1957 T Bird

1957 Ford Thunderbird 1957 Ford Thunderbird Hardtop / Contertible / Automatic Trans

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    Left-hand drive
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    1957 Ford Thunderbird Hardtop / Contertible / Automatic Trans
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    1957 Ford Thunderbird Hardtop / Contertible / Automatic Trans
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Serial # DTFH105417


This 1957 Ford Thunderbird is an example of one of the best years of the Thunderbird model run and represents a bygone era of Ford cars that will never be seen again.

The condition of this car is very nice and very well presented.  The car shows very few signs of age and shows less than 14500 miles on the odometer since the original engine & transmission rebuild. 

Notable options include power steering, power brakes, automatic transmission, auxiliary hard top, and the Town and Country Radio.  Please note that all of the options listed are original to the car, as are all of the mechanical parts including the engine, transmission, rear end, etc. The car is being sold with original rims and tires.




This Thunderbird wears the factory correct Colonial White paint, which is the original color of the car.  All of the body panels are dent and rust free. 

The exterior finish is in excellent overall condition, having had a bare metal re-paint done.  There is no checking, fading, or cracking evident in the finish. 

The glass and seals are in good condition and there are no leaks evident, however, I don’t drive the car on rainy days.


The interior is trimmed in the correct pattern and material.  The seating areas are in near perfect condition, as are the original door panels and dashboard.  The carpet is also the correct pattern and material and is in excellent condition.

All of the accessories, including the heater, Town and Country radio (factory installed), power brakes and power steering are in perfect working order.  The one exception is the clock. I never fixed it.

All of the windows roll up and down and work perfectly.  The trunk is in very nice condition and the trunk cover, while not original, is more functional and in excellent condition with no rips, tears, or missing pieces.  The spare tire and wheel are in very nice condition.    


The underside of the car is in line with a well- cared for car.  Again, it is an extremely solid and very well preserved, with no evidence of any damage.     It has a newly sealed gas tank. I had the rear springs sent out and re sprung and I also installed a set of overload springs to give it a raked look.


The power plant in this Thunderbird is the original “D” Code 312 cubic inch motor with 245 horsepower.  It was completely rebuilt.  All aspects of the motor are in perfect working order, and the compression ratio is exactly where it should be. 

The engine bay is completely original, with all components in operational condition.  Every detail of the engine compartment is “FoMoCo Correct” and well preserved.     

TIRES AND WHEELS:   The tires are in very nice condition and do not show any noticeable wear.  They are the correct and original style and size for the Thunderbird.

The wheels are Thunderbird wheels and are in good condition, with very minimal wear evident.  All of the center caps are original in nice condition.  I do have the fender skirts. 

Sound System

I had a 300 watt sound system installed and it has a quick disconnect for removal. (I wanted to hear my tunes while driving with the top down).



This Thunderbird runs and drives as should – It’s barely broken in!  The 312 CI 245 HP V8 power plant runs and accelerates smoothly and very quickly and the automatic transmission shifts as it should. 

The car drives around town and on the open road with no squeaks, creaks, or rattles.  It has had all of the necessary service recently performed including oil-change, tune up, installation of new battery, and transmission and differential service.  It needs absolutely nothing to drive, show, and enjoy.  All of the mechanical aspects of the car work as they should.  



This 1957 Ford still retains all of its original or N.O.S.  components!  This means the engine, transmission, rear end, etc. are original or correct to the car. All of the numbers, markings, etc., are correct.  THIS THUNDERBIRD HAS NEVER BEEN MODIFIED IN ANY WAY!  It is an original and very special car that, as evidenced by the low mileage and condition, has been driven very sparingly and properly cared for.  

You or your mechanic are also welcome to put the car on a lift and perform any drive train inspection you wish, including a compression check.   



The description of this Thunderbird is written to the best of my knowledge.  However, I am by no means an expert on vintage Thunderbird cars.  Please don’t hesitate to ask for more photos and, if possible, come and look in person before the auction ends.  ALL SALES ARE FINAL!  If you have any questions, please contact me before the auction ends.

I live near Houston so if you are close, come look in person.

 I STRONGLY encourage bidders to contact me  answer questions.  Seller reserves the right to not accept bids or sell the vehicle to anyone with a zero or negative eBay feedback rating.

This vehicle is being sold as is, where is with no warranty, expressed, written or implied. The seller shall not be responsible for the correct description, authenticity, genuineness, or defects herein, and makes no warranty in connection therewith.  No allowance or set aside will be made on account of any incorrectness, imperfection, defect or damage.  Any descriptions or representations are for identification purposes only and are not to be construed as a warranty of any type.  It is the responsibility of the buyer to have thoroughly inspected the vehicle and to have satisfied himself or herself as to the condition and value and to bid based upon that judgement solely.  The seller shall and will make every reasonable effort to disclose any known defects associated with this vehicle at the buyer's request PRIOR to the close of sale.  Seller assumes no responsibility for any statements regardless of any oral statements about the part.

Please remember that your bid constitutes a legally binding contract to purchase this item.  If you require an inspection, have it done prior to bidding.  I strongly encourage all bidders to inspect the vehicle personally or enlist the services of a professional inspector prior to placing a bid.  After the sale, inspections are not recognized as a contingency to completing your obligation to your winning bid.  If there are any questions regarding the above terms, please e-mail prior to bidding.

Please do not waste my time or yours bidding on an item you do not intend to pay for.  If you bid on this car and win, you are expected to pay for the vehicle and pick it up in a timely manner! I am not a storage unit.

I welcome ALL international bidders and am happy to assist with making shipping arrangements.  I can also arrange shipment on my end for a nominal extra charge.  If you are an international buyer, I understand it can take some time to arrange shipping, so I do not mind keeping the car for a longer period of time until pick up.  Please contact me before the sale ends, if possible, to discuss the specifics.

Thanks for your interest!


For more on the 1957 Ford Thunderbird, read on…


Evoking the mythological creature of the indigenous peoples of North America, the Thunderbird entered production for the 1955 model year as a sporty two-seat convertible. Unlike the Chevrolet Corvette, it was not marketed as a sports car. Rather, Ford created a new market segment, the Personal Car, to position it.

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

In 2002 production of the Thunderbird started again, a revived 2-seat model was launched, which was available through the end of the 2005 model year. From its introduction in 1955 to its most recent departure in 2005, Ford has produced over 4.4 million Thunderbirds.

A smaller two-seater sports roadster was created at the behest of Henry Ford II in 1953 called the Vega. The completed one-off generated interest at the time, but had meager power, European looks, and a correspondingly high cost, so it never proceeded to production. The Thunderbird was similar in concept, but would be more American in style, more luxurious, and less sport-oriented.

The men and their teams generally credited with the creation of the original Thunderbird are: Louis D. Cruoso, a retired GM executive lured out of retirement by Henry Ford II; George Walker, chief stylist and a Ford vice-president; Frank Hershey,  chief stylist for Ford Division; Bill Boyer, designer Body Development Studio who became manager of Thunderbird Studio in spring of 1955, and Bill Burnett, chief engineer. Ford Designer William P. Boyer was lead stylist on the original 1955 two-seater Thunderbird and also had a hand in designing the future series of Thunderbirds including the 30th Anniversary Edition.

Hershey's participation in the creation of the Thunderbird was more administrative than artistic. Crusoe and Walker met in France in October 1951. Walking in the Grand Palais in Paris, Crusoe pointed at a sports car and asked Walker, 'Why can’t we have something like that?' Some versions of the story claim that Walker replied by telling Crusoe, "oh, we're working on it"...although if anything existed at the time beyond casual dream-car sketches by members of the design staff, records of it have never come to light.

Walker promptly telephoned Ford's HQ in Dearborn and told designer Frank Hershey about the conversation with Crusoe. Hershey took the idea and began working on the vehicle. The concept was for a two-passenger open car, with a target weight of 2525 lb (1145 kg), an Interceptor V8 Engine based on the forthcoming overhead-valve Ford V8 slated for 1954 model year introduction, and a top speed of over 100 mph (160 km/h). Crusoe saw a painted clay model on May 18, 1953, which corresponded closely to the final car; he gave the car the go-ahead in September after comparing it with current European trends. 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 name was not among the thousands proposed, including rejected options such as Apache (the original name of the P-51 Mustang), Falcon (owned by Chrysler at the time), Eagle, Tropicale, Hawaiian, and Thunderbolt . Rather, it was suggested to the designer and, in the hurry-up mood of the project, accepted.


First generation (1955–1957)

1957 Ford Thunderbird

The Ford Thunderbird began life in February 1953 in direct response to Chevrolet's new sports car, the Corvette, which was publicly unveiled in prototype form just a month before. Under rapid development, the Thunderbird went from idea to prototype in about a year, being unveiled to the public at the Detroit Auto Show on February 20, 1954.

Like the Corvette, the Thunderbird had a two-seat coupe/convertible layout. Production of the Thunderbird began later on in 1954 on September 9 with the car beginning sales as a 1955 model on October 22, 1954. Though sharing some design characteristics with other Fords of the time, such as single, circular headlamps and tail lamps and modest tailfins, the Thunderbird was sleeker and more athletic in shape, and had features like a faux hood scoop and a 150 mph (240 km/h) speedometer hinting a higher performance nature that other Fords didn't possess

Mechanically though, the Thunderbird could trace its roots to other mainstream Fords. The Thunderbird's 102.0 inches (2,591 mm) wheelbase frame was mostly a shortened version of that used in other Fords while the car's standard 292 cu in (4.8 L) Y-Block V8 came from Ford's Mercury division.

Though inspired by, and positioned directly against, the Corvette, Ford billed the Thunderbird as a personal luxury car, putting a greater emphasis on the car's comfort and convenience features rather than its inherent sportiness.[4] Designations aside, the Thunderbird sold exceptionally well in its first year. In fact, the Thunderbird outsold the Corvette by more than 23-to-one for 1955 with 16,155 Thunderbirds sold against 700 Corvettes.

With the Thunderbird considered a success, few changes were made to the car for 1956. The most notable change was moving the spare tire to a continental-style rear bumper in order to make more storage room in the trunk. However, the addition of the weight at the rear caused steering issues, and was changed back in 1957.

Among the few other changes were new paint colors, the addition of circular porthole windows in the fiberglass roof to improve rearward visibility, and a 312 cu in (5.1 L) Y-Block V8 making 215 horsepower (160 kW) when mated to a 3-speed manual transmission or 225 horsepower (168 kW) when mated to a Ford-O-Matic 3-speed automatic transmission.

The Thunderbird was revised for 1957 with a reshaped front bumper, a larger grille and tailfins, and larger tail lamps. The 312 cu in (5.1 L) V8 became the Thunderbird's standard engine, and now produced 245 horsepower (183 kW). Other, even more powerful versions of the 312 cu in (5.1 L) V8 were available including one with two four-barrel Holley carburetors and another with a Paxton supercharger delivering 300 horsepower (220 kW). Though Ford was pleased to see sales of the Thunderbird rise to a record-breaking 21,380 units for 1957, company executives felt the car could do even better, leading to a substantial redesign of the car for 1958.



-Tast, Alan H. and David Newhardt.

-Thunderbird, Fifty Years, Motorbooks. October 15, 2004.

-Witzenburg, Gary. "The Name Game", Motor Trend, 4/84, p.82.

-Witzenburg, p.86.

-Edmunds Inc. "Ford Thunderbird History." 2009. 

-Gower, Colin. GREATEST AMERICAN CARS. January 1, 2004. Colin Gower Enterprises, Ltd.

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