312ci OHV V8 Engine
Single 4-Barrel Carburetor
245bhp at 4,500rpm
Ford-O-Matic Automatic Transmission
Front Independent Suspension – Live Rear Axle
4-Wheel Drum Brakes
*Beautifully restored example
*Ready for local shows and events
*Documented by copies of the factory built sheets
*The last of the classic Thunderbird
THE FORD THUNDERBIRD
Conceived to challenge Chevrolet's Corvette sports car, the iconic Thunderbird debuted in October 1954 and was one of the first models produced with Ford's new overhead-valve V8 engine. Introduced in two-seat 'personal car' form, the Thunderbird was intended to appeal to image-conscious younger customers, and beat the Corvette hands down in the sales war thanks to its superior V8 engine and greater refinement.
Understandably, there were few alterations made for the '56 model year, the most obvious being the relocation of the spare wheel to the outside of the trunk in 'Continental Kit' style, while a 312ci, 215bhp Thunderbird Special V8 was added to the engine options. A more thoroughgoing re-style for 1957 saw the adoption of a longer tail section featuring prominent fins. This alteration provided greater luggage space while enabling the spare wheel to be relocated in the trunk, a move that improved the handling. Despite its success, the original Thunderbird concept soon was abandoned and a larger—and slower—four-seat version was introduced for 1958, a move that turned the early two-seater cars into collectors' items almost overnight.
Today the original 1955-'57 Thunderbirds are among the most desirable and sought after of all post-war American automobiles.
THE MOTORCAR OFFERED
This fine example of Ford's classic Thunderbird left the Dearborn factory in August of 1957. Invoiced to Hollywood Motors Inc. of Hollywood, California, the car's first owner presumably lived in the Golden State. The Thunderbird had moved east by the 1970s, where it was owned by a Mr. Rodney Grant of Macon, Missouri. Purchased by Ronald Fuenfhausen in 1992, it was subsequently acquired by the current owner in Bonhams 2014 Greenwich Concours d'Elegance Auction.
Since buying the car, the vendor has enjoyed occasional, warm weather drives, maintaining the car as necessary. A large file of receipts from restoration and service work performed while in Mr. Fuenfhausen's ownership accompanies the sale of this car, as do copies of the car's build sheets. This lovely example is ready to enjoy at local car shows and events, or on a weekend drive.