1955 Ford Thunderbird- Nice Running Example with Many Original Features
The Ford Thunderbird was introduced in February 1953 as a response to Chevrolet's new sports car, the Corvette, which was publicly unveiled in prototype form just a month before. Under rapid development, the Thunderbird went from idea to prototype in about a year, being unveiled to the public at the Detroit Auto Show on February 20, 1954. It was a two-seat design available with a detachable fiberglass hardtop and a folding fabric top. Production of the Thunderbird began on September 9 of that year, with the car beginning sales as a 1955 model on October 22, 1954. Though sharing some design characteristics with other Fords of the time such as single circular headlamps and tail lamps and modest tailfins, the Thunderbird was sleeker in shape and featured a hood scoop and a 150 mph (240 km/h) speedometer not available on other Fords. It used mechanical components from mass-market Ford models. The Thunderbird's 102.0 inches (2,591 mm) wheelbase frame was a shortened version used in other Fords and the standard 292 cu in (4.8 L) Y-block V8 came from Ford's Mercury division.
Though inspired by and positioned directly against the Corvette, Ford billed the Thunderbird as a "personal luxury car| personal car,” putting a greater emphasis on the car's comfort and convenience features rather than its inherent sportiness. The Thunderbird sold exceptionally well in its first year, outselling the Corvette by more than 23-to-one in 1955 with 16,155 Thunderbirds sold vs. 700 Corvettes. With the Thunderbird considered a success, few changes were made to the car for the 1956 model year. The most notable change was moving the spare tire to a Continental-style rear bumper to make more storage room in the trunk and a new 12-volt electrical system. The addition of the weight at the rear caused steering issues. Among the few other changes were new paint colors, the addition of standard circular porthole windows in the fiberglass roof to improve rearward visibility (with a delete option), and a 312 cu in Y-block V8 rated at 215 hp when mated to a three-speed manual transmission or 225 hp when mated to a Ford-O-Matic three-speed automatic transmission; this transmission featured a "low gear", which was accessible manually via the gear selector. When in Drive, it was a two-speed automatic transmission (similar to Chevrolet's Powerglide). Low gear could also be accessed with wide open throttle. In 1956, Ford also added its new Lifeguard safety package.
The Thunderbird was revised for 1957 with a reshaped front bumper, a larger grille and tailfins, and larger tail lamps. The instrument panel was heavily restyled with round gauges in a single pod, and the rear of the car was lengthened, allowing the spare tire to be positioned back in the trunk. The 312 cu in V8 became the Thunderbird's standard engine, and was now rated at 245 hp. Other, more powerful versions of this V8 were available, including one with two four-barrel Holley carburetors (VIN code "E") and another with a Paxton supercharger rated at 300 hp VIN code "F"). Though Ford was pleased to see sales of the Thunderbird rise to a record-breaking 21,380 units for 1957, company executives felt the car could do even better, leading to a substantial redesign of the car for 1958.
This very honest example is an original unrestored car cosmetically for all intents and purposes. The paint is in very good condition with only minor crazing visible only upon close inspection. The interior Upholstery is soft and supple and without any rips or tears or failing areas, and the brightwork is all in very good to excellent condition. The Soft Top appears newer and is in very good to excellent condition. The car runs and drives perfectly and needs nothing to be immediately enjoyed. This is a car you can jump in and drive with confidence. The car is accompanied by a Black Hard top. all tools and some books and records.
This is a very nice Tbird that really just needs a happy new caretaker.
They can only be original once!