HomePick of the DayPick of the Day: 1957 Ford Thunderbird

Pick of the Day: 1957 Ford Thunderbird

Fuzzy dice included

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Fuzzy dice and mid-century car culture go hand-in-hand, but why? As it turns out, having a pair of dice hanging from a car’s rearview mirror signifies more than just a fashion statement – it’s paying homage to a wartime tradition for combat pilots during World War II.

The Pick of the Day is a 1957 Ford Thunderbird listed for sale on ClassicCars.com by a private seller in Aledo, Texas. (Click the link to view the listing) Suspended from its rearview mirror are two fuzzy dice which evoked today’s inquiry.

The Thunderbird model evolved through 11 generations starting in the mid-1950s. When it first debuted in 1955 as a personal luxury car, it was offered as a two-door, two-seater exclusively. Sales took off at a rapid pace, with reportedly 3,500 orders being placed within the first ten days of being offered for sale. Each subsequent year, engineering and design changes were carried out. One stylistic item of note: The porthole windows in the hardtop were added in 1956 as a no-cost option to improve rearward visibility. In 1957, the front and rear of the vehicle were refined, fender skirts were standard, and the tailfins grew larger.

This well-kept Thunderbird from that year appears to be a very complete package – a soft top, a hardtop, a stand, and a cover for the hardtop. The listing states that this car has just 62,000 miles. “It runs as it should with no unusual noises or surprises,” the seller states. The car is described as largely original and factory-correct, although the audio system has been upgraded to a modern setup. The car’s original Town & Country radio is included with the sale. In addition, an auxiliary cooling fan has been added for extended idling periods, such as during parades.

Speaking of the drivetrain, power for this ’57 comes from a reportedly numbers-matching 312cid V8 with a four-barrel carburetor. This motor was good for 245 horsepower when new and sends power to the rear through a column-shifted two-speed Ford-O-Matic automatic transmission.

As for the fuzzy dice, that tradition took root in the early 1950s as American fighter pilots returned home from World War II. During wartime, the act of hanging dice or other gambling items above instruments became a superstitious act for good luck. That tradition continued and eventually marked the beginning of an iconic accessory for hot rods and collector cars from that era.

“This Baby Bird is an original Hollywood, Florida purchase with original invoice file copy,” the listing states. The seller is asking $69,500 for this parade-ready T-bird, and that price includes the dice on the mirror.

To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.

Hagerty
Tyson Hugie
Tyson Hugie
Tyson Hugie grew up in a family of gearheads and enjoys anything to do with automotive and motorsports. He is a contributing editor to Redline Reviews, a YouTube channel with coverage from major auto shows. He also writes for Arizona Driver Magazine and holds leadership positions with a number of car clubs. Tyson has lived in Arizona for 10 years and his current obsession is Japanese cars from the early 1990s which, though hard to believe, are now becoming classics. Tyson can usually be found exploring offbeat and obscure road trip destinations on his blog "Drive to Five," which started as a way to share travel stories and experiences with his now-550,000-mile Acura.

3 COMMENTS

    • At first flush, this seems like a ridiculous proclamation, but I allow Mr. Sommers to defend his statement.

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