Monterey, Jet Center
16 August 2007
This lot is offered without a reserve
All proceeds to benefit the Naval Postgraduate School Foundation
1955 FORD THUNDERBIRD
Chassis No. P5FHZ06802
Production code 18ELP1216
Torch red with red and white interior and white soft top and red hard top
Engine: V8, 292ci., 198bhp; Gearbox: Fordomatic automatic; Suspension: independent front with solid rear axle; Brakes: power assisted four wheel drums. Left hand drive.
In 1955 Ford responded to the Chevy Corvette with the introduction of its first true sportscar. From the start the 1955 Ford Thunderbird was a success, so much so that it outsold the Corvette nearly 24 to 1. The consumer population of a vibrant post war American economy was in love with the sporty new car and its sales helped Ford enjoy one of the most successful years in the company's history as Ford production was recorded surpassing 1.4 million cars, second only to 1923 during the prime of the immortal Model T.
Offered in an array of colors, the Thunderbird was as much a statement of its owner's individuality as it was about the size of their bank account as a fully equipped Thunderbird could easily cost $3,500. The Thunderbird became an instant American classic and there was little the executives at General Motors could do to compete with Ford's new car. While the Corvette was known for its spirited straight-six engine, Ford countered it with a powerful Mercury V8, which in its base model form offered the driver an ample 182hp at 4,400rpm. If that wasn't enough the buyer could opt for an even more impressive 292ci. engine that supplied 198hp at 4,400rpm in addition to a variety of transmission choices from the Fordomatic automatic ($178) to a three speed manual syncromesh with overdrive ($110). Other options included power seats ($64), radio ($99), heater ($71), hard top ($290) or soft top ($75), power steering ($91), power brakes ($32), power windows ($102) and whitewall tires ($27).
The stunning example Christie's is proud to offer here went through an extensive frame up restoration over several years that was completed in 1999. The work was completed by Roger Cements Restorations in Perris, California. We are likewise told that copious amounts of receipts and photographs of the restoration are on hand documenting the work completed. Following the restoration, the car was purchased by the now gentleman collector in Carmel who has lovingly and carefully maintained and serviced this car. Having been entered in one judged event in 2004 it won its division at the Cherries Jubilee at Laguna Seca on the Monterey Peninsula. Over the past 8 years since the restoration the car has been driven sparingly. It reported to be a wonderful car to drive and to show and is completed to original specifications including a 6 volt electrical system, bias tires, original AM radio, electronic fuel pump and battery cut off switch.
All proceeds from the sale of this 1955 Ford Thunderbird will benefit the Naval Postgraduate School Foundation, which in turn is supporting the 2nd annual America's Heroes Charity Golf Tournament together with the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society and the Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund. We invite you to join them in this very worthy cause.
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This lot is offered without reserve.
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