GREAT DRIVING T-BIRD, 292 V8, NEWER INTERIOR, REMOVABLE HARDTOP, NICE BABY BIRD
Early two-seater T-Birds remain a staple in American automotive history, and no collection is complete without one of these lovely little convertibles in it. This 1955 Ford Thunderbird is a great driver with a comprehensive repaint, a smooth V8, and lots of personality.
Finished in Fiesta Red, this Thunderbird is a great driver and all the wonderful details that made them a hit then are still in place. Many enthusiasts regard the '55 as the purest of the early 'Birds, without the add-on continental kit or tail fins that marked later models. The quality of the paint is good, with a deep shine over straight sheetmetal, and the results speak for themselves. It's a full color change (the car was originally Thunderbird Blue), so you know it was fully disassembled to make sure all the nooks and crannies received their dose of red paint. The doors align well, the hood opens effortlessly, and even the trunk with its pass-through to the fuel filler door has just the right fit. There's plenty of chrome, too, and it shines up nicely, including the rear bumper with unique bumper guard exhaust tips. The fender skirts fit well and give the car a long, low, sleek look that was a big part of its appeal, even though skirts were actually optional on the Thunderbird.
A two-tone red and white interior was the proper choice when it was repainted Fiesta Red (again, it was original Turquoise and White), and all the soft parts have been replaced or restored. This one features a power bench seat and what might be the most beautiful door panels ever created. That strip of engine-turned aluminum that stretches across the interior is pure '50s cool, with a touch of race car thrown in, and it couldn't be in a more appropriate vehicle. The gauges appear original and there aren't many cooler designs than the speedometer with the plexiglass rear window to light it from within. Ford designers aimed for a sporty European feel, so you got a tachometer to the left of the steering column and it's always fun to watch. Remarkably, when you bought a new Thunderbird in 1955, you had a no-cost choice of either a soft top or a hard top, but getting both cost extra, and the original owner obviously chose the removable hardtop, which was painted white to offer some contrast that really makes this 'Bird look sharp. And no, the 1955 Thunderbird hardtop did not have the legendary "porthole" window; that came later.
For 1955, the only engine available was a 292 cubic inch Y-block V8 fed by a rudimentary ram-air system through the hood scoop. Finished in bright red engine enamel, the 'Birds got a lot of chrome and aluminum dress-up components, most notably those beautiful finned valve covers. It's not detailed for show any longer, but it's neatly maintained and it runs superbly, which makes this Thunderbird a joy to drive. Underneath, you'll find a Ford-O-Matic 3-speed automatic transmission as a willing travel partner, and a pleasant-sounding dual exhaust system with just a hint of V8 burble. Handsome 15-inch wheels with full wheel covers are a conservative choice and wear 205/75/15 Goodyear whitewall radials.
This Thunderbird delivers on its promise of performance and sophistication, even today. Call now!
- AM Radio
- Removable Hard Top
- Vinyl Interior
- Transmission Spec
- Front Brakes
- Rear Brakes
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