Back in mid-October, one of our Pick of the Day selections was a 1955 Ford Thunderbird that appeared to have distinctive chrome trim, much like that on the 1956 Ford Crown Victoria.
We couldn’t find reference to such a vehicle and there was considerable debate among those commenting on the car and its trim.
But now the mystery has been solved, thanks to an email from Alex Soultania, concours judge and keeper of the KdFregistry, a website which is dedicated not to Thunderbirds but to the 1938-1944 KdF-Wagen Beetle.
“I had judged 55-57 T’Birds at Hershey and never heard of this version (with the Fairlane type trim) before until a well-known jazz musician friend of mine drove his over for me to check out,” Soultania writes.
“He told me the ‘Fairbird’ story and I looked into. The ‘Fairbird’ name doesn’t appear on the (Ford) brochure and I’m still not sure if that was a nickname or what, but pretty interesting I thought.
“It’s possible that the ’55 cars were designed to have this trim then they just scraped this idea. Much the way the earliest 1950 Buick Roadmasters first started out with straight trim but most had the more ornate sweep spear side trim.”
Soultania attached a copy of the Ford advertising brochure for the “Fairbird,” which we’re sharing here. And those with any interest in the early years of the beloved Volkswagen Beetle will want to check out the KdFregistry website.