The Auburn Auction

Lot 45
1957 Ford Thunderbird 'E Code' Convertible


Selling on Saturday Evening

1957 Ford Thunderbird 'E Code' Convertible

CHASSIS NO: E7FH281008

• Extremely rare original “E-Bird”
• Desirable early car with a small air breather; in its original colors
• Concours-quality and highly detailed nut-and-bolt restoration
• A high-quality Minter restoration


312 cid OHV V-8 engine, 270 HP, dual four-barrel 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; wheelbase: 102”


Ford described the new Thunderbird as a “personal car” rather than a sports car when it was unveiled to the world in 1954, and it was a cosmopolitan reply to Chevrolet’s Corvette. The “T-Bird,” as it became to be called, was low slung and of all-metal construction, and it powered by a V-8 engine, as opposed to the Chevrolet Corvette’s dated Blue Flame straight six-cylinder engine. Public response to the stylish Thunderbird was immediate and overwhelmingly positive, selling a total of 16,155 examples in its first year, as opposed to 700 Corvettes.

As sales of the Thunderbird increased, the 1957 model year brought about a redesign, resulting in what many enthusiasts consider to be the most beautiful two-seater iteration of the car. The ’57 Thunderbird was now 6.1 inches longer than before, which allowed for the storage of a spare wheel at the trunk. The front bumper was smoothed out and dropped in the center and the canted fins flowed back to big, round taillights at the rear. Fourteen-inch wheels helped to lower the car, giving it a lower, sleeker stance. Regardless of sales topping 21,380 units for the year, the last two-seater Thunderbird built in the fifties was the 1957 model. The “E-Code” option, regarded by many as the most desirable option available in the Thunderbird, features the 312 cubic-inch V-8 with a larger bore, longer stroke, higher compression ratio, automatic choke and most impressively, topped with a pair of Holley four-barrel carburetors. This engine offered more horsepower than any other small block V-8, besting Chevrolet’s fuel-injected 283 by only two horsepower. As one of four engine options available for 1957, very few were equipped as such, making the aptly nicknamed “E-Bird” rare and the car of choice for those who were looking for the comfort that the Thunderbird provided but with some extra power.

The E-Bird offered here was the recipient of what can only be described as a comprehensive, nut-and-bolt restoration to a fit and finish better than the factory new, by the renowned Thunderbird restoration shop of Amos and Justin Minter, known in the hobby as the finest ‘55-‘57 Thunderbird restoration specialists in the world. The laser-straight body was refinished in its original colors of Colonial White over Flame Red vinyl upholstery, all of which is in pristine condition. The engine bay appears as new, is accurately detailed and includes factory-correct hoses, clamps, wiring, battery and factory polished finned aluminum valve covers. Additionally, it is equipped with a Ford-O-Matic transmission, power brakes, a Town & Country radio, fender skirts and correct wide whitewall tires mounted on wire wheels. Rare, powerful, correct and restored to perfection, this 1957 Thunderbird E-Code is the perfect choice for those seeking the finest of the Thunderbird breed.

Meet Our Sales Team