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Ford Bringing Back T-bird in ’99

May 9, 1998

DETROIT (AP) _ The Thunderbird, the car that started out as a sporty roadster and evolved into a family car before Ford took the T-bird away, is coming back with a new look.

``With the new T-bird, we promise to bring back the magic of owning and driving an American icon,″ Ford executive Jac Nasser said in announcing the redesign Friday.

Ford Motor Co. suspended production of the T-bird in September 1997 because its large content of unique parts had made the midsize family car too expensive to build.

Nasser said at the time Ford planned to keep the Thunderbird name and eventually bring it back on a new car.

On Friday, Ford said the new version _ a rear-wheel-drive, specialty sports coupe _ will share the platform used for the 2000 model year Lincoln LS. Production probably will begin in the autumn of 1999.

Ford did not release a price, but the car is expected to cost about $25,000, The Oakland Press of Pontiac reported.

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