Classic Auto Mall
6180 Morgantown Road
1957 Ford Thunderbird Convertible
The 1955-57 two-seat Ford Thunderbird is among the most recognized iconic American cars. It's been put in television shows, movies and print advertisements, not to mention being pictured on a U.S. postage stamp. The mass media often has mistakenly called any sporty looking car, such as the Ford Mustang, a "sports car." It's given the 1955-57 Thunderbird the same description, although Ford stressed from the get-go that its new baby was a "personal car". Ford knew that the sports cars market was very limited and that calling the Thunderbird a "personal car" would give it much broader appeal.
For consignment, a personal car, (as dubbed by Ford), 2-seater adult getaway vehicle. This would be the last year for a good while for this two seat configuration, and is widely thought to be the best year of the first generation T bird. 1957 saw Ford add some extra options including power which this one has, a 312ci for this "C" series which now comes with a 4-barrel carburetor, 3-speed Ford-O-Matic and retains its larger "G" heads in this engine during its total rebuild. Fresh paint just last year, and now talk about suburban driveway jewelry envy!
When you pen a thin bodied, long hood with a scoop, and canted tail fin 2 seater car, throw on some jet age styling for the taillights, give it a hardtop option complete with a porthole window and has a convertible underneath, add on fender skirts, a wrap around windshield, and some chromed trimmings, you have this car. All straight steel bathed in white paint showing like it was just sprayed last year...and it was. Mirror like chrome bumpers, egg crate grille, and for the rear in bumper exhaust ports, this car screams steel sex. A white canvas convertible top is underneath the white porthole fiberglass hardtop and presents as very clean and tear free with a clear rear window in plastic. With the hardtop, convertible up and down you are basically getting 3 totally different looking cars, and the ability to use year round. Before I move on, we need to give a shout out to the Ford dish styled ribbed wheel coverings wrapped in wide whites. Suhhh-weeeet!
Swing the door and be met with soiled white panels that have no idea what a straight line is as to their design. White vinyl mixes with machined swirl pattern aluminum inserts for the door handles and actuator. Some slight smudging and light dirt are seen on this door panel. Speaking now of the seat, it's a gorgeous white bench with tuck and roll inserts and smooth bolsters that curves neatly into the body styling and allows for the top to hide behind it. For the dash a big curved overhanging cowl in padded white vinyl for the topper, and more machined aluminum and a litany of round gauges and chrome bezel black knobs and pulls. A town and country radio is neatly installed and as we gaze across this big padded curved top dash we can note temp, fan controls, and a nearly hidden glove box, but the deeply inset keyhole gives it away. A metal lower dash also in painted white and some white kick side panels contrasted by black carpet, and original steering wheel clean as a whistle, and you will be left awestruck..Bee-uitfuhl!
A flip of the front hinged hood and more bling with some sting with 312 cubes of "Y" block power. Painted a beautiful red, shoehorned into a totally restored engine bay, and some "G" code bigger heads now strapped on and topped with cast and ribbed polished winged valve covers. On top is a 4-barrel carb and on back a 3-speed Ford-O-Matic tranny. The rear axle takes the brunt of this power with a 9-inch sporting 3.10 gears. Just wonderful underneath this scooped hood. Noted is a chromed "spaceship" styled air cleaner covering floating over the 4 BBLs. Ver-uuuuhmmmm!
Showing nicely and original, rust free X framing and floor pans, reworked suspension which is independent coil springs for the front, and leaf springs on the back, and they look used but in good condition. Power drum brakes are on all 4 corners, and a solid exhaust system is now on. Yeeeowww-za!
She fired right up with a low rumble, and it was off to the test track with a snap back of my neck. Those 4 barrels kicked right in, and I was quickly transported to performance heaven. Great handler, smooth shifter, quick bias free stopping with those drums, and all was functioning awesomely.
1957 never looked so good with this beautifully restored and cared for Bird. Very few criticisms for this car where a nice job has been performed everywhere, even underneath. If you are in the market for a classic bird, or just want to get your wife on board to help clean out the other side of your garage, you need to see this spectacle of Ford design in its last year of the two-seater until Y2K. Ripe for the picking!
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