I picked up these photos and article from the Trail Birds of SW Florida news letter. We all know that auto manufacturers make dozens of concept cars that we never see or hear of. Here is a Thunderbird concept that I have never seen before. As you will read in the article below this one was actually built by the Budd Company; Budd built all of the bodies for the 1955-1957 Thunderbird. I think the front end looks like a cross between a 1956 Thunderbird and a Retro Bird, and the back end has tail fins similar to a 1957 that fade into a 1960-1962 Falcon. As I interpret what is said the car is in the Henry Ford Museum, commonly know as The Henry Ford.
Here’s a rare look at a unique and seldom-seen prototype, the 1962 Budd XT-Bird, courtesy of The Henry Ford. Back in June here at Mac’s Motor City Garage, we featured the Henry Ford Museum’s Budd American Motors XR-400 prototype, including a road-test video hosted by museum curator Matt Anderson. To make a long story short, the XT-Bird was essentially a ’55-’57 Thunderbird body shell mounted on the unit-construction floor plan and chassis of a 1961 Ford Falcon. Budd, a specialist in body stampings, had supplied the exterior sheet metal for the original two-seat Thunderbird, and was hoping to revive the contract with an updated version. Customer surveys indicated that car buyers retained some warm feelings for the T-Bird two-seater, and Budd constructed the XT-Bird for a formal presentation to Ford executives, including North American product boss Lee Iacocca. The prototype features a complete Thunderbird instrument panel and a ’55-’56-type front end, while the rear-end styling is an interesting mashup of T-Bird and Falcon elements. But as we know today, Ford already had another Falcon-based sporty car under development—and it included a rear seat and therefore a much larger potential audience. Iacocca and crew gave the green light to the car that became the Mustang, and it proved to be the far wiser choice. All that remains of the XT-Bird project is this single intriguing prototype, which is now in the collection of the Henry Ford.