Is it the car that makes one famous? Or is it the driver who make the car famous? Or is it both?
The Ford Thunderbird is an American car icon that has been manufactured in the United States from 1955 to 2005. It was Ford’s response to Chevrolet’s Corvette, but it was not sold as a full-blown sports car upon its debut release. Instead, Ford called it a personal luxury car, a description, which opened up an entirely new market segment at that time. At its introduction in 1955, it outsold the much more expensive Convertible by twenty-four to one.
At its creation, the car had many suggestions for a name ranging from “Hep Cat,” “Whizzer,” “Beaver,” “Runabout,” to monikers such as “Detroiter,” “Arcturus,” “Savile,” “Coronado,” and the ever exotic “El Tigre.”
The name “Whizzer” was initially being seriously considered as the winning model name, before stylist Alden “Gib” Giberson’s suggestion of the name “Thunderbird” was accepted. Though it is widely believed that the name comes form the Native American symbol, it is really from an ultra-exclusive housing tract named “Thunderbird Heights.”
Retired GM executive Lewis D. Crusoe, Ford designer Frank Hershey, and Ford chief stylist George Walker are generally credited for creating the Thunderbird. The concept was said to be inspired by a sports car that the trio saw in Paris. And that sports car that gave them the inspiration is rumored to be the reputable Jaguar XK120.
Now with the history of the ride all covered, we can go back to our first question. Which entity attains the elusive nature of “fame?” Is it the car, the one riding it, or better yet, is it both?
Suffice it to say, the Thunderbird has been an American car icon that has been owned, driven, and ridden in by some of history’s most impressionable and yes, famous celebrities such celebrities such as Frank Sinatra, Marilyn Monroe, Arthur Miller, and Elvis Presley. The more “recent” throng of Thunderbird owners include Rosie O Donnell, Halle Berry, John Travolta, and the queen of talk herself, Oprah Winfrey.
But the list itself cannot answer our question. Because, we wonder, why did such big celebrities buy the car in the first place? Was their choice influenced by the sleekness and the quality of the Thunderbird? Or was it because they were influenced by the celebrities who first bought it? Or was it both? How do we even try to answer such questions?
If I were to put my two cents in (which I will a few words from now), I have a proposal. I think that for any of us to arrive at an answer, we must do one thing first: We need to experience riding this car. Yes, nothing beats the sureness of experiencing something first hand. We need to experience what it feels like with people watching us, greeting us, waving at us while we are riding the Thunderbird. There is that need to be a celebrity for one to truly see for ourselves which one the onlookers are checking out: the car or us. Yes, I know that proposal seems absurd, quite juvenile even. But, then again, maybe not.
That proposal is possible because the Thunderbird is available for rent at any sports, exotic, luxury, and classic car rentals. And the good thing about this is that many luxury and classic car rentals in town are easily accessed through their websites. These websites offer services such car information, pricing and reservations. They also have other car models that we may experience first hand to also know what makes these cars special. Luxury classic car rentals were made to give us the experience riding a lot of cars with no need of buying them. This time we can answer our questions.
Now, to live the lifestyle of the rich and the famous doesn’t seem too absurd anymore. And the best part of this is, we need not break the bank to score a ride on a celebrity car such as the Thunderbird. There is no need to buy the car because we can rent it. This time, that question of who makes which famous, remains a theory no longer. This time, we get first dibs on the ride itself.
Experience is still the all important thing. So discover what a ride in a luxury car rental can bring you. And then, maybe, just maybe, you get to discover for yourself a ride through the celebrity lane.