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When Ford Tried to Compare a Thunderbird to a BMW 6 Series [video]

George Kennedy

Folks love to read or watch a good comparison test. Two vehicles that are very similar pitted against each other always makes for compelling content. We also love it when two cars that no one thinks are alike are pitted against each other- like this Ford ad comparing the Thunderbird to the BMW 6 Series. Because they’re so alike! (Spoiler- not really)

In this ad, from either 1985 or 1986, we open to see a very fine BMW 6 Series, and are shocked to learn that it costs $44,000. Then it is overtaken by a Ford Thunderbird Turbo Coupe, with a price of $15,000. If you really squint, they almost look alike:

PHOTOS: See more of the 1985 Ford Thunderbird

What is nuts is the pricing parallels. If you adjust the $44K price tag of the range topping CSi for inflation, it comes to $93,000. The CSi isn’t quite an M6, but for arguments sake, it would be the equivalent of a 650i, which fetches $86,700. The monthly payment is more than what I pay for rent. Jeez.


 PHOTOS: See more of the 1986 BMW 635 CSi

Meanwhile, there is no Ford equivalent for a turbocharged Thunderbird. The all-new 2015 Mustang is about to be available with an Ecoboost turbocharged inline-4, but pricing has not been announced. That engine is supposed to slot above the base naturally aspirated V6.

PHOTOS: See many more years and models of the Ford Thunderbird coupe

Either way, with pricing that is $44,000 (Ford) and $93,000 (BMW) when adjusted for inflation, it puts things in perspective. Large performance coupes like these were expensive then– and they are expensive now.

Welcome to Throwback Thursday. This is our new feature where we’ll look back at car reviews and ads from days done by and poke fun at how ridiculous our hair looked from decades past. Enjoy!