Ford Thunderbird E-Code Convertible
Ford introduced its 1957 models on October 1, 1956, including the new Thunderbird, which was 6.1 inches longer and featured updated styling, with features like canted fins to make it look more like the rest of the Ford lineup. The lengthening allowed Ford designers to return the spare tire to the trunk, and it received 14-inch wheels, which gave it a lower riding stance. The interior was given a new dash and updated upholstery treatments, in addition to a Volumatic radio that rose in volume as the car’s speed increased and the Dial-O-Matic power seat that returned to its rearmost position when the ignition was turned off, allowing for easier entry and exit, then returning to its pre-set position when the ignition was started. Base price was $3,408, although nicely optioned cars were well over $4,000.
In addition to the new-for-1957 styling, the big news that really caught buyers’ attention was a choice of four powerplants. Among them was the optional 312-cubic inch ‘E-code’ variant, producing 275 horsepower through a modified Holley dual four-barrel setup borrowed from the 1956 Lincoln. The final ’57 was produced on December 13 of that year. Arguably the most attractive of the “tri-five” Thunderbirds, 21,380 examples rolled off production lines during the extended model run.
This car was auctioned off by RM Auctions in November of 2010 at the Robson Estate, Gainesville, Georgia and in July of 2012 at The Inn at St. John's, Plymouth, Michigan.
275 hp, 312 cu. in. V-8 engine with dual four-bbl carburetors, three-speed Ford-O-Matic automatic transmission, independent front suspension with unequal length A-arms and coil springs, live rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes with power assist. Wheelbase: 102"
Source: RM Auctions
Photo Credit: Copyright Darin Schnabel