This is my 3rd Thunderbird. I cannot understand why they weren't more popular when new or why Ford decided to stop making this body style.
I bought this car used with 70,000 miles and now have 103,000. I bought it when I gave my '92 T'Bird to my son when he entered college. His car, with the 3.8 L engine has over 145,000 miles. But back to the '96.
This isn't just a good car, it's a great car. It has every luxury convenience you could want and runs as well as any car I've ever driven. It is more comfortable than my wife's '01 Lincoln Continental and handles as well as or better than any car this side of $40,000. My car, even fully loaded with almost every available option, only listed for about $21,000.
Last year, with almost 90,000 miles on the clock I decided to drive cross country. This car did not use a single drop of oil the entire trip, over 5,800 miles. It gave me a consistent 25mpg and made 800 mile days an absolute joy. The temperature gage didn't budge whether I was driving through the snow covered Rockies or through the 90 degree desert. The sunroof is designed so well that there's almost no noticeable wind noise when open, negating the need for those ugly wind barriers that people install on their roofs. Every power option, electronic control, and instrument works perfectly. And, it has as standard equipment, a complete set of gages instead of those idiot lights. Even Cadillacs, Lexus and Acura, to name a few, do not have full gauges.
This car has been rock solid reliable. Aside from replacing the rotors, and the car alarm starting to act up, there hasn't been a single major problem. I love this car and regret that I can't buy a new American V8 rear drive coupe. What a bargain these cars were. Luxury, comfort, performance, and reliabilty for much less than half the price of the nearest foreign competitor. (There weren't any American competitors unless you consider the Mustang which is a much smaller car.) And in my opinion, the styling is classic. This car looks as good today as it did when new and far better than almost every new jellybean styled car in today's showrooms. Did I say I love this car? Go buy one. You will love it too!