HomeThe MarketFord renews Thunderbird trademark

Ford renews Thunderbird trademark


Ford has filed a new trademark application for the Thunderbird name with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, according to documents spotted by Muscle Cars & Trucks. But that doesn’t mean a new Ford Thunderbird is on the way.

The application was filed on January 13, and specifies that Ford is applying to use the trademark for “motor vehicles, namely concept motor vehicles; four-wheeled motor vehicles.”

Ford renews Thunderbird trademark
Photo from USPTO
Ford renews Thunderbird trademark
Photo from Ford

Automakers often trademark names even before they have a potential vehicle in mind for them; it’s just a way of reserving those names for possible future use. Given the importance of the Thunderbird name to Ford, it’s also possible that the Blue Oval is applying for a new trademark to prevent other companies from using it. Ford has renewed the trademark multiple times in recent years, most recently in 2016, Muscle Cars & Trucks noted.

The mention of “concept motor vehicles” in the application could also indicate plans for a concept car (assuming auto shows ever return), but not a full-fledge production model.

The Thunderbird took on many forms during its decades of production. Starting out in 1955 as a two-seat sports car, it grew into a cushier “personal luxury car,” then morphed into a NASCAR homologation special with aerodynamic bodywork. After a brief hiatus, the Thunderbird returned for the 2002 model year with retro styling. Despite initial hype, that version didn’t last long. It was retired after the 2005 model year, and the Thunderbird name has remained dormant ever since.

Ford renews Thunderbird trademark
Photo from Ford

Unlike many other iconic nameplates, the Thunderbird has always changed to suit the times. With the electric Mustang Mach-E, Ford has also shown that’s not afraid to reuse classic names in ways hardcore fans might find sacrilegious. So perhaps the Thunderbird will return in yet another new form.

This article was originally published by Motor Authority, an editorial partner of ClassicCars.com.


  1. When FORD re-introduced the THUNDERBIRD it allowed dealers to hose customers who wanted it very very badly! People grow weary to hype and dislike wasting monies on bullshit, and nobody wants to buy another’s mistake Seems this country no longer wants American made as it is either crap or offers a diminishing return on investment value.. Even the FORD GT with it’s hyped retail value has diminishing returns, as each years model ages.Ford finally figured out that if they limit the production,scarcity will help hold the value for a while.Made in America once a proud boast, means little now, each and every year Americans simply buy the cheapest knowing it is worthless, but are prepared to replace it as often as necessary as long as the price remains cheap! People who like the styling but not the quality of the old stuff,will buy it and spent the monies necessary to built in the quality.,which is why the “Resto Mod” continues to grow in popularity

  2. I hope Ford does find a way to reinvent the Thunderbird! I am a Ford enthusiast and grew up in the era when the Thunderbird ruled the roost in the NASCAR world. Admittedly I’m dating myself there. I even like the new-era T- Bird of 2002-05, although I may be in the minority on that one. However given the controversy and limited appeal of of the 21st century Bird, Ford would have to be very careful about how they reinvent this one.

    • I liked the 2002 “bird as well, but I definitely didn’t like the pre-sale hype to get people all lathered up and eager to get put on a waiting list just so you could be able to go in and try and negotiate a deal for 30% over what it should have cost.

      I only hope they don’t push that to much on the new Bronco, but knowing Ford they will gladly shoot themselves in the foot to make some immediate high priced sales at the expense of rebuilding a brand that might last awhile if they sell it for a price that makes sense.


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