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Mid-2000s Ford Thunderbirds Are More Expensive Than You’d Think

Here’s something you may not have known: Mid-2000s Ford Thunderbirds are surprisingly expensive. This may be shocking to anyone who remembers the mid-2000s Ford Thunderbird, because it wasn’t a particularly desirable car — quite the opposite, in fact, as it was known as a poorly conceived revival of a storied car name. But now they bring big money.

Here’s what I mean: If you go on Autotrader and search for 2002-2005 Thunderbird models, you will generally find them in the $15,000 to $25,000 range. Some are above $25,000, but those are uncommon — and of the 530 different 2002-2005 Thunderbird models currently listed for sale on Autotrader, a mere 50 are below $10,000. These seem to have hit a floor.

This shocks me because this wasn’t the most desirable car back when it was new, and here we are nearly 20 years later, and it’s still not the most desirable car. Yet there’s clearly some interest in these things, because a lot of them are commanding big money.

Of course, when I say “big money,” the truth is that $15,000 to $25,000 isn’t that absurdly expensive, but these were in the $40,000 to $50,000 range back when they were new, so you’d think they’d be much closer to $5,000 by now — especially since basically every other Ford from this era is. The Lincoln LS, on which this Thunderbird is based, is a fantastic example, as it’s really cheap.

I’m not entirely sure why the Thunderbird has held its value better than expected, but it certainly has. If you’re looking for one of these for some reason, prepare to pay more than you might expect.  Find a Ford Thunderbird for sale

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  1. It was a fairly modern car at the time though, so it had a good if not overly powerful V8, a good 5-speed transmission, IRS, and RWD. It’s not like it’s a Crown Victoria-based dinosaur it was actually a decent vehicle, sort of a more reliable cheaper SL alternative, and it seems like the reliability of these as an actual driver along with the style is keeping the prices up.

    • The Crown Vic (and Marquis) was an infinitely more reliable, better conceived, proven automobile than the overpriced, nostalgic slug that was the early 2000s Thunderbird.

  2. They have a V8, good for cruising, pretty bullet proof, fun in the sun and the right size. And the competition for this is?????

  3. I’m weird, I guess, because I really like the styling on these. I have no opinion on anything else about them since I haven’t had any experience or even really seen one up close, but I like that weird ’50s-retro vibe. I’m gonna guess that the styling has a lot to do with these holding value. 

    • They’re pretty good cars honestly. They were pretty well engineered and it’s on the DEW98 platform so it’s got IRS. It was much more advanced than the Fox-platform Mustang of the early 00’s and it’s interior was out of the Lincoln LS which was good. 

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Doug Demuro
Doug Demuro
Doug DeMuro writes articles and makes videos, mainly about cars. Doug was born in Denver, Colorado, and received an economics degree from Emory University in Atlanta. After graduation, Doug spent three years working for Porsche Cars North America. Eventually, he quit his job to become a writer, largely because it meant that he no longer had to wear pants. Doug’s work has been featured in a... Read More about Doug Demuro

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