A Thunderbird is an American car which is popular among collectors (see one in Song Images
), but contrary to popular belief, this song isn't about Cohn's love for the vehicle - it's about his father who died when Cohn was 12. In a 1992 interview with Q
magazine, Cohn compared his father to the Willie Loman character in Death Of A Salesman
, saying: "A guy out there working a seven-day week and not able to support his family. He's 'the man with the plan and the pocket comb' in the song. Only the plan never panned out. But he did have a silver Thunderbird, Yeah, that was his car. 'You can keep your Eldorados/And the foreign car's absurd.' So the story is about a man who's at the highest comfort level he ever experiences while he's driving."