Motor Trend, February 1969


It all got started with the 'Bird' and in 1969 it would be difficult to find a personal luxury car with more all-around versatility, especially the two-door Landau, which we tested. Our test car was loaded with practically all the comfort and convenience options available, which is the only way to go. If you plan to shell out the money for a car in this category you may as well get the best.
Probably the most exciting and exhilarating new option on the Bird is the electric-powered sunroof. European imports have had sunroofs for years and we've always wondered why no American manufacturer ever capitalized on what we consider a great feature. T-bird's sunroof is all metal and is operated by a small button on the lower part of the dash. The roof itself is a solid, well-built unit that seals tightly into place when closed. Ford obligingly includes a small crank handle for manual operation should your electric motor ever give up in a rain, storm. There is no wind buffeting or turbulence with the roof open, and even on chilly days with a bright sun, the car stays warm with the roof open.
Bench seats are standard on the Bird but our Landau had the optional buckets, which are worth the money for the two-door model. They are extremely comfortable, both for short hops or long cruises. Both T-bird and Marauder

bucket seats were more comfortable than the seats in the GM cars, with the exception of the Grand Prix.
With bucket seats in the Landau the floor-mounted center console sweeps upward and forms an integral design with the dash panel. The center console has two storage boxes in addition to the dash glovebox so there is more than adequate room for stowing things. The center storage box is raised and padded and makes an armrest for driver or passenger. It is almost the same height as the door armrest, affording great driving comfort on long trips.
Instrument panel treatment is similar to 1968 with a recessed five-pod instrument cluster. The Thunderbird was the only car tested with complete instrumentation. The others had warning lights for everything but fuel. Ashtray and lighter are both located in the center console and easy to use by both passenger and driver. The only poor feature on the T-bird dash is the location of the temperature con-


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