Ford Thunderbird Convertible

According to legend, the Ford Thunderbird was conceived in a conversation between Ford Division General Manager Louis Crusoe and stylist George Walker at the Paris Salon in October 1951. Crusoe gestured toward one of the sportier automobiles and asked, “Why can’t we have something like that?” Walker quickly replied, “We have a job just like that in the works right now.” Later, Walker telephoned his aides back in Dearborn, and by the time Crusoe returned to the United States, there was indeed a “job just like that” in the works.

The Thunderbird was introduced on October 22, 1954, and quickly outsold the Corvette. While Ford projected it might sell about 10,000 Thunderbirds for 1955, total production actually reached 16,155 units, and in the process, Ford effectively created the personal luxury car market.

This car was auctioned off by RM Auctions in March of 2009 at the The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island, Florida and in August 2009 at the Shotwell Gustafson Pavilion at Meadow Brook Hall, Rochester, Michigan.

198bhp, 292 cu. in. overhead valve V8 engine, single four-barrel carburetor, three-speed Ford-O-Matic transmission with overdrive, independent front suspension with coil springs, live rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 102".

Source: RM Auctions

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