Classic Auto Mall
6180 Morgantown Road
1957 Ford Thunderbird Roadster
The 1957 Thunderbird was marketed as a personal car, putting more emphasis on the car's comfort and convenience packages than performance. Although it outperformed the Corvette right off the line, the conveniences were heavily marketed. A new 12-volt electrical system would be used to power all the conveniences, and proved to be the new standard for the future. Smaller fins, a new grille, sleeker body and a hood scoop added to the appeal of what some consider the nicest year for the iconic Thunderbird, said to be named from the Thunderbird Country Club in Rancho Mirage, California.
This consignment "Baby Bird" as this year is known as comes to us as a self described driver quality car. Not a museum piece, but fit enough to be driven on a regular basis by the current consigner. With a hardtop, any weather will do for a drive, and some 1957 fun.
Black satin finish paint for the body with a Colonial White hardtop and may be arguably the best color for this classic bird. It presents in good condition. A chromed hood scoop sits in a long front bonnet and is fronted by nice bumpers complete with mini Dagmars and an egg crate chromed grille, and brite work which is original for the handles and locks but newer side view mirrors are now on, and one can actually look rearward through them and see something! Body matching vents adorn the front quarter panels, and are fully operational, bringing fresh air into the car. As we move rearward, small fins take form beginning behind the doors, and make their way back to the "owl eye" taillamps. For this year Ford had the exhaust outlets go through the rear bumper. The hardtop presents itself in Colonial White and has the iconic porthole window in the B pillar. New radial tires wrap American Racing Torque Thrust 14-inch wheels in front, and 15 inches for the back. These are finished in a satin gray 5 spoke setup. Comes with a brand new convertible soft top and a powder coated frame.
A very nice set of white horizontal tufted seats, with black bolsters are shoehorned into the cabin stretching from door to door. Door panels show black vinyl in rectangular design and swooping black vinyl armrests topped with machined swirl aluminum to match the swoop of the armrest. This same aluminum trim band makes its way across the dash, goes up into the semicircular instrument cluster and is surrounded by black padded vinyl on top and black metal on the bottom. Below the dash center is a trio of aftermarket gauges in a shiny chromed small panel. A 3 spoke steering wheel fronts the dash and has a black padded ring on the outside. The town and country radio repro has AM/FM/CD capabilities but appears like the original factory radio once did. In the hump is a snazzy T style shift lever possibly from a Mustang. Above is a beautifully done shiny black vinyl headliner.
A 350ci V8 is now under the hood. The consigner states that it was rebuilt in May of 2018. It has a 4-barrel Edelbrock carb and Edelbrock intake and a 700R4 4-speed automatic on the back. This throws power rearward to a Ford 9-inch 3.10 gear rear axle.
A look underneath reveals nicely done frame and floor pans with just a dusting of surface rust on the X frame. Everything looks straight and true. Good pipes and mufflers for the dual exhaust and bumper in back shows no ill effects of the exhaust going through it. Overall, very nice underneath.
After reading through an extensive instruction sheet provided by the consigner I felt I did not even need to drive this car, but in the end I decided to do so. I found it to start quickly, and drive like it is new with nice acceleration, and good handling. Functions were working well.
A bit of changes from the original creating a unique 57 Bird will set it apart from the others that flock together. The black satin paint, AR Torque Thrust wheels, and some shaving of badging give it a one of a kind-esque look, but still much like the showroom original. A Mink coat for father if you will.
D-312ci V8 4bbl 245hp
F-Dearborn, MI Assy Plant
315019-Sequential Unit Number
COLOR HE-Gunmetal Gray & Colonial White
TRIM XH-Flame Red
DATE 18F-June 18th
AXLE 1-Ford 9" 3.10 Conventional
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