Snapshot: 1955-57 Ford Thunderbirds

Presented by

ford thunderbirds ford thunderbirds
ford thunderbird interior ford thunderbird interior
ford thunderbird grille ford thunderbird grille
ford thunderbird engine bay ford thunderbird engine bay

Put this first generation T-bird (aka the ‘Babybird’) next to its later brethren and it’s hard to believe they share a name and a lineage.

Where the cars you see here are mid-sized, a full-blown sixties version goes close to redefining the term ‘land yacht’. Both have their virtues and both were intended to leverage the relatively new market in the rising middle-class, which Ford described as the ‘personal luxury car’ segment.

The overall architecture is familiar: V8 powerplant with auto, though the first-generation went through numerous alterations in its short existence.

Classic and American Imports in SA has this impressive line-up. So, which one? Tough decision.

Ford Thunderbird

YEARS OF PRODUCTION 1955-1957
BODY separate chassis
ENGINE 5.1-litre V8 (1957)
POWER 183kW @ 4500rpm
TORQUE 450Nm @ 2700rpm
GEARBOX 3-speed auto
SUSPENSION wishbone front live axle rear
BRAKES Drums
WHERE classicandamericanimports.com.au

 

Sign up to our free weekly newsletter for more unique car reviews and features plus see the latest unique and classic cars for sale.

Subscribe to Unique Cars magazine
- Print edition
- Digital edition