Opitmal choice for a fun convertible
September 25, 2018
I was seeking an convertible for summer fun, and I wanted to find something unique, not a dime-a-dozen Mustang, Camaro, or foreign convertible. This car DEFINITELY fits the bill...rarely see one of these on the road, and even more rarely one of these limited-edition Pacific Coast Roadsters. Also, being that I am 6' tall, I wanted a car that I could be comfortable in and not feel like Dino in the "Flintstone-mobile at the drive-in"...this is one of the few cars of it's 2-seater size that allows for a full-size American to be comfortable in. Being only a 2-seater, it's definitely limited to fun driving, as it's small trunk and 2-passenger capacity make it impractical for anything else. An added-plus is that this Thunderbird has a detachable hardtop for the off-weather seasons to allow for fun driving in the late Fall through early Spring.
Having owned a convertible with a black interior decades ago, I knew better than to own another black interior convertible, and learned that 95% of the 'retrobirds' had a standard black interior, albeit for the limited-editions (2003 007, 2004 Pacific Coast Roadster, or 2005 Cashmere). The light gray interior of this car will reflect more sunshine heat than the black interiors, and give a longer life to the leather seats and vinyl interior trim.
The car overall rides smooth. The car was not designed to be a sports car, but a roadster - something with driver comfort in mind. That said, it hits the mark. The ride is smooth and comfortable. The 3.9L V-8 provides ample power and acceleration. The handling is decent and traction is on the mark with wide footprint 17" tires...I opted to put new Pirelli Cinturato A/S Plus (grand-touring) tires on to replace the aging Continentals. These tires completely smoothed-out the ride and the whisper-quiet tires enhances the top-down experience.
I made a point to have the coil-on-plugs and spark plugs inspected and found the inherent oil ingress issue (a known issue with the 3.9L in the Thunderbird, Lincoln LS and Jaguary S-type ) in the spark plug wells, and had the valve cover grommets replaced along with new spark plugs and coils. Good preventative maintenance.
I did note that this car's stereo does suffer from the typical Ford CD-changer failure prone to ALL Ford's of the mid-2000's. Fortunately, this car has the satellite radio option so I am not so bummed about this problem.
All-in-all, a hella-fun car to spend a weekend drive in. I find I'm liking this car more and more every trip.