Lot 284 - 1955 Ford Thunderbird Convertible
|Odometer reading||56,341 miles|
|Estimate||£28,000 - £35,000|
|Result||Sold - £38,640|
Detroit took tentative steps into the rising sports car market in the early 1950s but it took Ford to demonstrate that a domestic production sports car, rather than being noisy, drafty and saddled with mundane power, could also satisfy more traditional buyers who wanted such common American automotive amenities as side windows, heaters and big-car styling. They did it with the all-new 1955 Thunderbird. The new T-Bird had it all: a stylish, low-slung body, a rumbling 292/198 HP Y-Block, V-8 engine, luxurious accommodation and an optional equipment list that included power assists, a removable hard top that offered more weather protection than the side curtains and fold down tops used in most other sports cars and a choice of manual or automatic transmissions. The Thunderbird was essentially a downsized luxury car, but its bright demeanour and powerful engine made it immediately popular with the sports car set and its first year sales total of 16,155 cars was a pleasant surprise to Fords top brass. This prototypical 1955 Ford Thunderbird personifies all the charms that first established the model's popularity.
Originally sourced at the now famous Pebble Beach auctions in 2014, this great-looking example has undergone a full, frame-off restoration and professionally finished in Waterfall Blue; it sports a new and correct blue and white interior with the factory radio and offers the choice of both a white soft top and matching hard top. Firestone wide-white-wall tires and optional wire-wheel hubcaps were popular period choices for this car which is powered by the aforementioned 292 c.i. Thunderbird V-8 mated to a three-speed manual transmission with optional overdrive. The highly detailed engine compartment and chassis are great finishing touches to this classic piece of fifties Americana.