When Ford’s Thunderbird debuted at Detroit in February 1954, this stylish, sporty, and well-equipped two-seater created an all-new “personal car” market, one that continues strongly today. While somewhat similar to Chevrolet’s Corvette, the Thunderbird offered a more sophisticated and powerful, steel-bodied alternative to Chevrolet’s fiberglass bodied competitor. Low, sleek, and sporty, the T-Bird includes a powerful V8 engine, available automatic transmission, removable hardtop, and wide array of standard and optional features. Confirming the model’s successful formula, 16,155 were sold for 1955, versus just 700 Corvettes. Mildly updated for 1956 and further refined for 1957, the Thunderbird saw rising sales to 21,380 units for 1957, the last model year for the two-seater until 2002.
Finished in a rare and striking bronze-on-bronze color combination, this 1957 T-Bird is reported by the seller to run and drive great with a 312ci V8 engine mated with a Ford-O-Matic automatic transmission. Highlights are many, including Master Guide power steering, back-up lights, and power windows. New items include the battery, Whitewall tires, a 6-blade cooling fan, hard top liner, and original wheel covers. In addition to the original “Town and Country” AM radio, an aftermarket Sony AM/FM radio includes Bluetooth and Sirius XM satellite radio capability. Very well-kept, this Thunderbird is reported to be an original California car.
Today, the two-seat 1955-1957 “Little Birds” stand out as automotive and cultural icons, and they were even celebrated in 2005 as part of a popular USPS commemorative stamp issue for the model’s 50th Anniversary. Today, these first-generation Thunderbirds are great weekend show and touring cars with plenty of comfort and cruising performance, never failing to draw admirers anywhere they appear, and this stunning example looks like a great candidate to show, drive, and enjoy. First-generation T-Bird values have been range-bound for years, with the highest amounts assigned to the 1957 cars and to those equipped with both hard and soft tops, with further segmentation due to engine. According to Hagerty, a 312ci/245hp 1957 T-Bird ranges from $31,400 for a #4 “Driver” with some issues, to $135k for a #1 Concours specimen. While this car is not totally stock, the rare color combination, excellent condition, and desirable features surely make it well-bought and an absolute bargain at the asking price.