Sell my Classic Ford Thunderbird 1955-57

Sell my Classic Ford Thunderbird 1955-57

Sell my Classic Ford Thunderbird 1955-57. The Ford Thunderbird was an automobile that was manufactured by Ford in the United States over eleven model generations from 1955 through 2005.

The Thunderbird created the personal luxury car.


The Thunderbird entered production for 1955.

It was a sporty two-seat convertible.

However it was not marketed as a sports car.


The Thunderbird gained a second row of seats.

Succeeding generations became larger until the line was downsized in 1977, again in 1980, and once again in 1983.

Sales were good until the 1990s, when large 2-door coupes became unpopular; production ceased at the end of 1997.

Sell my Classic Ford Thunderbird 1955-57

Convertible models

The Second to Fourth Generation Thunderbird convertibles were similar in design to the Lincoln convertible of the time and borrowed from earlier Ford hardtop/convertible designs.

The Thunderbird’s all had a:

  • True convertible soft top

The top was stowed in the forward trunk area. This design reduced available trunk space when the top was down.

It had a sleek look with no trace of a convertible top at all. No cover boot was needed.

The problem was it could be a real challenge if there was any problems with the soft top.

The system consists of a

  • Web of solenoids
  • Relays
  • Limit switches
  • Electric motors
  • A hydraulic pump/reservoir
  • Hydraulic directional valves and cylinders.

Failure of any of the relays, motors or limit switches will prevent the convertible system from completing the cycle.

Also because of this design, the trunks of convertible models were notorious for leaking.


The Vega, a small two-seater sports roadster was built by Henry Ford II in 1953. It generated interest at the time, but little more. It was too highly priced and it’s power was severely lacking.

The Thunderbird was similar but more:

  1. American in style
  2. Luxurious,
  3. Less sport-oriented.

The original Thunderbird designers and creators were:

  1. Lewis D. Crusoe, retired GM executive lured out of retirement by Henry Ford II;
  2. George Walker, chief stylist
  3. Ford vice-president; Frank Hershey
  4. Chief stylist for Ford Division
  5. Bill Boyer, designer of Body Development Studio who became manager of Thunderbird Studio in spring of 1955
  6. Bill Burnett, chief engineer.

Ford Designer William P. Boyer was lead stylist on the original 1955 two-seater Thunderbird.

Crusoe and Walker met in France in October 1951 and whilst in the Grand Palais in Paris, Crusoe pointed at a sports car and asked Walker, ‘Why can’t we have something like that? Walker apparently replied by telling Crusoe, “oh, we’re working on it”

No one knows if this is true as this conversation was only hearsay.

Walker telephoned Ford’s HQ in Dearborn and told designer Frank Hershey about the conversation with Crusoe.

Hershey began working on the vehicle.


The concept was for:

  • Two-passenger open car, with a weight of 2525 lb (1145 kg)
  • An Interceptor V8 engine
  • Top speed of over 100 mph (160 km/h)

After Henry Ford II returned from the Los Angeles Auto Show (Autorama) in 1953 he approved the final design concept to compete with the then new Corvette.

The car was originally going to be called Apache, Falcon, Eagle, Tropicale, Hawaiian, and Thunderbolt,

It is rumoured that Jack Austen Crabbs of Davenport owned the Thunderbird name.

Ford bought the name from Mr Crabbs and the Thunderbird was born. The word “thunderbird” is a legendary creature for North American indigenous people. It is considered a supernatural bird of power and strength.


Ford positioned the Thunderbird as an upscale model and is credited as producing, the personal luxury car.

In 1958, the Thunderbird gained a second row of seats. Succeeding generations became larger until the line was downsized in 1977, again in 1980, and once again in 1983.

Ford Thunderbird 1955

The Ford Thunderbird 1955 is a two-seat convertible that was produced by Ford for two years.

It was the first two seater since 1938.

It was developed in response to the Chevrolet Corvette.

It was unveiled at the Detroit Auto Show on February 20, 1954.

The first production car came off the line in 1954, and went on sale in October 1954 as a 1955 model.

It sold fast:

  1. 3,500 orders were placed in the first ten days.
  2. 16,155 were sold in 1955.

Standard Features

The 1955 Ford Thunderbird included:

  • A removable fiberglass top
  • A fabric convertible top was an option.
  • The engine was a 292 Y-block V8, which got 18MPG.
  • Fender skirts.
  • Exhaust pipes exited through twin bumper guards, which are bolted to the rear bumper.

The frame was a scaled down version of the standard Ford Body.

53,166 units were produced for the three model years 1955-1957

It also had:

  1. Fordomatic automatic or manual overdrive transmissions
  2. Featured four-way powered seats and pushbutton interior door handles
  3. It also had:
  4. A telescoping steering wheel
  5. A tachometer

With it’s V8 Engine the car could hit anywhere between 110-120 mph.

It was a smaller two-seater, designed to be a fast luxury tourer

Ford Thunderbird 1956

For the 1956 model the following features were added:

  1. More trunk space
  2. The spare wheel was mounted outside
  3. The  exhausts were moved to the ends of the bumper
  4. Air vents were added improve car ventilation.
  5. “Porthole” windows were made available as a no-cost option.
  6. An optional 312 Y-block V8 was made available for those that wanted more performance.

1956 Production

Production was only 15,631 units, the lowest of all.

Ford Thunderbird 1957

For 1957 the following features were added:

  1. The front bumper was reshaped
  2. The grille and tailfins were made larger
  3. Larger tail-lights were fitted

Additionally the spare wheel was moved inside the trunk, which allowed it to be mounted vertically.

The side “Thunderbird” script moved from the fins to the front fenders.

A new option was “Dial-o-Matic” 4-way power seats that, when you turned off the ignition, the seat would move back to allow easier exiting.

As well as the standard 292 and 312 engines, versions of the 312 were produced in higher states of tune and even a few McCulloch supercharged versions, rated at 300 and 340 hp (254 kW) respectively.

1957 Sales

21,380 were sold in 1957 and 3 months into 1958.

Production Totals

1955 – 16,155

1956 – 15,631

1957 – 21,380

Total Ford Thunderbird Production between 1955 and 1957 = 53,166

Ford Thunderbird Colours


  1. Raven Black
  2. Torch Red
  3. Thunderbird Blue
  4. Snowshoe White
  5. Goldenrod Yellow


  • Raven Black
  • Colonial White
  • Buckskin Tan
  • Fiesta Red
  • Peacock Blue
  • Goldenglow Yellow
  • Thunderbird Gray Metallic
  • Sunset Coral
  • Thunderbird Green


  • Raven Black
  • Colonial White
  • Starmist Blue
  • Willow Green
  • Gunmetal Gray Metallic
  • Thunderbird Bronze
  • Flame Red
  • Inca Gild
  • Dusk Rose
  • Coral Sand
  • Sun Gold
  • Gunmetal Gray
  • Azure Blue
  • Seaspray Green
  • Torch Red

Selling your Ford Thunderbird? or want a valuation?

Then please call us today at Sell a Classic Car, we are the no hassle way to sell any classic car including your Ford Thunderbird.

As a long time licensed and bonded California auto dealership, we will take care of all the paperwork for the sale of your car ….. properly take care of all the paperwork that is, with no car left still registered in your name; we will give you a fair and no BS immediate cash offer for the car; imagine no advertising costs, no dealing with “tire kickers”, no bad checks, no non-existent wire transfers, no waiting for your money and probably most importantly, no strangers at your home or in your business .. period.

We will also arrange the immediate professional pick up and transportation of your car by a licensed auto shipper from anywhere in the continental United States. Ultimately, we are one of the quickest, safest and easiest way to sell your classic car today.

We have the knowledge and power to execute the deal immediately, so if you want some friendly advice or just a chat about how to sell us your Ford Thunderbird then don’t hesitate to call us on (310) 399-3990 now!