From the beginning, Ford chose to market the Thunderbird as a personal luxury vehicle, focusing more on its comfort and convenience features, rather than its sporty styling and appearance.
This decision ushered in the personal luxury car segment of the automotive market. Thunderbird held the leadership position in this segment, nearly uninterrupted, for decades.
1955 Ford Thunderbird
The ’55 Thunderbird was a two-seat design available with a detachable fiberglass hard top and a folding fabric top. It shared some of the style features of other Fords of the time, like the single circular headlamps and tail lamps and modest tail fins.
But it had a more streamlined body, and added sporty touches like a hood scoop and a 150 mph (240 km/h) speedometer that suggested it was a higher performance car than other Fords of the time.