• Iconic, first-year two-seat Thunderbird with many interesting accents
• Outstanding red/red color combination
• Powerful 292 cid V-8 engine with upgraded dual-quad intake system
• Floor-shifted manual transmission; significant postwar automobile
292 cid V-8 engine, 192+ HP, dual four-barrel carburetors, three-speed manual transmission, independent front suspension with coil springs, live rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes; wheelbase: 102"
Based on a February 1954 show car, Ford’s sporty two-seat Thunderbird was introduced on October 22nd of that year, crowning a very successful year during which Ford posted its second-best year in company history. Launched nearly two years after Chevrolet introduced its fiberglass-bodied Corvette, the Thunderbird was intended from the beginning as a stylish and powerful two-seater for cruising enjoyment and personal transportation without sporting pretensions. Ford’s product planners were correct, with the Thunderbird far more popular on the showroom floor than its competitor from Chevrolet; so much so that Thunderbird sales outpaced those for the Corvette by a stunning factor of 23 to one for 1955.
Compared to Chevrolet’s early Corvette, with its six-cylinder engine and old-fashioned side-curtains for weather protection, the T-Bird was of all-metal construction with a powerful V-8 engine, roll-up windows, and a removable hardtop standard. While not intended for racing glory, the Thunderbird was in fact a highly competent road car, as exposed by legendary early road tester “Uncle” Tom McCahill of Mechanix Illustrated. In his typically colorful style, McCahill wrote of the Thunderbird in the January 1955 edition of Mechanix Illustrated, “This new car represents a great achievement and a fantastic departure from former Detroit prissiness.” Continuing, he went on to state “The Thunderbird is a comfortable, roomy, two-seater bomb, perfect for coast-to-coast run or a fast dash to Florida…I believe it’s one of the finest looking cars on the road today, whether you are using the soft or hardtop…” In fact, McCahill was so impressed with his Thunderbird test car, especially its 130-mph speed potential (when equipped with optional overdrive) that he called his local Ford dealer and ordered one of his own.
Extremely desirable when new and even more so today, the first-generation Thunderbird remains a collector favorite. A true automotive icon, the first-generation Thunderbird was also celebrated during the 2000s with a USPS commemorative postage stamp issue. Simply put, no proper collection of postwar automotive legends is complete without a prime example of the original two-seat 1955-1957 Ford Thunderbird series.
An outstanding opportunity, this 1955 Ford Thunderbird is a highly equipped and mildly upgraded example, with a striking red paint finish accented by bold 1955 Fairlane-style fender and bodyside trim and a white convertible top. Other highlights include added chrome upper headlamp trim, twin side mirrors, wire wheels, whitewall tires, and a unique “Continental” spare-tire kit incorporating the Thunderbird’s dual exhaust outlets. Handsomely finished in red, the Thunderbird’s interior is complemented by engine-turned trim panels. Interior amenities include a four-way power seat, power window lifts, added air-conditioning, and a more modern digital radio/cassette head unit. The “Y-Block” engine is upgraded with a dual-quad intake system and very well-finished with a host of chrome and polished items including the air cleaner assembly, intake manifold, and finned factory-style “Thunderbird” valve covers, plus the car’s ancillary components. Attractively etched designs add further interest to the abundant brightwork that graces the very well-finished and well-presented engine and underhood compartment. Striking in presentation and nicely detailed, this historic first-year Thunderbird is a wonderful offering from the Monical Collection with interesting upgrade tweaks and a great overall presence.
1955 Ford Thunderbird Convertible
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