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2003 Ford Thunderbird James Bond Edition With 268 Miles Is an Absolute Time Capsule

Introduced in 1955 as a personal luxury car, the Ford Thunderbird remained in continuous production until 1997, when it was discontinued after no fewer than 10 generations. The nameplate returned in 2002, but it was sent into the history books again in 2005 after disappointing sales.
2003 Ford Thunderbird James Bond 007 Edition 6 photos
2003 Ford Thunderbird James Bond 007 Edition2003 Ford Thunderbird James Bond 007 Edition2003 Ford Thunderbird James Bond 007 Edition2003 Ford Thunderbird James Bond 007 Edition2003 Ford Thunderbird James Bond 007 Edition
Part of the retro-styling boom that hit the automotive industry in the late 1990s and early 2000s, the eleventh-generation Thunderbird was a tribute to the original car from 1955. It was also the only Thunderbird apart from the original car to feature a two-seat configuration.

With round lights front and rear, similar inserts on the front fenders, and an almost identical hardtop with wide B-pillars, the eleventh-gen two-door convertible was a modern tribute to the car that Ford originally created to go against the Chevrolet Corvette. But it wasn't as successful as Ford had hoped.

The company sold more than 31,000 units in 2002, but sales dropped to only 14,678 examples in 2003. And they continued to slide to 12,757 units in 2004 and fewer than 10,000 examples in 2005. Criticized for its somewhat cheap-looking interior and lackluster V8 engine, the modern Thunderbird was quickly forgotten.

But while the media was quick to call the car a failure, the eleventh-gen Thunderbird eventually found a small cult following. And some owners even went as far as to treat the retro-styled Ford as a future collectible. Dennis Roxworthy is one of those guys.

The proud owner of a 2003 version, Dennis has kept his Thunderbird as a museum piece until 2022. Not only did he opt to not take the top off, but he also drove it for only 268 miles (431 km). In almost 20 years!

But his Thunderbird isn't a run-of-the-mill model. He owns a James Bond 007 Edition, a limited-edition run built to celebrate the Thunderbird featured in Die Another Day, the 2002 installment of the James Bond series.

Finished in Coral, a pink-like color, the Ford Thunderbird was driven by Jinx Johnson, an NSA agent played by Halle Berry in the film. The production model, limited to only 700 units, featured the same Coral paint, a white hardtop, and 21-spoke chrome wheels. The Bond package also included white perforated leather and engine-turned trim panels with "007" badging.

Interestingly enough, Dennis says he wasn't aware that the Coral-painted Thunderbird was a limited-edition model at first. He just like the color. But as soon as he found out about its connection to the James Bond franchise, he decided to keep it clean and low mileage. And needs to say, his James Bond 007, numbers 36 out of 700 built, looks like it just came from the factory almost 20 years ago.

Even though the eleventh-generation Thunderbird spent only four years in showrooms, it spawned no fewer than four limited-edition versions. Ford also released a Neiman Marcus Edition (200 units), a Pacific Coast Roadster Edition (1,000 examples), and a 50th Anniversary Cashmere Special Edition (1,500 units).

All Thunderbirds, including the James Bond 007, came with a Jaguar-designed, 3.9-liter V8 engine. Originally rated at 252 horsepower, the mill was upgraded to 280 horses for the 2003 model year.

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