Instant Quote

1957 Ford Thunderbird – An Early Beauty

Cruising with the Top Down

If you make a list of iconic cars of the 1950’s, the Ford Thunderbird would definitely be in your top five. Its sleek, sophisticated design still hits a chord with Americans that resonates today. Etched in our memories thanks to classic films like American Graffiti, the stylish exterior of the Thunderbird is forever linked to cruising down Main Street and listening to rock-n-roll on the radio. You can almost see Suzanne Somers sitting behind the wheel …
 

Looking for a 1957 Thunderbird? Here's one for sale
(Photo courtesy of www.eliteautosllc.com)


Too Sexy for Words

Elite Autos in Jonesboro, AR gives us an up-close-and-personal look at a perfect example of an early Thunderbird. Beautifully restored, this 1957 Ford Thunderbird E Series in bronze with a cream interior is too sexy for words, and can be found on their website, www.eliteautosllc.com, along with many other classic cars. Check it out.
 

Looking for a 1957 Thunderbird? Here's one for sale
(Photo courtesy of www.eliteautosllc.com)


The First Personal Luxury Car

In 1953, the gauntlet is thrown down to the automotive world with Chevrolet’s introduction of the Corvette. For the executives at Ford Motor Co., building just another sports car to compete with the Corvette is too limiting. They have loftier goals of building a “personal luxury car” that appeals to a wider market. Just two years later, they roll out the Ford Thunderbird and the passenger car is never the same.
 

Looking for a 1957 Thunderbird? Here's one for sale
(Photo courtesy of www.eliteautosllc.com)


Demand for Thunderbirds Outpaces Corvettes

Right from the beginning the Thunderbird creates a fire storm and soon Ford has a challenge keeping up with demand. In the first year alone, Ford produces 16,155 vehicles, five times the number of Corvettes produced in that same time frame. The American consumer makes it clear they want a passenger car that rivals those from Mercedes Benz and Jaguar in quality and style.
 

Looking for a 1957 Thunderbird? Here's one for sale
(Photo courtesy of www.eliteautosllc.com)


A Different Bird

This car isn’t your Granddad’s old workhorse sedan. The early Thunderbirds are two-seater convertibles with fiberglass hardtops and an optional canvas retractable roof (sigh). Unlike the plastic Corvette body, the T-Bird is mounted on a solid steel frame and comes with a 292 cubic inch OHV V8 engine. In other words, it has muscle under the hood. Despite looking like a sleek sports car, the Thunderbird retains some of Ford’s basic design standards such as the egg crate grille, the single headlamps, and the stubby tailfins. There is no denying it though, the Thunderbird is a different bird.
 

Looking for a 1957 Thunderbird? Here's one for sale
(Photo courtesy of www.eliteautosllc.com)


Make Mine a Ford-o-Matic

The T-Bird has a top speed of 150 mph and is rated at 193 hp with a manual transmission. You could select the “Ford-o-Matic” option (don’t you just love that name!) which is a three-speed automatic transmission and increase the output to 198 hp.
 

Looking for a 1957 Thunderbird? Here's one for sale
(Photo courtesy of www.eliteautosllc.com)


Remember to Pack Lightly

Ford makes a few concessions to buyers with later models. Consumers complained about the limited trunk space in the ’55 Thunderbirds so Ford decides to mount the spare tire on the rear of the car. They call this the “Continental Kit” and while this frees up space in the back for suitcases, you still have to lift them up and over the spare tire to place them into the trunk.


Looking for a 1957 Thunderbird? Here's one for sale
(Photo courtesy of www.eliteautosllc.com)


Change Happens

Ford also decides to drastically change the design of the Thunderbird in 1958, making it a four seater. There is very little carry over from the early T-Birds to the ’58 version. It has a new body structure, a longer wheel base, a new design style, and a new engine. Thunderbird sales continue to climb, yet these later generation models never attain the iconic status of the “early birds”.


Looking for a 1957 Thunderbird? Here's one for sale
(Photo courtesy of www.eliteautosllc.com)

 

“Retro Birds” Attempt a Comeback

Ford shuts down the production line for the Thunderbird in 1997 after 43 years. A total of 73,814 T-Birds had rolled off the line. It is the end of an era… or so America thinks. In 2002, Ford attempts to revive the brand and take the Thunderbird back to its roots. They release a modernized version of the classic two-seater convertible. Car lovers rejoice until 2005, when the renewed excitement wanes and Ford stops production for the final time.


Looking for a 1957 Thunderbird? Here's one for sale
(Photo courtesy of www.eliteautosllc.com)

 

Capturing the American Spirit

The Thunderbird has reinvented itself more times than Madonna over the years. Its style has transformed from 50’s muscle car to 90’s family sedan. Each generation brought a different take on what a luxury car should be. It is the classic American car. In a lot of ways the Ford Thunderbird represents the best characteristics of this country – always changing, always pushing boundaries and never settling. Long may the Thunderbird reign.
 

Looking for a 1957 Thunderbird? Here's one for sale
(Photo courtesy of www.eliteautosllc.com)

 

Collector and Classic Car Insurance for Less

No matter what generation of Thunderbird you may drive make sure you have the coverage you need to protect your investment. Let our friendly staff at Classic Auto Insurance help you find the right policy for your needs. Visit our website at www.classicins.com and see how we can help safeguard your dream car.

Posted: 6/25/2015 12:39:13 PM with 0 comments


Comments
Blog post currently doesn't have any comments.
American Modern Trusted Choice
Since 1992 Classic Automobile Insurance has been one of the top agencies protecting collector, classic and exotics cars.  Get a quote now or contact us at 1-888-901-1338 to see how we can serve your needs.
 
Antique Cars
Classic Trucks
Vintage Cars
Collector Cars
Hot Rods
Rat Rods
Street Rods
Exotic Cars
Luxury Cars
Muscle Cars
Instant Quote
My Policy
Agents
Private Client Services
About Us
The Benefits of Classic Auto Insurance
Facebook Twitter Google Plus LinkedIn Pinterest Instagram YouTube RSS
 
© 2017 Classic Auto Insurance  | Indianapolis Web Design and Development by BitWise Solutions