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Ford Puts a Price On 'Dream Car'

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    DETROIT, Jan. 8 The 2002 Ford Thunderbird debuts at the
North American International Auto Show in Detroit today, with Ford
announcing the start of public sale and a suggested retail price starting at
$35,495.  The convertible roadster will be in dealerships starting late this
    "Our dealers have been deluged with people who want to buy a new
Thunderbird," said Ford Division President Jim O'Connor.  "The public reaction
has been amazing.  We are pleased to confirm that we are opening the order
bank today -- but we must admit that we expect this car to sell out very
    A fully loaded "premium" model -- which includes a removable top with
porthole window, 17-inch chrome wheels, traction control and unique interior
trim color -- is priced at $39,795.
    All 2002 Thunderbirds are equipped with a convertible top.  A second
"removable" top featuring the classic Thunderbird signature porthole window
also is available.  The Thunderbird is powered by a 3.9-liter V-8 engine.
    A distinct two-seater, Thunderbird is designed to be bold and confident,
with design cues from the classic Thunderbirds of the 1950s translated into a
contemporary design language.
    Introduced as a concept car in 1999, the new Thunderbird has captured the
imagination of the American public.  The car is offered in five colors:
Inspiration Yellow, Torch Red, Thunderbird Blue, Evening Black and Whisper
    Orders for a special Neiman Marcus edition of the new Thunderbird --
featuring a black body finish, removable silver top and special interior
treatments -- were taken last fall exclusively through the specialty
retailer's Christmas Book.  All 200 of the limited-edition models sold out in
a record 2 hours, 15 minutes.
    The new Thunderbird will be manufactured at Ford's Wixom, Mich., assembly
    Prices include destination and delivery charges.

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