Press Pass 2004
2004 Ford Thunderbird: A Beautiful, Sporty Cruiser, Top Up or Down
By Ford Media / Photos by Ford Motor Company
Sep 28, 2003, 18:58 PST



Thunderbird expresses a bold, confident and free feeling delivered in the form of a dramatically designed two-seat, rear-wheel-drive, V-8 convertible roadster – a modern throwback to another optimistic American era.


It comes standard as a convertible and offers an optional removable top with classic porthole windows. The removable top weighs 83 pounds for easy removal and installation.


A secure pin-and-bolt system at the two front attachment points and two clamps at the rear connect the removable top to the car. The two-place interior reflects the exterior design and the car’s romantic heritage with bold style combined with the comfort and convenience that today’s customers demand.


Thunderbird is in a class by itself as a 107.2-inch wheelbase rear-wheel-drive roadster with a smooth, free-breathing 3.9-liter V-8 engine.



Ride and handling are specially tuned and structural braces under the car enhance the chassis rigidity, giving the roadster world-class driving dynamics.



Design and Equipment

The 2004 Thunderbird continues to deliver a unique combination of classic American sportiness, offering balanced performance with touring comfort.  This blend of heritage styling and modern convenience continues to attract a new generation of buyers to Ford showrooms and provides dealers a powerful connection point with a very loyal group of customers.


The 2004 Thunderbird echoes the relaxed look of the original in a distinctly modern interpretation.  Key design elements include the classic egg-crate grille found on the 1955-57 Thunderbirds, and a hood scoop reminiscent of the 1961 model.


At 6.9 cubic feet, Thunderbird’s fully lined trunk is spacious enough for two sets of golf clubs.  A soft vinyl boot is provided to cover the black, woven soft-top when it’s down.

Inside, Thunderbird provides a comfortable environment for its occupants.  The black instrument panel is highlighted with bright accent colors and brushed aluminum appliqués.  The center stack flows out of the instrument panel with a sculpted line that creates a waterfall effect leading to the console.  The standard interior has black leather surfaces, and a body-color theme is optional for those who want to match the interior and exterior colors.


A new Light Sand appearance package has been added for 2004.  This package includes a Light Sand color applied to the convertible top, full seats, steering wheel, shift knob and optional soft boot.  This package also features bronze metallic tinted appliqués on the instrument panel, door trim, center stack, shifter bezel and scuff plates.  Light Sand is also applied to the floor mat edging complemented by cream-colored instrument cluster gauges.




The 2004 Thunderbird is powered by a 3.9-liter, 32-valve DOHC V-8 aluminum engine that uses variable cam timing.  This improves engine performance, power and fuel economy.


The 3.9-liter delivers 280 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 286 foot-pounds of torque at 4,000 rpm.  The engine features coil-on-plug ignition with platinum-tipped spark plugs, lightweight, low-friction pistons and dual exhaust.


The Thunderbird is available with an optional SelectShift transmission that allows drivers to command gear changes similar to a conventional manual transmission, but without the clutch.  The transmission features a one-piece die-cast aluminum case for reduced weight.




Thunderbird comes equipped with driver and passenger front and side air bags, making it the first Ford convertible to come equipped with combination head-and-chest side air bags.


Thunderbird features a number of standard safety attributes.  Among them are the SecuriLock™ anti-theft system, the Smart Locks system, the LATCH system, the perimeter alarm with an LED indicator, and Ford’s glow-in-the-dark emergency trunk release handle, which enables a person trapped in the trunk to open it from the inside.

Other safety and security features are described beginning on page 140.



Major Equipment and Options

The Thunderbird comes standard with a 3.9-liter V-8 engine, five-speed automatic transmission, four-wheel independent suspension, anti-lock brakes, all-speed traction control, Homelink®, leather- wrapped, power tilt steering wheel, power mirrors and windows, AM/FM stereo with in-dash six-disc CD with clock, audiophile sound system, center console with storage, cup holders, keyless entry, six-way power driver’s seat, two-way power passenger seat, SecuriLock™, speed control, dual vanity mirrors, dual driver and passenger automatic temperature control, leather bucket seats and second-generation air bags for driver and passenger.


New for 2004

• Universal three-button garage door opener

• Chrome chevron with integrated V-8 badge in front fenders (not shown)

• 16-spoke 17-inch painted cast aluminum and 7-spoke 17-inch chrome wheels as well as an optional 16-spoke 17-inch micro-machined wheel

• Improved map lighting

• Colors: Merlot, Vintage Mint Green, Platinum Silver (replacing Desert Sky Blue, Mountain Shadow Grey, Whisper White)

• Light Sand interior appearance package

• Newly styled seats with leather seating surfaces 

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