1956 Ford Thunderbird - £32,995
This is one of the most iconic cars of the Fifties! it is a 1956 Ford Thunderbird Convertible, Automatic, Finished in Colonial White with White & Black Interior, She is showing 75,000 Miles on the clock, has just had an engine rebuild, drives beautifully and is ready for the summer!
As tradition has it, Ford vice president Lewis Crusoe and chief stylist George Walker were walking down a street in Paris in 1951 when Crusoe pointed to a sports car at the curb. "Why can't we have something like that?" Crusoe asked Walker. Walker got on the phone to Dearborn and set designer Frank Hershey to work on a two-seat car built around Ford mechanicals. A clay model was completed by May 1953, and Crusoe gave the go-ahead for production in September.
Ostensibly a response to Chevrolet's 1953 Corvette, the new car, christened "Thunderbird," had gestated in parallel with Chevy's plastic sports car. Executed in steel rather than fiberglass, the Thunderbird was intended from the beginning as a "personal car" (later upscaled to "personal luxury car"), not a real sports car. Production began in September 1954, with public introduction a month later.
Riding a 102-inch wheelbase, the Thunderbird was given the largest of Ford's 1955 engines, the 292 cubic inch version of the Y-Block ohv V8, developing 193bhp courtesy of a Holley four-barrel carburetor and dual exhausts. More than 16,000 were sold in the first year, besting Corvette's production some twenty-fold. For 1956, the Thunderbird was given a few subtle changes. The spare tire, which had significantly reduced luggage space, was relocated from the trunk to a "Continental" mounting on the rear bumper. Wind wings were added to the trailing edge of the windshield, cowl vents were added to the front fenders, and the hardtop gained porthole windows in the rear quarters.
This Thunderbird rolled off the Dearborn factory line on the 21st February 1956, the 141st Car that day, destined for its Dealer in New York. It was ordered with the optional P-code 312ci, 225bhp Thunderbird Special V8 mated to the Ford-O-Matic automatic Gearbox and fitted with the optional convertible soft top. The original colour was Colonial White with the White/Red interior, and upon later restoration she is still White but the interior is now the White/Black option. Our car was also fitted with the Power Windows, Power Seats and Power Brakes options.
Her early US history is, unfortunately, unknown, although when she was purchased at the 2018 Carlisle Auction, she had new leaf springs, shocks, battery, 12 volt system, Kelsey Hayes WIre Wheels with new Radial Tyres, a very good driving car. Since her arrival into the UK later in 2018 she has been well looked after by her 3 owners and this year had a full engine rebuild and much more work resulting in a very nice example indeed. She is UK Registered and has the original rear spats with her, althouhg we like her without. This Thunderbird is the one to have, with great options, in the perfect colours! We couldnt see a cheaper example for sale in Europe and summer is just around the corner!