2012 Shannons Melbourne Autumn Classic Auction
Lot
16

1957 Ford Thunderbird Convertible (LHD)

$42,000

Sold

Specifications

Engine 312cu V-8
Gearbox 2-Speed Automatic
Body Work Convertible
Colour Torch Red
Interior Black/White
Trim Vinyl
Wheels Wire Spoke
Brakes Drums

Description

This lot is no longer available

Although Ford's Thunderbird was partly a response to the Corvette, it was intended right from the outset to be a personal luxury car rather than a more overt sportscar like the Chevrolet. With just two seats, the Thunderbird was a relatively compact, cleanly styled model previewed at the Detroit Motor Show in February 1954, with production commencing on the 22nd of October that year. Under the bonnet was a high performance version of the overhead-valve Y-block V8 engine featuring a four-barrel carburettor and dual exhausts to boost power output to nearly 200 hp. All Thunderbirds came with a removable fibreglass top (the distinctive porthole side windows would appear in 1956), with a folding rayon hood optional. The styling had several other neat touches, including the exhaust pipes exiting through twin bumper guards attached to the bumper bar itself, and fender skirts over the rear wheels. A "Continental Kit", with the spare wheel mounted externally, was optional, as were luxury features like power seats, power windows, power steering and power brakes. Inside there were four-way power seats and pushbutton doorhandles. Production of the T-Bird for 1955 ran to 15,611 examples, easily eclipsing Corvette sales for the year, and it remains one of the most instantly recognisable - not to mention collectible - American cars of the 1950s.

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