1957 Ford Thunderbird ConvertibleSOLD


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Estimate: $50,000-$70,000 US

Sold: $30,800

245bhp, 312 cu. in. overhead valve V8 engine, Ford-O-Matic three-speed automatic transmission, independent front suspension with coil springs, live rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 102"

Nearly two years after Chevrolet introduced the Corvette, Ford launched the Thunderbird at the 1955 Detroit Auto Show. While the Corvette and Thunderbird were both two-seaters based on production sedan components, the Thunderbird was a two-seater for cruising and personal transportation, with no sporting pretensions. In fact, Ford read the market correctly, selling no fewer than 16,155 Thunderbirds in 1955.

In 1956, the Thunderbird only received detail changes but Ford gave its two-seater a complete makeover for 1957, including a clean, open grille and extended rear fenders. Handling was greatly improved, thanks to the relocation of the spare tire to the newly expanded trunk area. The “high-canted” fenders of full-size Ford models also appeared on the Thunderbird, accenting its longer trunk and fenders. Along with a new instrument panel came “Lifeguard Design” safety features, including a padded dashboard and a dished steering wheel. Six engine options, an extra rear leaf spring, 14-inch wheels and larger front brakes were just some of the many engineering changes. Buyers responded enthusiastically, and Thunderbird sales rose by 37 percent over 1956 levels to 21,380 units.

The matching numbers 1957 Thunderbird Convertible offered here was restored approximately six years ago and it clearly benefits from careful ownership, storage and maintenance by its Florida-based owner. Attractively finished in red with a matching red interior, this example features a white hardtop, gleaming brightwork, dual rear bumper-mounted exhaust outlets, red steel wheels with full wheel covers and a set of period-style wide whitewall radial tires. A 312 cubic inch V8 engine, featuring an optional dress-up kit, produces 245 horsepower and is combined with a three-speed Cruise-O-Matic automatic transmission. During the restoration, an upgraded four-core radiatior was installed, ensuring trouble-free operation in warmer weather.

Ford’s interpretation of the two-seater concept proved successful, both in the 1950s and throughout the ensuing decades. Beautifully and accurately restored, this particular Thunderbird is a very fine example of the last production year for the two-seat Thunderbird.

Reference Number 38556

as of 2/10/2009

Car 1957 Ford Thunderbird Convertible
VIN D7FH245808 
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