Ford Thunderbird Convertible

While the Thunderbird received only detail changes in 1956, Ford gave it a complete makeover for 1957 with a clean, open grille and extended rear fenders. A set of jaunty “high-canted fenders”, Ford’s term for the angled tailfins of its full size models, also appeared, nicely accenting the longer trunk and fenders of the Thunderbird. In addition, handling improved with the relocation of the spare tire to the trunk, and along with a new instrument panel came “Lifeguard Design” safety features, including a padded dashboard and a dished steering wheel. Six engine options, an extra rear leaf spring, 14-inch wheels, and larger front brakes were just some of the many engineering changes. Buyers responded enthusiastically, with Thunderbird sales rising by 37 percent over 1956 levels to 21,380 units.

This car was auctioned off by RM Auctions in August 2009 at the Shotwell Gustafson Pavilion at Meadow Brook Hall, Rochester, Michigan and in August 2009 at the Portola Hotel & Spa and Monterey Conference Center, Monterey, California. It was also auctioned at the event for Charlie Thomas in October, 2012.

245 bhp, 312 cu. in. overhead valve V8 engine, Holley four-barrel carburetor, three-speed Ford-O-Matic automatic transmission, independent front suspension with unequal-length A-arms, coil springs, and anti-roll bar, live rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 102"

Sources: RM Auctions; Mecum Auctions
Photo Credit: Darin Schnabel

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