The 1955 Ford Thunderbird was a game-changer. Sure, the Corvette set the stage, but the Thunderbird introduced the personal luxury car, a concept that has proven remarkably durable in the 50-odd years since its introduction. This lovely 1955 T-Bird shows you why these are such enduring favorites, and why no collection is complete without one today.
If you ask someone to close their eyes and think of a Thunderbird, this bright Torch Red roadster is quite likely what they’ll imagine. Beautifully proportioned, neatly styled, and with neat little details throughout that told the world that Ford was serious about their 2-seater. This one was restored just a few years ago and has seen some use since then, but you really can't go wrong with an early 'Bird. The paint has a fantastic high-impact shine, perfect for the 1950s, and while it shows a few signs of having been driven, none of it detracts from the pure fun this car represents. It was done in modern urethane so it's got the right shine, and it should be fairly low maintenance compared to the original lacquer. The ‘55’s trim proportions, simple lines, and lack of extras make them a favorite among collectors, and it’s easy to see why, because there's nothing to distract you from the clean shape. The chrome shines up well, and those details I mentioned, including the hash marks on the fenders, the hood scoop, and jet-inspired taillights, are all in excellent condition.
Red and white is the theme inside, too, where you’ll find an interior with the right look. The two-tone bench seat shows some normal wear and tear but no rips or tears, and better yet, it’s power actuated, as are the windows. The gauges appear to have been restored and they're all working. A modern AM/FM/cassette head unit was installed in the dash, along with a custom cup holder setup that fits in the ashtray. And here's an unusual fact: you could have either a folding convertible top or a removable hardtop at no cost, but getting both was extra. You're in luck here because the original buyer of this 'Bird ordered both, with the hardtop being a correct non-porthole unit while the white folding top is included but not yet installed. The trunk is finished with a correct black rubber mat and includes a full-sized spare tire that's never been used.
The only engine available in 1955 was a P-code 292 cubic inch “Y-block” V8, which when linked to a 3-speed automatic transmission, makes 198 horsepower. Rebuilt and detailed when the car was restored, it fires easily and wears a proper Thunderbird dress-up kit that includes a chrome air cleaner and those gorgeous finned cast aluminum valve covers. Ford Red paint on the block still looks good and the unusual air cleaner makes use of the hood scoop for fresh air. Yes, there are a few minor signs of use and age, but it's ready to drive not hang around on a show field. Underneath, it’s probably original and in good order, and includes a correct dual exhaust system that exits through the bumper guards as original. Recent 15-inch whitewall radials have been fitted and yes, those are real wire wheels not merely hubcaps.
A first-year Thunderbird is something that every hobbyist should experience. This one looks great going down the road and always attracts a crowd. Call today!