2002 Ford Thunderbird Premium 3.9 from North America


Love the design and style; long term build quality could have been better


Driver's seat fell about.

Convertible top locking hook broke.

CD in radio inoperative.

Missing at high RPM.

Passenger's side spring broke.

Shocks are rusted and not working.

Rust holes in rocker panels.

Front spring actually broke in half.

General Comments:

This is a review for people who are looking to purchase a very well used Thunderbird, and this might help them to look for issues. I just purchased this Thunderbird and I love the looks of it, but I am very surprised at the lack of build quality for a 13 year old car. To be fair, I do not know the history of the car or the driving styles or maintenance of the previous owners, but this bird did not seem to hold up too well.

As mentioned above, the driver's seat was completely trashed; I had to buy a used one from California. The center console was cracked and the center arm rest was ripped at the seams - California used one also. The convertible top locking clamp is broken (Ford does not sell just the lock; you must buy the complete locking device for over $300, bought a used one for $20). The CD player is not working (common problem). The driver's seat power controls only work part time.

Engine runs smooth, but once you give it minor gas, it starts to run rough. New plugs, new COPs, new EGR, new IAC, new fuel filter (you get the idea). It still runs rough. As soon as I get the brakes and suspension replaced, it will be going to the shop.

All the struts need replacing and one of the front springs actually broke in the middle. As these cars were only built for a short time, the OEM supply of parts is almost gone and expensive. Found a set of OEM springs after a long search; each spring cost over $125. Aftermarket companies are not supplying the parts market, due to only a 3 year run of the car. I suppose they feel there is not enough of a demand.

This car is a Midwest driven car, but mostly plastic body, so you would think that rust would not be an issue, WRONG. The rocker panels at the back end of the car have holes in them from salt causing rust. The metal body panels in the dog leg, front of the rear wheels, have rust bubbling under the paint on both sides of the car.

This review is not intended to degrade this car, I still feel this is the most beautiful looking car I seen in a long time, but for anyone thinking of buying a truly used and driven one (not one that was bought, not driven much and put into a garage for 13 years), just be prepared to have some issues.

Would I still buy one of these cars? FOR THE RIGHT PRICE, YES. Also remember that with each year that goes by, fewer and fewer new parts will be out there. I hope this review helps when looking for a used retro bird.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 5th January, 2016

20th Nov 2016, 04:47

That was a great review; very informative. Thank you for taking the time to write it!

It's amazing that these cars hold their value so well, given their fragile nature.

2002 Ford Thunderbird 3.9 V8 from UK and Ireland


A pleasure to own


Right hand electric door mirror motor failed.

General Comments:

Beautiful car, which I basically purchased as a weekend toy. Mine was one of the first to be imported into the UK.

No major problems to report.

The engine seems very smooth and pulls well, although the performance is not to sports car levels. This is more of a cruiser. Very refined and quiet for a convertible car and very comfortable too. The car wafts along and rides very well thanks to a softish suspension set-up. Handling is not particularly sharp and neither is the steering, but again, it is not a sports car.

The chassis is the same as the Jaguar S-Type, but is set up to be slightly softer.

A very pleasurable vehicle to cruise in, especiall on a warm summers day when you can lower the top.

Running costs are better than average for such a large car. The V8 isn't especially frugal, but it is no gas guzzler either. I get around 23mpg which is not excessive.

Tricky to park in town, and the chrome wheels are a pain to clean, but you won't find a more enjoyable cruising car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 13th February, 2005

22nd Sep 2010, 14:59

I enjoy your site. Bought a 2002 T-bird 1 year ago and love it. Wish there were more write ins on this make and model.

Thanks again, Mikesoldcars53@aol.com