Sometimes, it’s the ones that you least expect that surprise you the most. After years of trying to create “BMW Fighters” in the form of the abortive Mustang SVO and Merkur XR4Ti and even Taurus SHO, Ford finally got a hit with the tenth-generation Thunderbird Super Coupes. With slick styling, legitimate (for the day) performance and advanced suspension, the T-Bird SC was as close as any of the Big Three ever really got to competing with Germany and Japan back in the day.
Just like how the T-Bird surprised its rivals, I was blown away that the Revell 1992 T-Bird SC beat out things like the MPC Schwinn Krate and AMT Pinterra to take top spot in my poll a few weeks ago. Surprising people seems to be the SC’s way of doing things! I know I was surprised to find out how good this kit actually is, too! Check out this oft-forgotten kit from the time when Revell US really knew what it was doing, and “daily driver” models were still a thing!
I voted for the Krate, so it once again proves that my taste in modeling is certainly on the questionable side of the curve.
With that being said, to this day I’ll still buck the theory that the 92 T Bird was the best attempt by Ford at joining the “Sports Coupe” Generation. For me it was from your short list the Merkur XR4Ti. Now there was a sleeper for sure. i wanted one in the worst way, but my wife thought it was just pure ugly. Naturally, you can rightly assume that she was wasn’t a fan of the Roush Lincoln-Mercury Merkur XR4Ti, 2.5 liter turbo. A true winner in both IMSA and the Trans Am series. Pound for pound it would beat all comers.
I actually thought the Krate would win too. If I could vote, I’d have voted for it. I figured it was so weird and retro that it was a shoo-in. I guess we’re both on the same side, at least!
It may not have been the best car, and I’ve seen some one else comment that it was actually very truck-like. (Apparenly it used an F-150 tranny? Can’t say much… my G8 GT uses a truck 6-speed too, but it’ll kick arse and chew bubblegum all day…) However, it was the best attempt in that it sold well without going extinct for a number of years, and it did have, for a North American car, a fairly advanced suspension setup. It was sleek and at least the numbers made it look powerful, had some euro-charm without being too weird, and gave Ford a car that was equal parts sport sedan and more-traditional personal luxury car. In that sense, it was the most successful and “best” attempt.
I agree, I LOVE the XR4. I loved it when I saw one when I was 9, and we were car shopping. I’ve loved them since. However, while I hate Fox-Stangs, I do LOOOOOVE the SVO. Either open or closed headlight version. Don’t care. The off-centre scoop, dual wing (which I also adore on the Sierra) and turbo engine are killer to me. I would love to have one now, but I’ve only seen one in the last 15years.
That’s why I built the Hertz kit, and I still have the MPC.
I also liked the Taurus SHOs. I think Ford tried a lot harder, and in more earnest ways, to fight import sport sedans than GM ever did.
I sure could have used your vote years ago when my wife vetoed my shot a the Mekur. Damn, it sure would have been one great ride and turned a lot of heads as i would have gotten every sport option i could.
I also like the Taurus SHO’s but the fact that they only came with a manual transmission really hurt their overall sales.