Countdown to Barrett-Jackson Las Vegas 2016: 1955 Ford Thunderbird custom convertible

Countdown to Barrett-Jackson Las Vegas 2016: 1955 Ford Thunderbird custom convertible

After a visit to Europe in the early 1950s, Henry Ford II decided he wanted to build a two-seat, convertible sports car for the American public.

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1955 Ford Thunderbird custom convertible | Barrett-Jackson photos

Editor’s note: This is the 1st in a 30-day series featuring cars from the Tammy Allen Collection to be sold October 13-15 at Barrett-Jacksons 2016 Las Vegas Auction. 

After a visit to Europe in the early 1950s, Henry Ford II decided he wanted to build a two-seat, convertible sports car for the American public. At the time, he had begun to hear rumors that Chevrolet had the same idea and had already begun working on a concept that was made of a new lightweight material.

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This Ford Thunderbird is seen in two-stage Russell Red paint

News of what would become the Corvette fueled Ford’s desire to develop a competitive vehicle and his efforts resulted in the Vega, a one-off, aluminum bodied two-seater. It was determined production would be too costly and designers went back to work on a new design that became the Ford Thunderbird.

Production began in October of 1954 and led to over 16,000 1955 Ford Thunderbirds being produced. While they were meant to compete with Corvette, which sold 700 cars that year, Ford said the Thunderbird was more of a personal luxury vehicle then a sports car.

Offered without a reserve from the Tammy Allen collection is a 1955 Ford Thunderbird to cross the Las Vegas Barrett-Jackson auction block October 13-15.

Power comes from a 5.0-liter engine with Shelby Tri-Power carburetors

This Thunderbird underwent a restoration completed in 2006.

Utilizing a 9-inch rear end, the Thunderbird is powered by a 5.0-liter engine with Shelby Tri-Power carburetors mated to a 5-speed transmission. The engine is housed in a smoothed engine bay along with an alloy radiator. Other features include stainless A-arms, rack & pinion steering, 4-wheel disc brakes, Halibrand wheels, and a roll bar.

The exterior is finished in two-stage Russell Red paint with a Hartz cloth soft top and new chrome and trim. Leather seats adorn the interior.

This 1955 Ford Thunderbird custom convertible and the rest of the Tammy Allen Collection will crossing the block at no reserve as part of Barrett-Jackson’s ninth annual Las Vegas Auction October 13-15 at Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino. For more information, visit www.Barrett-Jackson.com/Bid or call 480-421-6694. Absentee bidding options powered by Proxibid are available.

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