The automaker said Monday it would start taking orders for the retro-styled T-Birds, which will reach showrooms later this year. Prices were expected to range from $35,495 to a fully equipped version at $39,795.
The production car is nearly identical to the concept car Ford unveiled at the 1999 North American International Auto Show. It's part of a recycling of automotive shapes from past decades used to great effect in Volkswagen's New Beetle and the Chrysler PT Cruiser.
Ford built T-Birds for more than 40 years, but the revived T-Bird stays far away from the long, overweight shape of its later years in favor of cues from the original 1955-57 version.
Using the underpinnings of the Lincoln LS and Jaguar S-Type sedans, the new T-Bird has a removable hardtop with porthole windows, a hood scoop and a curving egg-crate grille.
The new version is powered by a 3.9 liter V8 capable of producing 252 horsepower, driving 17-inch rear wheels through a five-speed automatic transmission.
One sign of demand for the new T-Bird: When Neiman Marcus offered 200 special edition 2002 Thunderbirds as part of its Christmas catalog last year at $41,995 apiece, it sold out in two hours and 15 minutes.
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