|For the second time in as many years, Ford released another spectacular
show car for the 1969 season. The Thunderbird Saturn II was similar in
overall appearance to the 1968 Thunderbird Saturn, but had a completely restyled front end, rear end, and interior. The
Saturn II was painted in a pearlescent Gold metalflake paint, a striking
bright gold with a high level of metallic particles embedded within the
pigment. The high back bucket seats of the 1968 version were replaced by
new ones with a more traditional look, and were upholstered in metallic
gold leather. The front fender vents were eliminated, new wheels appeared,
and white sidewall tires replaced the red band tires. Stock 1969 Thunderbird
front turn indicator/parking lamp assemblies appeared in the center of
the vertically divided grille.
The Saturn II hood was 4 inches longer than the hood on a stock 1969 Thunderbird,
and the roof panel was 2 inches lower. Onboard, special electronic equipment
ensured that personal luxury passengers of the future had everything necessary
at their disposal—including two way communications, radar, and a
computerized trip monitor. Stock accessories were also included, most notably
the Rear Lamp Outage Monitor [image link opens in new window] which used fiber optic tubes to transmit
light from the tail lamp bulbs to a monitor mounted on the rear package
tray. The driver could view the monitor from the rear view mirror and check
rear lamp operation.
Ford usually designed its show cars to gauge public reaction as they toured
the country at local auto shows. If a design was especially popular, it
would quite often appear within a couple of years on a production model.
The fastback roofline of the Thunderbird Saturn and Saturn II was quite
popular, and showed up in a somewhat modified form on the 1970 and 1971
Thunderbird production models.