The Corpus Christi Old Car Museum Auction

Lot 54
1957 Ford Thunderbird Convertible

Selling on Friday

1957 Ford Thunderbird Convertible


• Quality, well-preserved restoration
• Restored to striking factory colors per ID plate
• Well-equipped with automatic, PB, PS, and PW
• Added modern under-dash air-conditioning unit
• Equipped with hardtop and white convertible top

312 cid “Y-Block” OHV V-8 engine, four-barrel carburetor, 245 HP, Ford-O-Matic two-speed automatic transmission, independent front suspension with coil springs, live rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes; wheelbase: 102”

Introduced at Detroit in February 1954 and first available that October, the two-seat Thunderbird convertible was a stylish and well-equipped “personal car” without sporting pretensions, and a more sophisticated alternative to Chevrolet’s early Corvette. Low and sleek, the T-Bird included a powerful V-8, available automatic transmission, removable hardtop, and abundant standard and optional features. In testament to the Thunderbird’s successful formula, 16,155 were sold for 1955, versus just 700 Corvettes. Mildly updated for 1956, the Thunderbird featured an optional 312-cid ‘Thunderbird Special’ V-8 engine, the hardtop roof gained porthole-style quarter windows, and the spare tire was relocated with external “Continental” mounting for additional trunk space.

Further refined for 1957, the final two-seat Thunderbirds are considered the most beautiful and desirable of all. The front bumper was smoothed out and dropped down low at the center, the trunk extended to accommodate the spare wheel and tire, and a pair of tasteful canted tailfins flowed back to round, jet exhaust-style taillights. Smaller-diameter 14-inch wheels visually lowered the car. Sales rose to 21,380 for 1957, but it would be the last model year for the two-seat Thunderbird until 2002. Today, the original 1955-1957 Thunderbirds remain automotive and cultural icons, recently celebrated as part of the “America on the Move: 50s Sporty Cars” commemorative postage-stamp issue from the U.S. Postal Service.

Very well-restored, detailed, and preserved, this 1957 Ford Thunderbird is presented in its factory-correct color combination of Raven Black paint with matching hardtop over two-tone white and black upholstery, as confirmed by the ID tag underhood. In addition to the 245-horsepower, 312 V-8 engine and Ford-O-Matic automatic transmission, this Thunderbird is equipped for touring enjoyment with desirable features and amenities including power brakes with modern dual-circuit master cylinder and booster, power steering, power windows, and updated air-conditioning. Perennially collectible and enjoyable, this 1957 Ford Thunderbird is simply a wonderful example of an unqualified postwar milestone.

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