Does the 1997(v8) Thunderbird hande well?
Can you get them with manual transmsion?
IS there a lot of aftermarkert stuff for them?
They are pretty heavy cars and are aimed more towards luxo and easy ride than stiff sports ride, so in short no, they dont handle well. There is plenty of aftermarket for the 4.6L though. As far as my knowledge goes they only have the 4AT offered, no manual. The 4.6 was rated for 205hp I believe and the car itself is about 3600lbs or a shade over that. So it's no speed demon either.
Hey man i don't know if u purchased this car yet but u should and i'll give u some helpful hints. t-birds do handle well i own a 94 mercury cougar with a 4.6 liter with 199.205 miles on it and it does not leak or burn a thing yet,. it's probably the best purchase i have made. i too was once like you looking to mod out the cougar. and i suceeded but only so much. but about your question on the handleing. first off if you look at your coil springs they probably have already broke, they all do.. don't worry though it won't hurt your car. for handleing i went with eibach lowering springs from my store and they are awesome. still a lux ride with sport handleing. i live in minnesota and alot of people don't like lowered cars but i have had no problems in tyhe snow. there are a few things i would like to warn you about though, but thats if you have the car. ttyl