HomePick of the DayPick of the Day: 2004 Thunderbird has ’57 design details

Pick of the Day: 2004 Thunderbird has ’57 design details

Car’s coachwork was modified by an automotive engineer


So, you like the looks of the vintage Ford Thunderbird from the mid-1950s but not ready to deal with nearly 70-year-old mechanical components. The Pick of the Day just might be the car for you. It’s a 2004 Ford Thunderbird with the style of the classic 1957 model. 

“All the bling of a 1957 Thunderbird, all the luxuries of a modern T-bird,” proclaims the private seller in Kerrville, Texas.

“It’s a pristine 2004 Ford Thunderbird Deluxe convertible which has been professionally modified by an automotive engineer to look like the classic 1957 T-Bird!” the seller notes. “It has always lived in a garage and never been smoked in. Just under 31,000 original miles!

“From the front, where the hood scoop sits over a show-stopping grille and modified front bumper, to the back, with its Continental tire kit and perfectly positioned exhaust tips underneath, there’s just so much to like on display here.  

2004 Thunderbird

“Ford knew what they were doing when they rolled out the 2-seater Thunderbird convertible, capturing the look and feel of the original while updating in every way. This one wears the rare and gorgeous Merlot Metallic paint, an elegant color that compliments the long, sleek design and makes this Thunderbird look far more expensive than it is. 

“The dark paint accentuates the swooping profile and works better than many of the other colors offered, and because this a 2004-only color, you won’t be seeing these Merlot beauties at your local cruise-in. 

“With just 30,932 original miles, you know this one is in great shape in every way and has lived an easy life, like most Thunderbirds, as a collectable. As such, it’s never seen snow, never been wrecked, and if it’s even been in the rain it was only in an emergency, because this has obviously not been a daily driver.”

The seller adds that the tan leather interior is “a dramatic contrast” to the dark red exterior paint. 

2004 Thunderbird

The car has modern features, including automatic climate control, power windows and seats, cruise control, anti-lock brakes, power convertible top with glass backlight, body-colored porthole hardtop, 6-disc CD changer, satellite radio, etc., and Ford’s 3.9-liter V8 rated at 250 horsepower and linked to a 5-speed automatic transmission. The car rides on huge 25-inch wheels, the seller adds.

“The big, clear gauges have a retro feel but aren’t duplicates of old gauges, but rather a modern take on a classic look, right down to the turquoise-colored pointers.”

The seller reports having had 10 years of ownership. “The only faults I can find is that the hood scoop bezel is aftermarket and the tan convertible top has a very light water stain.”

“The big, clear gauges have a retro feel but aren’t duplicates of old gauges, but rather a modern take on a classic look, right down to the turquoise-colored pointers. The tan power convertible top is the one you’ll use most often, but it also includes a Merlot Metallic color-matched porthole hardtop so you can use it year-round.

Interesting to note that when Ford resurrected the Thunderbird in its modern guise, one of the criticisms was the lack of the mid-‘50s tail fins and porthole window.

The car is offered for $29,900. To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.

Larry Edsall
Larry Edsall
A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.


  1. Unfortunately these cars have modern electronics and are not supported ain’t longer by Ford. In other words you can’t get a computer or the electronics to keep it running. How do I know? I’ve got my brother’s car sitting here that the Ford dealer gave up on because they couldn’t find any parts they couldn’t find any rebuilders for the computer parts and they couldn’t find any good used ones. They had the car for 9 months and called and said it’s time to part it out sell it as is or donate it. What a shame!

  2. Even though the tail on this particular example has been customized to (possibly) better mimic the ’57 T-Bird, I always felt the 2002-2005 Thunderbird did a much better job of being a tribute to the Muntz Jet, rather than the ’55-’57 Thunderbird. Any of you out there agree w me?

  3. As illustrated by Rod’s comment, 70 y/o mechanical components are not a detraction. Rather, it’s the 17 y/o components that are the problem.

    Otherwise, I personally like the 02 to 05 Tbirds. Had Ford simply used the 4.6, these cars would’ve been more profitable, more reliable, less money to purchase and, possibly, more popular.

  4. You rarely make (real, not inflated) money reselling a collector car, especially a modified one. This one looks like what I desired after seeing Ford’s concept at the International Auto Show in Boston, before the car went into production. I’ve noticed the asking price has fallen since the first offering in this forum. I’d consider buying at a sub-$20K price, at which point this might go. If I purchased, my, first action would an engine swap to a supported version. Best of luck to the seller!


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