22 May 1997
1957 FORD THUNDERBIRD TWO-SEATER CONVERTIBLE
Chassis No. E7 FH 192407
Pale blue with two-tone blue interior.
Engine: in-line V8, pushrod overhead valves, 5112cc, 269bhp at 4800rpm, two four-throat carburettors; Gearbox: automatic three-speed; Suspension: front independent with vertical coil springs, half elliptic leaf springs to live rear axle; Brakes; servo-assisted hydraulic drums all round; Steering: power assisted. Left-hand drive.
When Ford and General Motors noticed the waves of imported sports-cars sweeping into North America, their home territory, in the early 1950's, they both got to work to produce their own home-brewed competition to stem the tide. Naturally enough each corporation had a different answer. GM's was the Chevrolet Corvette, intended to meet the sporting imports grille to grille. It took a while to develop the Corvette's market. On the other hand, Ford decided that what Americans would buy in meaningful numbers was something entirely new, not a sports-car, but a two-seater 'personal car'. Smaller than most Detroiters, with more nimble handling and power in abundance from a good big V8, it would use parts from other production Fords and could be serviced in any small-town service shop. It would be luxurious and there would be a great range of options. Ford got it exactly right and their reward was an entirely satisfactory 16,000 Thunderbird sales in that first 1955 season.
This very original Thunderbird convertible is resident in Switzerland, where its taxes have been paid. It has been restored and is stated to be in excellent running order. The bodywork displays some bubbles on the paintwork. The interior is beautifully preserved and the manually operated hood is very good. Extras include radio, air-conditioning and electrically adjustable seats.
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