TWO OWNERS FROM NEW
1957 FORD THUNDERBIRD CONVERTIBLE WITH REMOVABLE HARDTOP
Chassis No. D7FH299049
White with blue and white interior
Engine: V8, overhead valve, 312 cu. in., 198bhp at 4,400rpm; Gearbox: Fordomatic 3-speed; Suspension: front, upper and lower A arms, coil springs, rear, live axle, semi-elliptical leaf springs; Brakes: four wheel drum. Left hand drive.
The classic Thunderbird was introduced in 1955, and was Ford's response to the Chevrolet Corvette that appeared in 1953. Although it had the same wheelbase (102 in.) as its rival, the Thunderbird was designed to be more comfortable 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 oriented 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 of rain and prosperity worshipped by America's South West Indians. 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 irresistible.
This beautiful example has been in the ownership of the same California owner since the early 1990s, and was purchased directly from the original owner, also from California. The original window sticker from Las Vegas accompanies this Thunderbird, along with a large file of service records.
In the early 1980s the owner decided to have his treasured Thunderbird restored and sub-contracted out the work to various specialists. Not entirely happy with the progress down this route, he decided to have the restoration completed under one roof and employed the renowned Thunderbird specialist Jim Weatherly to finish the car to concours standard. In 1985 this work was duly rewarded with a Gold Medal award in the Primary Original Class at the National Show in Las Vegas with a remarkable perfect score and no deductions!
In the early 1990s, the car was sold to the current owner at which time the car had recorded 1,800 miles since restoration. Since then, less than 4,000 miles have been added. IN 199? the car was shown again at The Orange County Thunderbird Concours, this time in the Senior Original Class, and again won a gold medal.
On a recent test drive the car performed flawlessly and the only obvious blemish we could detect was some minor paint discoloring in the engine bay near the battery.