Car: Ford Thunderbird
What makes it special: The first generation of the Ford Thunderbird was a convertible produced for the 1955 to 1957 model year, the first 2-seat Ford since 1938. It was developed in response to the 1953 Motorama display at the NY Auto Show, which showed Chevrolet’s Corvette. It was dubbed a “Personal Car” marking the first step toward the evolution of the personal luxury car as a mass market segment, and was focused more on driver comfort than speed, although it could hit 110-120 mph.
What made it famous: On sale to the public on October 22, 1954 as a 1955 model, 3,500 orders were placed in the first ten days of sale. It included fender skirts and a removable fiberglass top as standard equipment, with a fabric convertible top as a commonly specified option. The engine was Ford’s proven 292 cu in OHV 292 Y-Block V8, which got 18 mpg. It was produced with a Fordomatic automatic or manual overdrive transmission. The exhaust pipes exited through twin bumper guards bolted to the rear bumper.
Why I would want one: It’s one of the most iconic and famous Ford models of all time, and one of the most memorable cars of the 50’s era.
Fun fact: The Ford Thunderbird was unveiled at the Detroit Auto Show in February 20th, 1954.
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