292V-8 / AUTO
TELESCOPIC ADJ. STEERING WHEEL
The first generation of the Ford Thunderbird is a two-seat
convertible that was produced by Ford for the 1955 to 1957 model
years. The first 2-seat Ford since 1938, the Thunderbird was
developed at nearly the same time as the Chevrolet Corvette. Rather
than becoming a rival to the European sports cars imported into the
United States, Ford created a completely new market segment around
the Thunderbird, the personal luxury car. While a performance car
in its own right, the Thunderbird focused more on comfort than
Ford unveiled the Thunderbird at the Detroit Auto Show on February
20, 1954. The first production car came off the line on September
9, 1954, and went on sale on October 22, 1954 as a 1955 model, and
sold briskly; 3,500 orders were placed in the first ten days of
sale. While only 10,000 were planned, 16,155 were sold in 1955.
As standard, the 1955 Ford Thunderbird included a removable
fiberglass top; a fabric convertible top was an option, although
commonly specified. The engine was a 292 Y-block V8, which got
18MPG. The car had fender skirts. The exhaust pipes exited through
twin bumper guards, which are bolted to the rear bumper.
Created to act as a retort to the Chevrolet Corvette, it was also
the first mass-produced edition of all the Ford Thunderbird models.
A total of 53,166 units were produced for the three model years
1955-1957. It was produced with a Fordomatic automatic or manual
overdrive transmissions, and featured four-way powered seats and
pushbutton interior door handles. Other unique features were a
telescoping steering wheel and a tachometer.
Equipped with a V8 engine, the Thunderbird could hit 110-120 mph.
It was a smaller two-seat ''personal luxury car'', compared to many
other much larger cars that were on the road in the 1950s. It was
designed to be a brisk luxury touring car, and not a sports
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