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Car of the Week - July 29, 2002

2002 Ford Thunderbird

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The 2002 Ford Thunderbird dances to the beat of a time warp shuffle, stylishly be-bopping back to the mid 50's. Sharing many basics with the Lincoln LS, it has a 252-horsepower 3.9-liter V8, five-speed automatic, a four-wheel independent suspension, front and rear stabilizer bars and disc brakes. The beast goes topless quite effortlessly - just twist the handle and hit the button and 10 seconds later you're ready for a windswept cruise. The 3,800 pound Tbird is a solid drive over uneven pavement and has minimal body lean in the curves - you just sail right along.

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There is nothing retro about the Tbird's safety features - dual front airbags, a LATCH system on the passenger side for securing a child seat, antilock brakes and traction control. We were impressed with the lack of wind noise at highway speeds courtesy of the well insulated top that seals tightly to the windshield and side windows. During our week-long evaluation the Thunderbird was a big hit with folks of all ages - the most enthusiastic being the younger women... which could be a very good selling point to younger men. We predict that this stylish Tbird will be a high flier.

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- Mark & Katie Fulmer

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