The Shay Thunderbird is a replica of the Ford Thunderbird, which was produced by the A. J. “Art” Shay Company from 1980 to 1982. The Shay Thunderbird was designed to be a modern interpretation of the classic Thunderbird, which was produced by Ford from 1955 to 1957.
Like the Shay Model A, the Shay Thunderbird was produced using a mix of new and old components. The chassis and drivetrain were taken from the Ford Mustang II, which was a compact car produced by Ford from 1974 to 1978. The body and styling of the Shay Thunderbird were designed to resemble the classic Thunderbird, with a long hood, sweeping fenders, and a sleek, aerodynamic profile.
The Shay Thunderbird was available in a variety of different body styles, including convertible and hardtop versions. It was powered by a 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine that was based on the engine used in the Ford Pinto. The engine produced 88 horsepower and was mated to a four-speed manual transmission.
One of the benefits of the Shay Thunderbird was its affordability. It was much less expensive than an original Thunderbird, which had become a sought-after classic car by the late 1970s. The Shay Thunderbird was also easier to maintain and repair than an original Thunderbird, thanks to its modern chassis and drivetrain.
However, the Shay Thunderbird was not without its drawbacks. Some enthusiasts criticized it for not being a true classic car, since it used a mix of old and new components. Others criticized it for not being as powerful or luxurious as an original Thunderbird, which was known for its V8 engine and stylish interior.
Overall, the Shay Thunderbird was an interesting and unique car that was designed to appeal to enthusiasts who wanted a modern interpretation of the classic Thunderbird. While it was not without its flaws, it remains a popular choice among collectors and enthusiasts today.