All Thunderbirds after the first generation are crypto-Lincolns. Let’s review:

In ‘58, the Thunderbird moved to the new Wixom Assembly Plant, established for building Lincolns. That alone is suggestive, but this also coincided with an increase in the Thunderbird’s size, a jump in seating capacity, and a flip to a unibody platform - just like its contemporary Lincolns. Coincidentally, Lincoln had abandoned its two platform pleb and Continental strategy and was now offering only one platform in different trims for Continental and Lincoln. Which made a market space for Thunderbird to fill - no more Lincoln Cosmopolitan or anything else. Much of the styling coincides equally well with Lincoln models as Fords at this point - squared off landau styled top, “suggested fender” body relief lines, slab sides, etc. In fact, the ‘58 Thunderbird probably informed the conservatizing of the ‘58 Lincoln’s design to incorporate these features in a less silly way in ‘59/’60:

After this point, the Lincoln lineup got way less silly. The ‘61, which everybody likes, hit the scene - everybody’s favorite Elwood Engel design:

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Effectively, it took the raised line tailfin of the previous Lincoln and wedded it to what was mostly a Thunderbird concept of the time... which underwent parallel development into the actual Thunderbird, with more Thunderbirdey proportions.

Yeah, I don’t think this bears much further argument. The ‘Bird is a fast, slab-sided mini-Lincoln. By ‘65 there was some divergence, as the Thunderbird got a new generation and the Lincoln... not so much.

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And yet, some weird things sneaked in here. Tailfins at the Lincoln line-break point, times 4? A hint of the Lincoln Futura concept that started a lot of this. The tail, meanwhile, wasn’t diverging so much as regressing.

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A chrome lozenge butt which is confused whether it belongs on a Mustang, a ‘58, or what...

So where did that ‘64 Lincoln go? This link has more detail - suffice to say it was somewhat Thunderbirdy. Coincidentally, the link explains where this very next Thunderbird partly came from - that exact concept and its blotter paper:

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So, while Lincoln missed two generations, Lincoln design language was over to play at Thunderbird’s house. This design then briefly ran away from home and pretended to be a Pontiac or something, with the existing bodywork in disguise.

Meanwhile, the ‘61 Lincoln design became a stone too impossible to wring for blood anymore, so the new Lincoln came out, looking like the ‘70 ‘Bird’s sullen dad.

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...shortly after which, the ‘Bird fell in line and became The Same Exact Car Only Smaller.

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From this point out, there are a lot of sub-varieties of Thunderbird, some straying further (late ‘80s), some straying closer to the Lincoln of the time, but nearly always having a close correspondence in styling - until we get into the ‘90s.

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Even the Thunderbirds on the Fox platform hew close to Fox Lincolns at times.

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Finally, the 90s happened, wild restyling of the Thunderbird broke its connections to Lincoln and to the majority of T-birds past... visually. Dobby Thunderbird is free!

Except... Thunderbird? You’re still using a brand-unique sub-marque style badge. Like Continental did. You really think you’re free - on a new mid-luxury MN-12 platform with independent suspension and a smooth ride? You’re still in Wixom. That’s a nice platfom - it’d be a shame if something were to Mark-en to it.

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Does making a Lincoln out of something retroactively make it a Lincoln? If not, I don’t care. Through this all, we have been told that a Thunderbird is a “Personal Luxury Coupe(/sedan/etc.)”. That’s a really odd way to pronounce “only not a Lincoln because of reasons”.

Then, of course, the NuThunderbird is a Lincoln LS with a you’re not fooling anybody body on.

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In summary, Make Thunderbird Lincoln Again #Hupp2016