After The Bug, The Bird: Detroit Goes Retro

Gone are the bullet head lamps, the big chrome bumpers and the whitewalls. But it hasn't lost those signature portholes, the oval grille or, most important, the silver badge with the turquoise inlay. Make no mistake: the T-Bird is back. Rolled out last week to a roaring crowd at the North American International Auto Show, the 2001 model is more muted than the 1955 original, but it's still very Beach Boys. The original Thunderbird, after all, was the car that virtually defined America's postwar enthusiasm--an age of relative innocence. Says J Mays, Ford Motor Co. vice president for design: "We're trying...

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