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Touted as America's very first "Personal Luxury Car", the Thunderbird line first appeared on the scene in 1955. Americans fell in love with the TBird from the very beginning, when it outsold its competition - the Corvette - by over 2000% in its first year! From 1958 to 1966, the Ford Thunderbird line went through three major redesigns and continued to find praise and acclaim at every turn. It was the pace car for the 1961 Indianapolis 500, the first individual model to ever with Motor Trend's "Car of the Year" award, and was even given the honor of serving the incoming United States President during the 1961 inaugural parade.
While strongly promoted as the "Compact" line of Ford Models, the Falcon was expressed in a wide range of designs - from two-door to four door sedan to two and four-door station wagons and even a full line of pickups, called the "Ranchero". In later years, the Falcon branding was even used on the passenger version of Ford's "Econoline" vans!
Throughout the 60's, the Falcon ran over its competition, such as the Chevy Corvair and Chrysler Valiant, and became an icon of its generation. The brainchild of Robert MacNamara (who became famous as the President's Defense Secretary during the Cuban Missle Crisis), the Falcon was touted by many big-name celebrities of the day - including Charlie Brown and Lucy from Charles Shultz' "Peanuts" cartoons.Ford Falcon Parts by Year
Named after Henry Ford's luxury estate in (Fair Lanes) in Dearborn Michigan, the Fairlane model began as a full size luxury line and evolved into a mid size automobile by mid 60's. Including lines such as the Fairlane 500 Skyliner (with retractable hard top), the Fairlane included the famous Thunderbird grille style and big block V8 engines.
The line ran quiet in the early 60's and was re-introduced as a mid-sized line that fell between the compact, racy Falcon and the full sized "Galaxy" line. As the decade progressed, Fairlanes were released in models ranging from the two-door sports coupe, sedan models and even muscle car models with the Thunderbolt line.
Fairlane gained notoriety when it was featured in the James Bond film "Thunderball"Ford Fairlane Parts by Year
The Comet was the one line of car models to survive the whole "Edsel" fiasco. Originally intended for release as an Edsel car, the Comet was quickly re-branded as a Ford Mercury product. Based on the Falcon and Maverick model lines, the Comet was given higher grade interior trim and a longer wheel base. Early models closely parallelled Falcon design, but continued with the unique split-grille design of the Edsel.
Over the years, the Comet line included many different car designs, including two-door coupes, 2 and 4-door sedans as well as a station wagon line and even a high-performance "Cyclone" model.
In 2010, a woman in Wisconsin was in the news for running her original 1964 Mercury Comet over a half-million documented miles. At 91 years of age, she told the news she had to have cruise control put in because she kept getting speeding tickets!Mercury Comet Parts by Year