Ford Thunderbird Tyres

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Ford T-Bird 1955–2005


1955–1957 T-Bird Tyres


1956 Ford Thunderbird Tyres

1956 Ford Thunderbird Tyres


1958–1960 2nd Generation Ford T-Bird Tyres


1958-60 Ford Thunderbird Tyres

1958-60 Ford Thunderbird at Longstone

The Second Generation Ford T-Bird initially fitted 800 x 14 crossply tyres. The ideal radial equivalent size is 205 R14. In this size the 205 VR 14 Michelin XWX would be an excellent choice, because of the way the tyre handles.

  • Some 1960 models fitted 850 x 14 tyres, the equivalent radial size is 215 -14. This size is not currently in production.
  • We suggest moving up to 225/70 R14 and fitting the 225/70 SR 14 B.F.Goodrich Radial T/A.
  • B F Goodrich Radial T/A tyres offer the period American muscle car look with the raised white lettering that is well-suited to classic T-Birds.
  • Alternately, 215/75 R14 Tyres can be fitted to 2nd generation T-Birds.

1961–1963 Ford Thunderbird Tyres


    1961 Ford Thunderbird Tyres

    1961 Ford Thunderbird

  • 1961–1963 T-Bird cars fitted 800 x 14 crossply tyres in period. This size relates to the radial size of 205 R14. We recommend the 205 VR 14 Michelin XWX is the best handling tyre in its size for the 1961–1963 T-Bird.

1964–1966 Ford T-Bird 4th Generation Tyres


    1966 Ford Thunderbird 428 Coupe

    1966 Ford Thunderbird 428 Coupe

  • The 1964 model fitted 7.10 x 15 tyres, the 1965 model fitted 8.15 x 15 tyres, and the 1966 model fitted 8.25 x 15 tyres.
  • 205 R15 Tyres are an equivalent radial size that applies to all the sizes above, and fits the 4th generation Thunderbird nicely.
  • We suggest the 205 VR 15 PIRELLI CINTURATO CN72 as a good option for a 4th Gen T-Bird.
  • All 4th Gen T-Birds could also be fitted with the 215/75R15 Galaxy Whitewall as a radial tyre offering the white band.

1967–1971 Thunderbird Tyres


1967 Ford Thunderbird Tyres

1967 Ford Thunderbird

  • In 1967 the standard 5th Generation T-Bird tyre was a 845 - 15 crossply. The radial equivalent size is 215 R15.
  • The 1968 T-Bird originally fitted 815 - 15. The radial equivalent size is 205 R15.
  • The 1969 T-Bird fitted 855 - 15 crossply tyres as original equipment.
  • The 1970 T-Bird fitted 215 R 15 radial tyres as standard.
  • On balance for the 5th generation T Bird we would suggest the 215/75R15 Galaxy Whitewall as a budget whitewall tyre. The 205VR15 Pirelli Cinturato as the performance tyre or the 225/70 SR 15 B.F.Goodrich Radial T/A for raised white letter American muscle car look.

1972–1976 T-Bird Tyres


1973 Ford Thunderbird Tyres

1973 Ford Thunderbird

  • In 1972 and 1973 the 6th generation T-Bird was fitted with either 230R15 or 225 - 15 tyres.
  • The 1974 model fitted 230R15.
  • 1975 T-Birds fitted LR78 - 15 tyres.
  • The 1976 T-Bird also fitted LR78 – 15.
  • For all of the 6th Generation Thunderbird models we suggest moving to 235/75 R15 Tyres and fitting the 235/75R15 Nexen 18mm Whitewall.

1977–1979 Ford T-Bird Tyres


1977 Ford Thunderbird Tyres

1977 Ford Thunderbird

  • The 1977 T-Bird fitted HR78 - 15 tyres. The closest radial size to this would be 215 - 15 but tyres in this size are not currently in production. We suggest the 215/75R15 Galaxy Whitewall.
  • The 1978 and 1979 T-bird fitted HR78 - 15 tyres, however some models were fitted with HR70 - 15 tyres. The closest radial would again be 215 - 15, but as this size in unavailable we offer the 215/75R15 Galaxy Whitewall.

1980–1982 8th Generation Thunderbird Tyres


1981 Ford Thunderbird Tyres

1981 Ford Thunderbird Advertisement

  • The 1980 T-Bird came fitted with 185/75 14 tyres or 195/75 14 tyres as standard. The 195/75 R14 Tyres size allows for the fitment of the 195/75 R 14 Hankook Whitewall is the best 195/75 14 tyre option.
  • The 1980 T-Bird Silver Anniversary model was equipped with 200/60 390 or 220/55 390 tyres. Fortunately Michelin still make the 200/60 VR 390 Michelin TRX and the 220/55 WR 390 Michelin TRX.
  • The 1980 T-Bird Town Landau edition also fitted either 200/60 390 or 220/55 390 tyres. We recommend a set of 220/55 R390 Tyres which allows for the fitment of the 220/55 WR 390 Michelin TRX tyres. Both these Michelin TRX tyres are still in production.
  • Some 1981 and 1982 T-Bird models were also released on millimetric tyres (200/60 390 or 220/55 390).
  • The 1981 T-Bird fitted 195/75 14 for which we can offer the 195/75 R 14 Hankook Whitewall
  • The 1982 T-Bird came fitted with 185/75 14 tyres or 195/75 14 tyres, again the 195/75 R 14 Hankook Whitewall is our suggestion.
  • The 8th Generation Thunderbird took advantage of the Michelin TRX tyre technology. It was the best of the period. For some time TRX tyres have been either difficult to get or expensive. We do now have them on the shelf, yet 14” wheels do offer the budget alternative.

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    Ford Thunderbird Recommended Tyres



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Ford Thunderbird History


1960 Ford T-Bird Tyres

1958-1960 Ford T-Bird Tyre Change at Longstone

Conception

George Walker and Louis D. Crusoe spearheaded the design of the first Ford Thunderbird, driven by the idea of introducing a sportier vehicle to Ford Motor Company's line-up. In 1955, the company delved into the concept of creating a "true Ford sports car" for their upcoming model year. The initial design specifications focused on crafting a two-passenger, canvas-topped open automobile that maximized the use of conventional manufacturing components. Key design goals included an Interceptor V-8 engine, balanced weight distribution, impressive acceleration, and a top speed exceeding 100 miles per hour.

The Thunderbird made its highly anticipated debut on February 20, 1954, captivating audiences at Detroit's first post-war car show. Subsequently, in September of the same year, the first Thunderbird emerged from the assembly line at the Dearborn Assembly Plant. With prices ranging from $2,695 to $4,000, the Thunderbird catered to a diverse customer base.

Design Changes

1981 Ford Thunderbird Tyres

1981 Ford Thunderbird

The Ford Thunderbird has undergone significant evolution throughout its generations, showcasing the continuous innovation and adaptation of this iconic car. The first generation, spanning from 1955 to 1957, introduced the Thunderbird as a stylish two-seat sports car featuring a powerful V8 engine and a captivating exterior design. It offered the option of a removable hardtop or a soft-top convertible, providing versatility to its owners. The second generation, from 1958 to 1960, saw a transformation into a four-seat luxury coupe with a larger body, granting more interior space. The addition of the iconic "spear" side trim further enhanced its distinct appearance.

With the arrival of the third generation (1961-1963), the Thunderbird underwent a complete redesign, adopting a sleeker and more aerodynamic look. The unibody construction introduced in this generation provided improved rigidity, and the "Swing Away" steering wheel was implemented to facilitate easier entry and exit for occupants. In the fourth generation (1964-1966), the Thunderbird embraced a more squared-off and formal design, while also introducing a new convertible option featuring a retractable roof. Notably, this generation brought about the Thunderbird's trademark sequential rear turn signals.

1981 Ford Thunderbird Tyres

1981 Ford Thunderbird

The fifth generation (1967-1971) marked another significant redesign, with the Thunderbird growing in size and luxury. Its rounded and curvier design language exuded elegance, and a range of powerful V8 engine options were made available to cater to different preferences. The sixth generation (1972-1976) showcased a longer and wider body, accompanied by more angular and formal styling. Luxury and comfort were emphasized through enhanced interior features, catering to the desires of Thunderbird enthusiasts. As the Thunderbird entered its seventh generation (1977-1979), it underwent downsizing to enhance fuel efficiency. The squared-off and boxy design of this generation reflected the prevailing aesthetic trends of the era. Engine options expanded to include both V8 and V6 variants, providing a balance between performance and economy.

The eighth and final generation concluding in 1982, aimed at further improving fuel efficiency, featured a more aerodynamic and streamlined design. This generation also introduced fuel injection as a standard feature, showcasing Ford's commitment to technological advancements. Throughout its evolution, the Ford Thunderbird has consistently exemplified style, innovation, and adaptability, leaving a lasting legacy in the automotive world.

The car was also modified to become a unique racing package for usage in motorsports. The Thunderbird debuted in NASCAR in 1959, winning six races in the top division. The later 1982 restyled Thunderbird debuted on the NASCAR circuit that year and has since won 150 races in NASCAR's premier division, including four Daytona 500 victories.

Legacy

1982 Ford Thunderbird Town Landau Tyres

1982 Ford Thunderbird Town Landau

The Ford Thunderbird left a significant legacy in the automotive industry. As one of the most iconic American cars, it became synonymous with style, luxury, and performance. The Thunderbird played a crucial role in popularizing the personal luxury car segment, combining elements of sportiness and elegance. It influenced the design of subsequent generations of Thunderbirds and other vehicles in Ford's lineup. Throughout its production history, the Thunderbird showcased innovative features and technologies, such as retractable roofs, sequential rear turn signals, and fuel injection. It became a symbol of American automotive ingenuity and craftsmanship. The Thunderbird also enjoyed a strong cultural presence, appearing in movies, music, and popular media, further cementing its status as a legendary automobile. Although the Thunderbird underwent various transformations and eventually ceased production, its legacy as a classic American car continues to captivate enthusiasts and serve as a reminder of Ford's automotive heritage.


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