Ford comes to Town
FORD BRINGS ‘LIVING LEGENDS’ TO TOWN AS PART OF SWEEPING U.S., CANADIAN TOUR
The award-winning duo of the Ford Thunderbird and Mustang collectively has wowed
customers for more than a century. This summer, Ford is making sure fans
throughout the U.S. and Canada can appreciate exciting new models of these cars
along with a legend in the making – the world’s best-selling car, Ford Focus.
“Thunderbird and Mustang are ‘living legends’ that have earned a place in pop
culture by stealing moments not only on our roads, but on the small and silver
screens and in the music scene,” says Chris Theodore, vice president of North
American Car. “These new models put the romance back into car ownership and,
along with the Focus, will elicit heart-pounding excitement that comes only when
a car drives as good as it looks.”
Ford is sponsoring a summer road trip throughout 48 American states and several
Canadian provinces featuring:
· The all-new Thunderbird, which returns to the Ford lineup after a five-year
hiatus and emerges as a modern interpretation of the 1955-57 roadster.
· The Mustang Bullitt GT, which is a special-edition Ford Mustang designed to
recall the classic 1968 Mustang fastback that starred along with Steve McQueen
in the 1968 action film called Bullitt.
· The Ford Focus, which is the first car in history to capture both European and
North American Car of the Year awards.
The Thunderbird Tale
Thunderbird debuted in 1955. The two-seat roadster quickly achieved celebrity
status. The car maintained customer appeal while changing with the times and
spanning five decades and dozens of design changes. For 42 years, from 1955 to
1997, Thunderbirds of many shapes and sizes graced the American road. Yet one
era stood out among them all in the fond memories of automotive enthusiasts –
Although there are Thunderbird fan clubs for all models, those first two-seat
‘birds of 1955 through 1957 made their indelible mark on the memories of not
only owners and collectors, but on a nation. Immortalized in movies and on the
small screen, the original Thunderbirds created a style all to themselves that
was never quite repeated or replaced.
In the automotive industry and elsewhere, the old saying holds true: “You can’t
go home again.” You can, however, go forward. Ford’s 2002 Thunderbird represents
the best of both worlds – design cues that started an American love affair with
the original roadster and the technology of 21st century – making it a modern
The 2002 Ford Thunderbird goes on sale later this summer with prices starting at
$35,495 (including $530 for destination and delivery). Ford expects to sell
approximately 25,000 of the two-seat roadsters in the first year.
The new Thunderbird features a 252-horsepower 3.9-liter V-8 engine, five-speed
automatic transmission, 17-inch aluminum wheels and comes in five colors –
Whisper White, Torch Red, Inspiration Yellow, Evening Black and Thunderbird
Looking at the Pony Car
The Ford Mustang motored onto the automotive scene on April 17, 1964, at the New
York World’s Fair. With its low profile, long hood and short-rear-deck styling,
Mustang promised performance, panache and enough options for buyers to express
their own personality. Mustang came in three models – hardtop, fastback or
convertible – and could be equipped with a range of powerplants ranging from a
standard six-cylinder to a competition-level, high-performance
271 horsepower 289-cubic-inch V-8.
Although Ford only expected to sell 100,000 Mustangs the first year, dealers
took 22,000 orders the first day. Mustang went on to sell 418,812 that year.
Today, the new generation Mustang outsells every other car in the hotly
contested small-specialty segment. Mustang is also the best-selling convertible
For 2001, Ford rekindles some of the Mustang excitement from the past with the
special-edition Mustang Bullitt GT. The Mustang Bullitt GT is designed to pay
homage to the memory of the 1968 Mustang fastback driven by the late Steve
McQueen in the movie Bullitt. In his Mustang, McQueen’s character, Lt. Frank
Bullitt chased bad guys during a gripping 10-minute scene through the streets of
San Francisco with no dialog to interfere with the sounds of the roaring engine
and screeching tires. Many aficionados consider it the greatest movie-car-chase
scene, an honor made more impressive by the fact that McQueen himself did his
The 2001 Mustang Bullitt GT boasts an enhanced 4.6-liter V-8 that produces
265-horsepower. The car features unique body scoops and an aluminum fuel door.
The four-wheel disc brake rotors are adorned with red-painted brake calipers,
which can be seen through the five spokes of the unique steel wheels. The
interior features special seat styling, a retro-styled instrument cluster and
aluminum-bezel gauges and shifter boot along with aluminum clutch, brake and
The Ford Focus Story
The Ford Focus was introduced in North America in 2000, a year after its
debut in Europe. Focus has become the best-selling car in the world. The 2001
Focus offers a package of performance, comfort and contemporary styling in a
small car that will continue to attract young buyers.
“Focus has done exactly what we wanted it to do,” says Jim O’Connor, president
of Ford Division. “It has strengthened our overall car lineup by giving us a
model that is proving extremely popular with young buyers.”
Focus joins the new Thunderbird and Mustang Bullitt GT on the “Living Legends
Tour” this summer. Focus has made a major impact in the automotive industry, not
just in overall units sold, but also in its ability to woo younger buyers who
might not be ready to buy a more expensive Mustang or Thunderbird.
Focus offers a very high level of standard and optional comfort and convenience
features. The long wheelbase and spacious interior of Focus provide impressive
passenger comfort, and the high roofline allows exceptional front and rear head
Focus currently is available in three body styles in the U.S. and Canada: a
three-door hatch, four-door sedan and four-door station wagon. This fall, a ZX5
five-door model joins the lineup. The Focus sedan and wagon are manufactured in
Wayne, Mich. The Focus ZX3 and ZX5 are manufactured in Hermosillo, Mexico.