After going away for a number of years, the Ford Thunderbird returned as a two-seat convertible like its forefather for an eleventh generation, and many of those retro-styled machines were driven sparingly over the years. As such, we’ve seen quite a few nice examples surface for sale at collector car auctions in recent months, including everything from multiple examples of the rare James Bond 007 Edition to a barely-driven Neiman Marcus Edition and even a 2002 T-Bird with a whopping 276k miles on the clock. When it comes to concept cars, we don’t see too many hit the auction block these days, however, though someone now has the chance to bring home precisely that – this 2002 Ford Supercharged Thunderbird Concept that’s currently up for grabs at Bring a Trailer.
Ford Performance and the automaker’s Living Legends studio teamed up to create this 2002 Ford Supercharged Thunderbird Concept for the 2003 Los Angeles Auto Show, though it wasn’t just some sort of one-off. Rather, the intention was to gauge public interest in a performance-focused version of the T-Bird at the time, which obviously never happened. Thus, this concept wound up in public hands and has since been modified to make it road-legal, interestingly enough.
On the outside, it’s pretty clear that this is no ordinary Thunderbird, as it’s equipped with unique bodywork such as a revised front grille, dual air intakes in lieu of fog lamps, a domed and vented front hood, enlarged front-fender ventilation, a revised rear bumper cover, and dual exhaust finishers. The same goes for the interior and its unique two-tone leather treatment, Supercharged badging, fluted-metal accents, and Machine Silver-painted trim.
The real story lies under the hood, however, where the 2002 Ford Supercharged Thunderbird Concept lives up to its name thanks to the addition of a Roots-style supercharger, aluminum headers, and a custom-fabricated intake to its 3.9L V8. Those upgrades helped the concept generate 390 horsepower, which flows to the rear wheels via a five-speed automatic transmission. The seller reportedly spent a whopping $56k to make this concept road legal, meaning that the new owner will likely get a pretty unique machine for a reasonable price tag.