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For Sale: 1955 Ford Thunderbird in Manitowoc, Wisconsin

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Vehicle Description

All vehicle trades considered, including classics and performance.  I can assist with financing and transport as needed.


The 1955-1957 Thunderbirds are the most identifiable of the breed.  Introduced to compete with the Corvette, the “Baby Birds” offered a similar 2-seat platform but with a more upscale approach.  This car nearly killed the Corvette; 1955 saw sales of over 16,000 T-birds while the Corvette plummeted to just 700.  Isn’t that amazing?


But enough history.  This gorgeous 1955 model represents the first year of production.  As such it maintains the clean, crisp lines of the original design.  Still, it has a few upgrades that Ford introduced in subsequent years, such as a 12V electrical system and porthole hardtop.  It has also been converted to a 4-speed manual transmission which was never available on the early Thunderbirds.  Nice! 


This car was built at the Dearborn plant and shipped to southern California when new.  It was originally Goldenrod Yellow (an interesting choice with the black and white interior) but was just repainted in Colonial White.  I think it makes the car look so much more elegant, especially with the wire wheel covers.  The car also had all its rubber seals replaced during painting.  Note this car is a hard top only which was the standard offering in 1955; a soft top was optional equipment.  The underside is solid with a few rust repairs having been made.


The drivetrain consists of the factory 4-barrel 292 cubic inch engine which has been rebuilt.  It now wears an Edelbrock carburetor with electric choke.  The transmission has been converted to a Borg Warner T10 4-speed so you have an extra gear (and a little more fun) over the factory offerings.  As mentioned, the electrical has been converted to a more conventional 12V setup.  This results in much easier starting, not to mention better reliability and easier-to-find parts.  The brakes have recently been redone as well.


The interior is the original XA-code black and white vinyl.  While it seemed to clash a bit with the original yellow exterior, it blends perfectly with the white repaint.  There are a few modifications from stock such as a 3-spoke steering wheel, digital stereo, and aftermarket temperature gauge.  Everything else is essentially stock.  The horn, gauges, tachometer, and vacuum wipers all work properly.  So do the parking brake and heater / defroster.


This car has a lot going for it with all the recent work and upgrades.  And while there have been many Thunderbird designs since 1955, I don’t think any of them look as sharp as the original, especially in white with a porthole top.  It’s an iconic car that most everyone can identify with.  Can you?


Vehicle Details

  • Listing ID:CC-1107646
  • Price:$32,500
  • Location:Manitowoc, Wisconsin
  • Year:1955
  • Make:Ford
  • Model:Thunderbird
  • Exterior Color:Colonial White
  • Interior Color:Black and White
  • Transmission:Manual
  • Engine Size:V-8
  • Odometer:91185
  • Convertible:Yes
  • Stock Number:1451
  • Trim Level:Convertible
  • VIN:P5FH146059
  • Title Status:Clear
  • Restoration History:Partially Restored
  • Exterior Condition:Excellent
  • Seat Material:Vinyl
  • Engine History:Rebuilt
  • Engine Condition:Running
  • Drive Train:Rear-wheel drive