1955 FORD THUNDERBIRD CONVERTIBLE WITH REMOVABLE HARDTOP
Registration No. BKX 352A
Chassis No. P5FHL 162263
Red with red and white interior
Engine; V8, overhead valve, 4,785cc, 198bhp at 4,400rpm; Gearbox; Fordomatic three-speed automatic; Brakes; four wheel; Suspension; front, upper and lower A-arms, coil springs, rear, live axle, semi-elliptic leaf springs. Left hand drive.
The classic Thunderbird was introduced in 1955, and was Ford's response to the Chevrolet Corvette which appeared in 1953. Although the same wheelbase (102in) as its rival, the Thunderbird was designed to be more practical and luxurious than GM's Corvette. Ford knew that the two seater V8 was going to attract a wider audience than the Corvette's racing/performance orientated market. The Thunderbird design incorporated Ford features found on other models to create a product recognition with the hope of encouraging sales of other Ford cars as well. The universal appeal of the styling made the Thunderbird an instant success and the 1955 model out-sold the more expensive Corvette by 24 to 1!
The Thunderbird was named after the god worshipped by America's South West Indians as the bringer of rain and prosperity. It was built with a sturdy steel body, roll-up windows, either a hard top or snug fitting fold down soft top, or both and a strong Mercury V8 engine. With European style and American comfort, convenience and go, it was no wonder the Thunderbird proved to be irresistable.
This fine example arrived from the USA in 1989 and reputedly a former owner in the States was a past president of the Thunderbird Club. The car is very tidy and in all probability was restored some years ago, the paintwork is beginning to show its age and with some careful examination there is evidence of slight blistering. The interior is original and in good condition as is the red carpeting. The chrome seems good and whilst the whole underside of the car has been undersealed it looks very sound indeed. The car is fitted with power steering, electric seat, cream folding hood and comes with its port hole hardtop. The owner reports that it drives very well and that the engine uses no oil. By the time of the auction a new MoT should be with the vehicle. Apart from the V5 form there is an original 1955 Ford Thunderbird handbook and an early sales brochure for the model.