Dressed in a formal design for a very special occasion, the 2002 Ford Thunderbird makes its official debut at the 50th Annual Concours d'Elegance in Pebble Beach. Ford announced it would offer 200 uniquely designed Neiman Marcus Edition Thunderbirds exclusively through the specialty retailer's new "Christmas Book."

"The Ford Thunderbird is one of the most treasured automotive nameplates in history," said J Mays, Ford Motor Company's vice president of Design. "The 2002 Thunderbird is sure to be prized by collectors and car enthusiasts everywhere. With the Neiman Marcus Edition, we wanted to create a very special, very limited number of cars that would stand out as the most cherished of the new Thunderbirds."

The Neiman Marcus Edition Thunderbird, on sale later this year, stands out with a number of one-of-a-kind design elements setting it apart from other 2002 Thunderbirds. The car features a black body finish with a removable silver top, creating a striking, elegant style for the modern dream car. The removable top is highlighted with the Thunderbird insignia etched into the porthole glass. Chrome 17-inch wheels match the A-pillar. The hood scoop is adorned with trim accents and a chrome bezel.

The black and silver theme is carried through to the interior. The steering wheel and shift knob are painted silver to match the exterior roof and accent colors. The lower door panel is silver to match the aluminum molding and inserts on the padded instrument panel. The seats contain a perforated, silver leather insert surrounded by black leather.

Understated Neiman Marcus badges are featured on the instrument panel and floor mats. The Thunderbird badge is embossed on the seat backs.

Because the content for the special Thunderbird is packaged together, the portion of the vehicle identification number that identifies the series will be unique for the Neiman Marcus Edition Thunderbird.

The Neiman Marcus Thunderbird will be available exclusively through the Neiman Marcus Christmas Book beginning Sept. 25 at a manufacturer's suggested retail price of $41,995. To order customers will call a toll-free number.

The Ford Thunderbird was first featured in the Neiman Marcus catalog in 1970. Customers could order "His and Hers" 1971 Neiman Marcus Thunderbirds with extras such as custom interior and exterior styling, a shaver and an 8-track tape player.

In addition to the festivities surrounding the 50th Anniversary Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance, The Thunderbird American Dream Car Tour will conclude its 144-city tour in Pebble Beach on Aug. 15. The tour, featuring three vintage 1950s Thunderbirds, traveled the continental U.S. generating interest in the Thunderbird and promoting web registrations at www.fordvehicles.com . More than 150,000 visitors have visited the American Dream Car Tour website to obtain information and register to win one of the vehicles.