Displacement: 5,116 cc (312 cu.in.)
Horsepower: 245 bhp @ 4,500 rpm
Engine Torque: 332 ft lb @ 3,200 rpm
Top Speed: 121 mph
0 - 60 mph: 9 seconds
click on image to enlarge
Upon returning from serving in Europe in the last war, the U.S. troops brought back a new appreciation and fondness for the smaller, two-door, two-seat European cars that they had encountered overseas. This in turn, inspired the American car manufacturers to offer their interpretation on this theme. GM was first to the table with the Corvette in 1953, a (by American standards) bare-boned roadster, powered by a six-cylinder engine. Ford's take on this however, launched in 1955, was far more well appointed, with more opulent trim and an eight-cylinder engine, thereby creating a new niche, the 'personal luxury car.' It was an instant success, outselling its GM rival by 23 to 1 in its first year! 1956 saw minor changes and continued success but it was the restyling for 1957 that was to produce the most sought-after Thunderbird ever. A reshaped front and rear (the latter with the era-obligatory larger fins), the heavily restyled dash and the standard, larger displacement V8, made it the best-selling Thunderbird to date.
This particular example, is a one-owner, Los Angeles car from new, still bearing its original black, California plates, with no sign of any rust or significant accident damage ever. Equipped with the extremely desireable two-top option (having both a soft top and a portholed hard top) it also has power brakes and power steering.
It was completely stripped and repainted in the mid-eighties (at which time the engine was rebuilt) and the interior trim and upholstery was redone last year. Consequently, it presents very well and runs and drives very smoothly.