1974 Thunderbird Dealer Promotional Portfolio
This "premium" dealer promotional brochure for the 1974 Thunderbird came packaged as a portfolio, which opened up with an interior pocket holding three separate fold-out pieces. The three interior pieces were divided into Exterior/Performance, Interior Styling, and Optional Equipment. All of the paper used was a nice substantial stock, and the piece measures an ample 10 1/2 x 10 1/2 inches.
The cover of the portfolio featured the Thunderbird's hood ornament and what I'll call a setting sun. This would be the last "full size" T-bird developed on its own luxury platform (shared with the Mark IV, of course), and by '77 the Tbird be downsized to the Gran Torino platform.
The Exterior folder opens up to this Pearl White coupe with optional Exterior Decor package and White "Odense" vinyl roof. The dark red pinstripe along the beltline coordinated with the Dark Red leather interior.
The back of the Exterior folder showed this coupe in Medium Ivy Yellow with a Gold Odense vinyl roof. Those horrific I-Beam bumpers were Federally mandated. Starting in 1973, front bumpers needed to meet a 5 mph crash without damage, and in '74 the rear bumpers had to meet the same standard. Tbird's designers did their best with the crude technology of the day, giving the rubber strip on the rear bumper a form that mirrors the shape of the taillights in an attempt to give the square bumper a pleasing shape, at least visually.
The Interior folder opened up to this optional Dark Red leather interior with its reclining passenger seat. The car phone was listed as being available from outside sources. How quaint—the car phone has a cord! Shades of Burke's Law from the 1960s, a millionaire police detective who was chauffeured around in his Rolls-Royce while often speaking on his phone—the first car phone I ever saw.
Joy of Joys! By the late 1960s, people of color were finally being seen as consumers and an integral part of American society, and thus used in prominent advertising. When was the last time you saw a gorgeous green interior on a new car? I think that green is a very soothing color and as shown here, can be very elegant.
The third folder for this Thunderbird portfolio featured the optional extras. Of note was a Quick-Defrost windshield, which sandwiched a thin gold film in the glass, power mini-vent windows for the front doors, an automatic on/off headlight delay system, and numerous power options and sound systems including 8-track tape decks.
The back page of the Optional accessories folder illustrated the Power-Operated Glass Moonroof. In Seventies-Speak, moonroofs were sunroofs made from glass instead of metal. They both opened up the same way however. Thunderbird had a fairly long history of sunroofs for a domestic car. The 1960 Tbird had an optional steel sunroof, manually operated via crank, and I believe at least 2,500 cars were so equipped. In classic car circles, a 1960 Sunroof is a very desirable, and relatively rare, car. Ford then dropped the option until the 1969 model year, when it reintroduced the opening overhead panel in electrically operated form.