First-generation Ford Thunderbirds have been popular with car collectors for quite a while. Though conceived as a competitor for the Chevrolet Corvette, the T’birds flew off in another direction.
Early Corvettes looked sporty, but were propelled — and not all that quickly — by 6-cylinder engines. But along came a hot-rodding engineer named Zora Arkus-Duntov and the fiberglass-bodied Chevys got V8 engines and headed off to the races.
Meanwhile, from the start, the Thunderbirds were built around V8 power and the performance it provided. But before long, they would grow in bulk and became boulevard cruisers.
The Pick of the Day is one of those first-generation, two-seater Thunderbirds, a 1955 Ford Thunderbird, but one that was restored with an interesting visual twist.
Although located in Fort Myers, Florida, the car is advertised on ClassicCars.com by a dealership on Long Island, New York.
The dealer’s ad says the car underwent a body-off restoration that began in 2004 and included gloss-black powder coating of “all undercarriage parts.” It also notes that several items from the 1956 model year were used in the restoration, including the side trim from a 1956 Ford Crown Victoria.
In a photograph with the advertisement, that trim appears to run from the top of the front fenders, curves partway around the front wheelwells, and then runs along the full length of the car, creating a unique and rather elegant appearance.
The dealer reports that the car also has leather interior, disc brakes up front, a rebuilt 312cid V8 engine linked to a 3-speed manual transmission, power steering, power windows and seats, a one-of-a-kind hardtop.
Although the car was restored, and has been driven a reported 30,000 miles since that restoration, the original 6-volt electrical system was retained rather than moving to a more contemporary 12-volt setup.