Ford Thunderbird Development

Ford Thunderbird Development

Our studio (Advanced International Studio) was invited to contribute some ideas to the next Thunderbird program. I did dozens of manual sketches that ended up somewhere at Ford, however, I kept these few sketches only because I printed them and brought them home. This sketch was originally a sketch I drew at lunch on the back of a placemat at a Thai restaurant we would frequent in Dearborn! I scanned it in and rendered some details over the ballpoint sketch.

Ford Thunderbird Development

Ford Thunderbird Development

This sketch depicts a retro-fusion version of what the T-bird could've been. Our brief was to create a vehicle that was more of a laid back cruiser (think more Harley-Davidson than Ducati). I brought back the port hole from the '57 bird as well as gull wing doors from the '57 MBZ 300SL, new double bubble back lights. This contrasted well with the fresh, yet soft surfacing and low belt line inspired by the Jag D types as well as a boat tail rear end. Sadly, none of these elements were used.

Ford Thunderbird Development

Ford Thunderbird Development

This theme was inspired by the great British road cars of the '50's, like AC Cars that the Shelby Cobra was derived from. My theme incorporated both hard "new edge" styling blended with soft, full surfacing that with a long cowl & short rear deck could've made for an fresh roadster. There's a saying'"you can sell a young man's car to an old man, but not the other way around" Ford did the opposite...

T-BirdSideSketchWeb.jpg

T-BirdSideSketchWeb.jpg

This theme suggests a much smaller T-Bird, that of a Porsche 550 like proportioned architecture; low and wide with a sneeky upper and a decoratively but effective portal reminiscent of the '57 T-bird.

Ford Thunderbird Development

Ford Thunderbird Development

A bit far-fetched, but at the time, hot-rods were becoming visible to the main stream. My friend and ACCD alum; Chip Foose, worked for Boyd Coddington at the time and had done the Plymouth Prowler for production, so I thought: why not do a rod and call it the T-Boyd and fabricate it at Boyd's shop in Orange County. It could have even been a great show car predecessor to the production car and have generated some good press.

Ford Thunderbird Development

This sketch depicts a retro-fusion version of what the T-bird could've been. Our brief was to create a vehicle that was more of a laid back cruiser (think more Harley-Davidson than Ducati). I brought back the port hole from the '57 bird as well as gull wing doors from the '57 MBZ 300SL, new double bubble back lights. This contrasted well with the fresh, yet soft surfacing and low belt line inspired by the Jag D types as well as a boat tail rear end. Sadly, none of these elements were used.