Ford Authority

1983 Ford Thunderbird Impressed With Sharp Styling: Video

MotorWeek‘s Retro Review series continues to provide us with a treasure chest of throwback clips from Blue Oval history, a list that most recently includes 2001 Ford Mustang SVT Cobra and Bullitt, as well as the 2000 Ford Excursion. Now, we’ve been blessed with yet another cool Retro Review, this time, one covering a model that is no longer around, but still holds a special place in the hearts of most Blue Oval fans – in this case, the 1983 model year Ford Thunderbird.

1983 Ford Thunderbird MotorWeek Retro Review - Exterior 002 - Rear

Developed under former (and late) exec Donald Petersen, the 1983 Ford Thunderbird was part of a styling renaissance of sorts that included the revolutionary Ford Taurus. As our host John Davis points out, the T-Bird of this generation marked a “dramatic new direction in Detroit styling.” Thus, it comes as no surprise that the ’83 Ford Thunderbird debuted to tremendous success, with customers lining up to place an order for one.

Of course, the 1983 Ford Thunderbird was more than just a great looking car, as it performed quite well on MotorWeek‘s test track, and its more aerodynamic shape helped reduce drag, to boot. Inside the cabin, the T-Bird featured a rather European design complemented by wood-like trim, fully-adjustable seats with lumbar support, and plenty of room for even taller passengers in the front and rear.

This particular 1983 Ford Thunderbird tester was equipped with the Special Handling Package and 5.0L V8, which results in flat handling and slight oversteer. Despite the extra heft up front, the T-Bird remained quite balanced in the corners, and it also stopped from 60 mph in a solid 108 feet. However, its mere 130 horsepower resulted in leisurely performance of 0-60 mph in 10.8 seconds, while the quarter-mile took 18.3 seconds to complete. Regardless, this was par for the course in the early ’80s, and given its handsome looks, consumers were keen to focus on the positives here – and there are lots of them.

We’ll have more retro reviews to share soon, so be sure and subscribe to Ford Authority for more Ford Thunderbird news and non-stop Ford news coverage.

Brett's lost track of all the Fords he's owned over the years and how much he's spent modifying them, but his current money pits include an S550 Mustang and 13th gen F-150.

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  1. Tigger

    Back when Ford had actual LEADERSHIP


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