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1976 Ford Thunderbird Overview

The era of the 'Big Bird' Thunderbirds came to an end not with a bang, but a whimper. The 1976 Ford Thunderbird saw almost no changes; even the endless game of front-end origami seems to have been on hold, as the car that shipped off the line looked pretty much exactly like the previous year's model.

That was just fine with buyers who wanted the big luxury stylings of the '76 Thunderbird. Its long, long front end; its two-and-a-half tons of Detroit steel; its plush, cozy cabin; its jazzy, chrome-embellished cockpit; all of these appealed to a market segment looking for a certain vision of class. And then there was the comfort factor; the '76 Ford Thunderbird was a real land-yacht, a boat to navigate the highways in style.

You needed plenty of engine to haul that much car around, and the 1976 Thunderbird did not disappoint in that regard. Its 460 cubic inch, 7.5 liter Lincoln V-8 mill put out an impressive 280 horsepower and 300 lb.-ft of torque. That kind of muscle under the hood may have qualified the '76 T-Bird as a classic performance car, but it was hard to see the TBird's sports car roots in this huge sedan.

Even so, the 'Big Birds' might have found a more loyal following if it hadn't been for their drinking problems. They just couldn't stop guzzling fuel; their 8 mpg city, 11 mpg highway fuel efficiency rating scared off a lot of potential buyers in an era of gas shortages and long lines at the pump. With all this in mind, the guys in Dearborn headed back to the drawing board to create another new incarnation of the Thunderbird.

Updated by Anonymous

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Ford Thunderbird Questions

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Which Came First, The 1973 Thunderbird Or The Lincoln Mark IV?

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Removeal Of Stainless From Rockers?

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