1955 Ford Thunderbird

This gorgeous Thunderbird Blue '55 T-bird belongs to Larry Newlin. It rolls at the behest of a 292 cid V8.

 

Buff the fender...

 

Thunderbird First generation (1955-1957)

 

The Ford Thunderbird began life in February 1953 in direct response to Chevrolet's new sports car, the Corvette, which was publicly unveiled in prototype form just a month before. Under rapid development, the Thunderbird went from idea to prototype in about a year, being unveiled to the public at the Detroit Auto Show on February 20, 1954. Like the Corvette, the Thunderbird had a two-seat coupe/convertible layout. Production of the Thunderbird began later on in 1954 on September 9 with the car beginning sales as a 1955 model on October 22, 1954. Though sharing some design characteristics with other Fords of the time, such as single, circular headlamps and tail lamps and modest tailfins, the Thunderbird was sleeker and more athletic in shape, and had features like a faux hood scoop and a 150 mph (240 km/h) speedometer hinting a higher performance nature that other Fords didn't possess. Mechanically though, the Thunderbird could trace its roots to other mainstream Fords. The Thunderbird's 102.0 inches (2,591 mm) wheelbase frame was mostly a shortened version of that used in other Fords while the car's standard 292 cu in (4.8 L) Y-block V8 came from Ford's Mercury division.[2]

 

Though inspired by, and positioned directly against, the Corvette, Ford billed the Thunderbird as a personal luxury car, putting a greater emphasis on the car's comfort and convenience features rather than its inherent sportiness.[2] Designations aside, the Thunderbird sold exceptionally well in its first year. In fact, the Thunderbird outsold the Corvette by more than 23-to-one for 1955 with 16,155 Thunderbirds sold against 700 Corvettes.[3] With the Thunderbird considered a success, few changes were made to the car for 1956. The most notable change was moving the spare tire to a continental-style rear bumper in order to make more storage room in the trunk. However, the addition of the weight at the rear caused steering issues, and was changed back in 1957. Among the few other changes were new paint colors, the addition of circular porthole windows in the fiberglass roof to improve rearward visibility, and a 312 cu in (5.1 L) Y-block V8 making 215 horsepower (160 kW) when mated to a 3-speed manual transmission or 225 horsepower (168 kW) when mated to a Ford-O-Matic 3-speed automatic transmission.

 

The Thunderbird was revised for 1957 with a reshaped front bumper, a larger grille and tailfins, and larger tail lamps. The 312 cu in (5.1 L) V8 became the Thunderbird's standard engine, and now produced 245 horsepower (183 kW). Other, even more powerful versions of the 312 cu in (5.1 L) V8 were available including one with two four-barrel Holley carburetors and another with a Paxton supercharger delivering 300 horsepower (220 kW). Though Ford was pleased to see sales of the Thunderbird rise to a record-breaking 21,380 units for 1957, company executives felt the car could do even better, leading to a substantial redesign of the car for 1958.

 

Source: Wikipedia

 

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Cruise Day Tuesdays, organized by Ken Prieboy, is a weekly event held at Monticello's Courthouse Square each Tuesday at 5 p.m. Great cars, music, food, and conversation are available.

 

Cruise Day Tuesdays -- July 7th, 2009

 

More transportation images can be found here...

 

I hope everyone has a safe and wonderful weekend!

Rob, GeirB, and 36 more people faved this
  • ~NANETTE~ 6y

    What a BEAUTY...Excellent compo.
    I realy like that color....Happy Weekent dear friend. ☼
  • Yvette Depaepe 6y

    Such a cool car and shot !
    My grandparents had a Ford Thunderbird from this first series. It was 'pink' ... I remember how great it was as a girl from 8 (wow ... I'm growing old !) going for a ride with them. I had to wear a silly leather hat, like a helmet !!!
    The best ... it is still on the route, as an oldtimer, maintained in original state and cherished by the owner (a fervent collector of course).
    This photo goes straight to my nostalgic and sentimental faves, Craig.
    Thanks for sharing !
  • Craig Sorenson 6y

    Yvette: That is a great story and what a wonderful thing that you still get to see your grandparent's car still in use to this day! Incredible! Do you have any photos with you in this leather hat?

    --
    Seen on your photo stream. (?)
  • ` Toshio ' 6y

    Wonderful Picture, Group Award, Seen In :

    Thank You For Posting
    This Is An Excellent Photo!

    HDR Dreams Group
    We Have A New Five Or More Thread
  • Stuart Baxter 6y

    Sweet dreams this is nice...always wanted a 56 black with ruby red interior ...kicks butt Craig
  • Ray Reiffenberger 6y

    I can only dream of driving this beauty! Or not???
  • Mehness! [ Left Flickr ] 6y

    i love how the blue complements well against the background ;-D Beautiful shot Craig :-D
  • Sabine Härtl 6y

    Beautiful car portrait again!
  • Canon Screwdriver (gary syrba) 6y

    That is one sweet all American classic! All that's missing is a cute blonde behind the wheel ;-)
  • Stephen Velden 6y

    Hi, I'm an admin for a group called 55 56 57 Ford Thunderbird, and we'd love to have this added to the group!
  • Rubén Moreno Montolíu 6y

    Wonderful Picture, Group Award, Seen In :

    Thank You For Posting
    This Is An Excellent Photo!

    HDR Dreams Group
    We Have A New Five Or More Thread
  • Bill Strong 6y

    I love that car! Great capture of an American classic!
  • Yvette Depaepe 6y

    Craig : I must have some pictures of it in the old photo box of my mom !!! I should scan a few, I'll do it on the first cold evening soon and send them to you ;o)
  • coxy2001 6y

    great car nice shot
  • ~NANETTE~ 6y

    I just looooove the color....very very nice!
  • The Limp Petunia 6y

    I Looooooooooooooove this car!!!!!!!!
  • Loops666 5y

    Great picture! This reminds me of the video game I've been playing recently; Ford Racing 3 for PS2...and it's another reminder for me to get started on my own car photography project...the theme of which I will not reveal until later :D
  • Stephen Velden 5y

    Hi, I'm an admin for a group called No Chrome No Class!, and we'd love to have this added to the group!
  • KWOTATECH 3y

    Great pic! Take a look at this MINT Datsun 510! youtu.be/6Gd5360Q95k
  • Kathleen Gick 3y

    Heavenly. Love the Robin's Egg Blue. Definitely a chick mobile!

    [ via flickriver  --Kathleen Gick ]
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Taken on July 7, 2009
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