By buying a used Ford Thunderbird, the owner is taking a trip back in time when some powerful, sleek cars were given the term "muscle car". This car was Ford's answer to Chevrolet's Corvette introduced in 1953. Back in the 1950s and 1960s, cars were built with the idea of power in mind, not fuel economy. The newer versions built in the 2000s now have a 17 (estimated) mpg rating in the city and 23 mpg rating on the highway. The cars were made of steel, used a V8 4-barrel carburetor high performance engine and began life as a 2-seat convertible sports car. Only in the middle 1960s did Ford build a larger version to accommodate 4 passengers. Every 2 to 5 years, the Thunderbird would receive a make-over, with more options available, adding approximately $1,000 to the price. The Ford Thunderbird was originally a 2-seater; the first models had egg-crate grills, single front and rear lamps and stubby tailfins. In the early 1960s, a better suspension and sleeker body gave this generation the nickname of "bullet bird". Minor design changes in the 1970s included bigger doors and more weight, leading to the nickname of "bigger birds". By the 1980s, the "Aero Bird" was an aerodynamic T-bird that actually won many NASCAR races with its turbo-charged model. From the late 80s to the late 90s, high technology engineering was included in these years' models with new colors and a V6 engine. From 2002 to 2005, the "retro birds" combined the grilles and headlight styling of years gone by with the modern, sleek body. Before you buy a used Ford Thunderbird, purchase the car's history to determine if it was involved in any accidents. It can affect the handling and the wear and tear on the tires if there has been any damage to the frame. By researching the particular model and year before viewing the car, you can better inform yourself of any details that may affect your driving pleasure. Check out CarsDirect's comprehensive listings of used Ford Thunderbirds for sale below.