."
2004: "And no warranty."
Me: "Please, rub it in."
2004: "At least you did replace the spare tire so no explosion in the trunk. Do you think that could really happen? My battery is in there, it'd give me quite a shock."
Me: "Yeah, $200 for a spare tire that will probably never be used."
2004: "Ah, about that - 18 years old, you're rolling the dice every time we head out on the road together. You did get towing coverage, right?"
Me: "You're fine, rattle and all. I still enjoy driving you even after six years."
2004: "Of course. Thunderbird, buddy. Thunderbird."
Me: "With a lot of Lincoln LS sprinkled in."
2004: "Hot-rod Lincoln LOL".

[Epilogue]

[Mustang delivered by dealer, parked next to 2004]

Me: "Well Bird, meet Pony 2020. I hope the two of you will be friends. I need two cars like a hole in the head, but hell, we're probably witnessing the end of the Republic, and runaway inflation on the horizon, so may as well enjoy some of the money now. Plus this will keep your miles low, Bird."
2020: "Very pleased to meet you, Mr. Thunderbird."
2004: "Call me Bird, my father was Mr. Thunderbird."
2020: "But I was made to respect my elders, so..."
2004: "Listen, my little pony, I've got a V8 so talk to the tire. Call me when you've grown four more."
Me: "Sorry 2020, I'm sure we'll all learn to get along. Bird is just a little temperamental. And in more ways that one!"
2004: "Shut up and deal, let's roll the dice and go for a long drive together. It's a nice day, you can take off my hardtop."
Me: "We sure can. We surely can."

And that's how I ended up going from two cars and back again to two cars. Be careful if you ever decide to trade or sell your 2002-2005 Thunderbird - they have magical powers, not unlike their mystical namesake.
This could be the best post ever on this site, at least for me, and I've been through all the repairs he speaks of. I also have conversations with my PCR, altho not one on a car lot with a potential replacement...
I've had mine for 14 years, amazing, and I still get a kick out of seeing it sitting there in all it's PCR glory. Who knows how long the love affair will last, but for now, I'm holding onto the car. It's not a daily driver, it's a weekend and drive on country roads car, and I've been able to hold onto that for a while. We'll see what the world holds in store for me and that car, but for now, we're good...
Thanks for the story Uccello!
 

JohnS

Active Member
Joined
Jul 15, 2019
Thunderbird Year
2003
My Expedition is getting a new front differential. I have been driving the bird every day this week. I replaced the mufflers with cherry bombs and I am really enjoying the morning drive with the top down and then the AC on the way home. I have had this car for three years. I bought it with 56,000 miles on it. Changed the coil packs and transmission fluid upon purchase. It has never had a problem over the 16,000 additional miles that I have put on it. Although one time the check engine light came on after I put down some serious rubber. But, it went back off the next day.
 
Joined
Jan 3, 2005
Thunderbird Year
2005
Thanks for the painfully familiar story.
I am an original 2005 buyer traded it in on a 2007 Lexus SC 430 (Convertable) bought a replacement Ford T bird in 2010 same color inside and out same model 2005 line topper.

Traded my Lexus in 20 got a M-B 2017 C Convertable all wheel drive, 12,000 MI on the clock.

Side by side the Bird is still by far the better looking and at 58k still original except for rubber. AC acting up but this summer in New England not missed too much (Fan still works).
 

nrlady

Active Member
Joined
Nov 6, 2019
Thunderbird Year
2005
I do have it in a garage, a manual hoist and the hardtop stand. Just need an extra set of hands to help me to put the top in the stand. Love driving my bird and always get several "thumbs up" when driving. One person even called me "The little old lady from Pasadena" as I am a 69 yr old Grandma.
 

Icewine

Active Member
Joined
Feb 9, 2018
Thunderbird Year
2004
Perhaps the most brilliant post I have ever read on any online forum. Was it long? Sure, but so was War and Peace. Literature of this caliber is not for the feint of heart, and brevity is for the weak. I would like to add that it was a pleasure to take in your account without having to navigate my way through the cringe-worthy grammar found in many posts. Your writing is both brilliant and entertaining. No doubt you are a gentleman and a scholar, and a judge of fine women. Or is it a fine judge of women? Regardless, that last thing is probably politically incorrect but those who care about it don’t matter, and those that matter don’t care.

You have recharged my battery, and for that I thank you!
 
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