A few years ago, as part of the filming of a National Geographic special Driving America, I spent time in Traverse City, Michigan, where Hagerty opened its garage and car collection to the television crew.
As part of the project, I drove a 1915 Ford Model T, a 1963 Chevrolet “split-window” Corvette, a 1960 Porsche 356 Speedster, a 1956 Ford Thunderbird, a 1969 Chevrolet Camaro SS, a 1962 International pickup truck and a 1966 Jaguar E-type roadster.
Each of the cars triggered different responses as I drove. At the end of the day, I realized that were I taking my pick of them for a cross-country drive, I’d pick the T’bird, which was black, a color that would have made it stand out against the sea of pastel-painted Thunderbirds.
Which brings me to the Pick of the Day, a 1957 Ford Thunderbird, black like the one I drove in Traverse City, but this one with a white convertible top. The car is being advertised on ClassicCars.com by a private owner in Sparta, New Jersey.
The asking price is $22,500.
“The car is outfitted with its original 312 (V8) engine rated at 245 horses, and will you be pleased to see how easy her 3 speed transmission shifts,” the seller reports.
“This vehicle was well-maintained and loved by its owners. Engine was rebuilt in the ’80s, and about 7 years ago the block was professional boiled out. To this day it still maintains strong oil pressure.
“The paint surprisingly makes the car stand out in a crowd compared to all the other restored birds. Black lacquer was applied in the ’70s, and the paint shines very well, however with it being old lacquer, it is showing crazing and cracking (as pictured). This is a feature that actually most love about the car as it shows its character and tells a story yet to be heard.”
The car’s interior has its original dash pad and Town and Country radio, but it has 1960s-vintage Stewart Warner gauges, got new interior door panels when the exterior was repainted, and the bench seat has been reupholstered.
During the seller’s 7-year ownership, the car has undergone a front-end rebuild with tie rods, bushings, ball joins and grease seals; new shocks at all 4 corners; brakes and brake lines; fuel pump, tank and lines; exhaust from the manifolds back; rebuilt carburetor; BFG bias-ply tires.
“Now is your time to own a car that defined the 1950s automotive scene,” the seller suggests.
“This car is in good working condition as well as mechanically sound, but with some extra TLC could make this car create lasting memories for another 63 years.”