For Sale: 1957 Ford Thunderbird in Concord, North Carolina

Vehicle Description

If you're going back to the '50s, THIS is how you do it. A Raven Black 1957 Ford Thunderbird, restored as a dialed-in driver that's ready to go today. Add a desirable Colonial White porthole hardtop, a comfy black interior, a smooth-running 292 Y-block, and a couple of choice options. You have one of the most iconic symbols of the period that's also a lot of fun to drive. Baby Birds have been increasing in value lately, and icons never go out of style, so why not get in on the fun?

Check the door tag, and you'll discover that this '57 was always Code AE Raven Black with a Colonial White hardtop. The restorers wisely elected not to mess with a good thing, instead respraying one of the more iconic colors from the era. Many Baby Birds are indeed Light Blue, White, or some pastel shade popularized during the mid-century, but in our opinion, these little sports cars take on whole new life when covered in stark, dynamic colors like Flame Red or Raven Black. If you're going to drive a '50s icon, it should be an attention-grabbing color that stands out from the crowd, and we can't argue with how great the two-tone White-over-Black looks on the finned '57. Resprayed several years back, it's every bit of a driver today, so if you're looking to pick it apart or win national trophies, she'll need another squirt first. Nevertheless, even with these aesthetic imperfections, I think it would be hard to resist the siren call of the open road if this lovely T-Bird lived in my garage. The best part of this hobby is the driving - not the competitive judging, social media-ready photography, and boasting when comparing restoration price tags - and having a 'ready to hit the road' Baby Bird like this is the best way to achieve that end. And if you did want to take it up a notch or two, some light paint touch-up work and a cut-and-buff would easily restore the glory of the past when this Thunderbird was first restored. Or drive as it sits because, in my book, this Baby Bird still looks like a million bucks when cruising down Main Street. The black color is uniform, it's no lifting up anywhere, and there are no major dents or deep scratches. The bodywork is very good - straight with good panel alignment and decent gaps - and we haven't found any signs of rust or abuse anywhere, proof that it's always been well-cared for. Being a '50s car, there's a good bit of chrome, and it still shines nicely, particularly the big front bumper and catfish-style mesh grille, the trim around the glass, and the big rear bumper with its incorporated exhaust cutouts.

The black interior is simple yet refined and matches the bodywork, adding to the drama of the exterior and making the 2-seat cabin of this Baby Bird a profoundly comfortable place to enjoy a weekend drive. The seats, door panels, and carpets were likely restored when the car was refinished years back, so they, too, show signs of use and wear, but it's all relatively minor stuff, and overall the cabin is still very stylish. The dash shows correct pleats on the pad and is full of original gauges in good shape, all nestled into a bright engine-turned panel that shows off a light patina. The interior's lone upgrade is a new wood-rimmed steering wheel with a billet, banjo-style center. However, it's very much welcomed atop a tilt column and feels great in the hands of the driver when combined with the original automatic shifter on the floor. The Cruise-O-Matic 3-speed automatic transmission makes this '57 'Bird a lot of fun to drive for just about anyone. Much simpler than the manuals so many of these cars came with, and with options like a power seat, a working heater, and power steering, it's easy to sit back and enjoy the ride. Even the original Town and Country AM/FM stereo is still in place, although it will need a restoration or upgrade if you want tunes. The whipping wind through what's left of my hair is enough music to my ears. The trunk is finished with a correct plaid mat set and full-sized spare, which was moved back inside the trunk to alleviate understeer problems with the continental kit on the '56s. And when you bought your new Thunderbird in 1957, you could have either a hardtop or soft folding top at no charge, but this car's owner wanted the best of both worlds - selecting a porthole hardtop along with a vinyl folding top, although the latter will need to be restored.

The 292 cubic inch V8 is topped by a 4-barrel carburetor, making this Thunderbird an impressive performer on the open road. The engine bay is nicely presented in original specs, showing off one of the best-looking engines with Thunderbird Special finned valve covers stamped with period-correct logos that are works of art by themselves. Underneath the bright chrome air cleaner, the red engine looks clean and shows only minor signs of use - expected of a car that's been driven and enjoyed since it was restored. Underneath, it's very solid and shows off a life lived easily through the years, and the dual exhaust system sounds terrific! Original Ford Thunderbird hubcaps adorn the wheels and are an ideal choice on any Baby Bird, carrying 205/75/14 Hankook whitewall radials at all four corners.

Pink Cadillacs are cliche, but a Raven Black Baby Bird is a vintage treat. Few were built, and fewer exist today, so take this one home and continue the American tradition. Call today!

Vehicle Details

  • 1957 Ford Thunderbird
  • Listing ID: CC-1675695
  • Price: $35,995
  • Location:Concord, North Carolina
  • Year:1957
  • Make:Ford
  • Model:Thunderbird
  • Exterior Color:Raven Black
  • Interior Color:Raven - Black
  • Transmission:Automatic
  • Odometer:44713
  • Stock Number:7853-CHA
  • VIN:D7FH173577
Listed By:
Streetside Classics - Charlotte
800 Derita Road Ste A
Concord, NC 28027

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