Ford Thunderbird – the American Dream

Already with its appearance in the year 1955 it was clear: the Thunderbird meets the American taste. Thanks to carmaker Ford the car to the designers Frank Hershey and William P. Boyer. The two managed the successful combination of sports car roadster and comfortable boulevard cruiser. The classic car shown here is a copy from the third year of construction in the original color “sunset coral”.

The Ford Thunderbird was launched in 1955 as a competitor to the European Jaguar XK140 and the Chevrolet Corvette, which had already been on the market for two years. The T-Bird sold 16,155 times in the first year straight away. That was a remarkable result compared to the Corvette, which was already close to being dropped due to its meager sales figures. But Ford was still not satisfied and the designers had to go back to the drawing board. Although changes were made every year, they remained faithful to the vehicle concept and the result for the two-seater in the last year of model year 1957 was simply perfect.

Optically, the buyers liked the larger grille, the elongated rear with the narrow tail fins and the curved bumper with the exhaust ports on both sides. You can recognize a 1957 also on the lettering on the front fender, on the massive, two-part curved bumper with the integrated state and flashing light and the local nameplate. The spare wheel was now in the back of the trunk.

Other changes could be seen only at second glance such as the larger outlets of the footwell air vents, improved brakes, the 12 volt electrical system and the 14 inch wheels. The price was $ 2,695, but came in slightly over $ 3,800, if you ordered all the options.

One of the options was the side porthole hardtop called Porthole, which was very helpful when parking. The hardtop was another plus point over the Corvette and the Jaguar, for which there was no hardtop at the time.

For selection stood in 1957 three different V8 engines. Standard were 212 SAE-PS, the E model with two quad carburettors and 270 SAE-PS, and the rare F supercharged with supercharged engine and 300 SAE-PS.

The 1957 T-Bird was built a total of 23,160 times. It was the most successful vintage of all T-Birds and is still the most beautiful model of the entire production time for many Thunderbird fans.