POWER STEERING & BRAKES, FACTORY HARDTOP, 312CI V8, CRUISE-O-MATIC, NICE T-BIRD!
Somehow the collector car world never gets tired of the 2-seater Ford Thunderbird. They bring smiles to the faces of everyone who sees them, they're wonderful to drive, and are the stars of every car show they attend. So why not take this pretty 1957 'Bird home and find out what all the fuss is about?
The bright Colonial White may remind you of Suzanne Sommers in "American Graffiti" and paired with the red and white interior, it's a look that has always been in fashion and always will be. Bodywork is nicely done, good enough to show with pride at the local cruise night, but not so over-restored that you pack it in when the sun goes behind a cloud. I'm especially impressed by how well the fender skirts fit, which is often a problem area on these cars, and with the fuel filler door moving to the quarter panel, the deck lid fits well and doesn't leak into the trunk. Clearly a good amount of cash was tied up in the chrome work, including the front grille and the unique rear bumper with exhaust openings under the jet-like taillights. If there's a more pure statement of 1950s style, I don't know what it might be.
Inside, the bright red upholstery is both sporty and elegant, exactly the way Ford designers intended for their personal luxury roadster. Recent seat covers dress up the bench seat using the original ribbed pattern, and darker red carpets have been piped in matching red vinyl. The dash offers an engine-turned face that was the standard high-performance look in decades past, wrapping into the door panels that are simply gorgeous. Accessories include power windows, a power seat, and a Town and Country AM radio that still works like it should. The gauges appear to be in good original condition and seat belts were added for safety at some point along the way. Interestingly enough, when you bought a Thunderbird new in 1957, you could get either a hardtop or a soft top at no extra charge, but both tops was optional. As a result, this one has the lift-off hardtop, which gives it a practical, all-weather utility but there is no soft top behind the seat. And since the spare tire moved back inside for 1957, the trunk is finished with matching dark red carpets, a full-sized spare tire, and jack assembly.
In 1957, the Thunderbird was running 312 cubic inches in the Y-block V8 and making a cool 245 horsepower with a 4-barrel carburetor. That chrome air cleaner inhales through the functional hood scoop, an early version of ram air, and the finned valve covers that were part of the dress-up package are still some of the best-looking ever made. It's pretty original under the hood, so don't expect perfection, but an engine doesn't have to be pretty to be a joy to drive, and this one runs quite well. You'll note both power steering and power brakes are included, so it's easy to drive, and there's plenty of evidence of careful maintenance throughout the years, even if it's a bit dirty. The transmission is a 3-speed Ford-O-Matic automatic linked to highway-friendly gears in the rear axle. Original steel wheels wear factory hubcaps and a set of newer 205/70/14 whitewall radials.
The Thunderbird is one of those rare cars that can be purchased, enjoyed, and later sold for about the same money. How many other cars can you enjoy practically for free? Call today!
- AM Radio
- Removable Hard Top
- Vinyl Interior
- Power Brakes
- Power Seats
- Power Steering
- Power Windows
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