Each generation of Ford Thunderbirds from 1955 through 2005 must have a nickname, it seems. For the fourth production cycle offered between 1967 and 1971, T-Bird enthusiasts have assigned the name Glamor Bird. The label is certainly appropriate, as this was the largest and most luxurious Thunderbird offered to date. In a further departure from the traditional Thunderbird image as a personal sport-luxury vehicle, the convertible body style was discontinued. Meanwhile, a four-door model was added to the lineup, officially known as the Landau Sedan.
Like the rest of the Glamor Birds, the Landau Sedan abandoned the previous unitized construction and adopted a hybrid body-on-frame platform. To make room for two extra doors and a more accommodating rear seat, the sedan rode on a three-inch longer chassis with a wheelbase of 117.2 inches. (This longer T-Bird sedan chassis was shared with the Lincoln Continental Mark III. See our Mark III feature here.)
To add some distinction, the rear doors were hinged at the rear and opened from the front, the arrangement famously known in years past as “suicide doors.” In most other aspects the quattroporte T-Bird was virtually identical to its coupe sibling, with a luxury cabin and every available convenience gadget of the era. Priced in the $4800 to $5500 range, the Glamor Birds were far and away the most expensive cars in the Ford lineup, priced at a few thousand more than a comparable Galaxie or LTD.
For 1970, all the Glamor Birds including the Landau Sedan received new front-end styling with a prominent Bunkie Beak (below). The protruding nose was a favorite of Ford president Semon E. “Bunkie” Knudsen, whose term at the company lasted only 19 months. While the more-doors T-Bird sold in decent numbers at first, far outselling the previous convertibles and accounting for around a third of Thunderbird sales in ’67-’68, the volume soon tapered off. When the next generation of Thunderbird appeared in 1972, there was but one body style offered: a two-door coupe.