The Auburn Auction

Lot 51
1956 Ford Thunderbird Convertible

Selling on Saturday Evening

1956 Ford Thunderbird Convertible


• Highly original with all the correct stampings
• Well-known within the Thunderbird Club of America
• Beautifully restored to a high level just a few years ago

312 cid V-8 engine, 215 HP, floor-shifted automatic transmission, front independent coil spring suspension, rear semi-elliptic leaf springs, drum brakes; wheelbase: 102”

You still see two-seat 1956 Ford Thunderbirds on the boulevards of Beverly Hills, which is only fitting. Ford might have been inspired by European sports cars, but the Thunderbird is 100% an All-American boulevard cruiser – a convertible designed for comfort and smooth, powerful straight-line performance. That fact that the "Little Birds" were also uncommonly handsome, simply hastened their climb to "instant classic" status, and one reason so many survive today. A sturdy steel body and amenities like roll-up windows were other appealing T-bird virtues. As proof, the debut '55 outpolled Chevrolet's fiberglass Corvette by 23 to 1 at 16,155 units. The '56 slipped to 15,631, but that was hardly bad for a specialty car in a "fallback" sales year. Typical of the time, the '56 also offered more power, courtesy of a new 312-cubic-inch V-8 packing 215 horsepower with optional stick-shifted automatic, which is the equipment package on the lovely example we have for sale today in Auburn.

This solid Fiesta Red example looks great with the white hardtop, the black soft top, or no top at all. It makes this luxury sports car highly versatile, so you’ll be able to enjoy it often. The classic T-bird features are all here – the porthole window in the hardtop, rear wheel spats, a Continental spare out back, and wire-style caps and whitewall tires. The paint finish looks great inside and out, with finely restored panel gaps and excellent chrome trim. Likewise, the cockpit is clean and correct and in great condition, with the traditional sports car layout including a tachometer, clock, heater, and Town & Country AM radio, and everything works perfectly. The two-tone upholstery looks great, the door panels are outstanding, and even the red carpets show very little wear. It’s wall-to-wall red, white, and chrome that shouts “I’ve arrived” everywhere you drive it. Whether that’s the office, the country club, or the local cruise-in, this fine Thunderbird stands ready to be driven and enjoyed immediately by the lucky new owner.

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