• Unrestored preservation car
• Three owners from new
• All factory markings retained
312 cid OHV V-8 with four barrel carburetor rated at 245 HP, three-speed manual floor shift transmission, independent front suspension with unequal-length A-arms, coil springs, anti-roll bar, and live rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes; wheelbase: 102"
In the early 1950s Ford found itself without a competitor for Chevrolet’s sharp little Corvette. It didn’t take long for the boys at Ford to put together a fighter to put in the ring and, when they did so, it was a smashing success. Introduced in 1955, Ford’s cute little Thunderbird sold a whopping 16,155 cars against the Corvette’s 700. Everyone loved the Thunderbird as it offered class, elegance, and V-8 performance, all in the same package. The following year saw only slight refinements and the Thunderbird even grew a tasteful fin for 1957 but, for 1958, the Thunderbird was completely redesigned and built as a four-seater personal luxury car. The year 1957 would turn out to be the last for the original concept of Ford’s Corvette competitor. Strangely enough, just a decade later the tables would be turned, as Ford’s Mustang took the world by storm and left Chevrolet with nothing more than the Nova and Corvair to compete. But for 1957, the Thunderbird was a highly refined car that was as gorgeous as anything on the road could be.
Offered here is an excellent preservation example of Ford’s Thunderbird from its last year as a two-seater, a completely original 1957 Thunderbird finished in Flame Red with a two-tone black and white interior. This fine Thunderbird actually entered a dealer’s inventory, but was never sold, and then wound up staying with the dealer as a showroom piece for 30 years. It then went to sunny California for several years before winding up in Texas where it’s been ever since. In all of its travels it’s been driven just 34,045 miles and still presents as an excellent unrestored preservation car. Ford’s fabulous styling for 1957 comes alive in this sleek Thunderbird that rides on a 102-inch wheelbase and is powered by the famous 312 cubic-inch V-8 with 245 horsepower. Changes to the Thunderbird for 1957 included a redesigned front bumper and a larger grille. The 1957 T-Bird also used bigger tail lamps and the tailfins had also grown, but were still elegant and tasteful, especially compared to many of Detroit’s winged warriors of the era. The entire rear section of the Thunderbird was also lengthened in order to accommodate the spare tire, which was now relegated back inside the trunk, thereby eliminating the continental look, something that this Thunderbird carries off nicely. The engine compartment in this example is nicely detailed with correct colors, factory hose clamps, and the famous Thunderbird emblem on the valve covers. Performance is spirited, thanks to a floor mounted manual three-speed transmission that handles the road with ease. On the inside, it was clearly apparent that Ford was moving the Thunderbird toward the “personal luxury” market with a restyled instrument panel that featured round gauges all neatly housed in a single space-age styled pod. Safety improvements were a panoramic windshield and deluxe padded dashboard while a bench seat gave the illusion of a bucket seat with pleats for both driver and passenger. This Thunderbird also carries a factory stock AM radio and retains its Thunderbird embossed floor mats. Driving is easy thanks to power steering, and the shock absorbers as well as the entire front-end assembly are new. It also sports a new set of original type bias-ply wide whitewall tires for the perfect 1950s look. Documentation for this Thunderbird includes the dealer invoice and factory window sticker. While the Thunderbird is certainly a popular car, very few can attest to being a low mileage and well preserved car, something that this beautiful car does very nicely.
The impetus for design almost always comes from necessity and the Thunderbird was no exception. Not content to simply leave the sports car market to Chevrolet, Ford’s Thunderbird showed the world how simple and elegant a car could be. For the very best in a preservation car from Ford’s history, this historic Thunderbird is a time capsule that is sure to impress wherever it goes.
1957 Ford Thunderbird Roadster