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 Thunderbird Blue 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 years ago and has seen some use since then, but you really can't go wrong with an early 'Bird. The paint has a soft pastel look, perfect for the 1950s, and while it shows a few nicks and bumps, none of it detracts from the pure fun this car represents. It was done in lacquer (eight coats according to the seller), so it's got the right shine, but you need to take care of it because it's not as durable as the modern stuff. The '55's trim proportions, simple lines, and lack of extras make them a favorite among collectors, and it's easy to see why. 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 shape.
Turquoise 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! The gauges appear to be a combination of original and new pieces, although the speedo and tach are off line at the moment. The original AM radio is still in the dash, but somewhere along the line, a modern AM/FM/cassette head unit was stashed under the dash, and that's what you'll listen to when you go cruising. There's also a period under-dash A/C system that's been converted to R134a refrigerant, so a recharge will be quick and easy. 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 older but in good condition. The trunk is finished with matching turquoise carpets that are a little dressier than the usual mats, and includes a full-sized spare tire.
The only engine available in 1955 was a P-code 292 cubic inch "Y-block" V8, which when linked to a 3-speed manual 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, it's a little scruffy and there's some extra chrome, 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 new gas tank hanging out back and a dual exhaust system that exits under the bumper instead of through the bumper guards (which protects the chrome). Recent 15-inch whitewalls have been fitted and wear full wheel covers that look appropriate.
A first-year Thunderbird is something that every hobbyist should experience. This one isn't perfect, but it looks great going down the road and comes with a great paper trail with receipts. Call today!