Ford, over the last half century, has occasionally introduced cars that are just a little different than what was being offered by the competition. The Mustang, for example, created the genre of “pony cars.” Recently, Ford introduced the Flex—not really an SUV, not a station wagon, certainly not a minivan—it’s, well, a Flex. In 1955, Ford reacted to the Corvette with a car initially intended to compete with Chevrolet’s sports car, but instead of creating a sports car, they created the “personal luxury car.” A look into the history of the Thunderbird gives some insight into how one major automobile company, Ford, plans and how it reacts to sales and outside influences. Over time, the Thunderbird grew from “Baby Bird,” to “Square Bird,” to “Round Bird” and finally to a car that had little resemblance to its origins.
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