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HomePick of the DayPick of the Day: 1955 Ford Thunderbird, mechanically redone with clean patina

Pick of the Day: 1955 Ford Thunderbird, mechanically redone with clean patina

The roadster was undergoing restoration, and then given to the shop when the owner died

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The 1955-57 Ford Thunderbirds are true mid-century classics, two-seat roadsters that so much capture the style and sensibilities of American drivers in that era.

Not really a sports car, though it looked like one, the T-bird cut its own swathe in competing with Chevrolet Corvette and Jaguar XK, with a tailfin body that is sleek and simple, a strong V8 under the hood, and a cushioned ride made for boulevard cruising rather than corner carving. 

thunderbird, Pick of the Day: 1955 Ford Thunderbird, mechanically redone with clean patina, ClassicCars.com Journal

The Pick of the Day is a 1955 Ford Thunderbird with a sad but interesting back story, according to the Linthicum, Maryland, dealer advertising the roadster on ClassicCars.com.  Basically, the dealer took possession of the car while it was under restoration after the long-time second owner died before completion.

“We just purchased this car inadvertently from the family of the 2nd owner who originally purchased it in 1972,” the dealer says in the ad. “We were told that this T-Bird was used as a daily driver until 1988 when it was decommissioned and stored in a climate-controlled facility until spring of 2020, when it was pulled from storage and sent it to a local repair shop that specializes in classics.”

thunderbird

While in the shop, the Thunderbird received a lengthy array of mechanical refurbishment, “including new brakes, new shocks, new tires, new exhaust, a new fuel system, and the original 292 V8 engine also received a full tune-up, oil change and all fluids flushed and filled. It also had the original 3-speed manual transmission replaced with a rebuilt 4-speed which included rebuilding the original shifter,” plus a new clutch, pressure plate, throw-out bearing and resurfaced flywheel.

“Unfortunately, the owner had a heart attack and passed away while the car was still being repaired so he never got a chance to enjoy the car again,” the seller says. “The family decided to give it to the repair shop in lieu of paying the repair bill.

“Once in our shop, we decided not to overly detail the car because we feel the patina is part of this car’s charm. The body, floors, trunk and frame are all solid and clean, and the Torch Red repaint is older but still very, very nice. We did compound and polish the paint and detailed the chrome, trim, glass and interior, and she really looks amazing!”

The Thunderbird does look nice in the photos with the ad, although there are no under-hood shots of the engine compartment.  The roadster has its factory hardtop, and is fitted with radial tires.

thunderbird, Pick of the Day: 1955 Ford Thunderbird, mechanically redone with clean patina, ClassicCars.com Journal

The car does quite well on the highway, the seller notes.

“We also just took it out for a cruise and was extremely impressed on how nice it actually runs and drives,” the ad says.

The asking price for this Thunderbird, which appears to be ready to go, is a modest $29,900.

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

Hagerty
Bob Golfen
Bob Golfen
Bob Golfen is a longtime automotive writer and editor, focusing on new vehicles, collector cars, car culture and the automotive lifestyle. He is the former automotive writer and editor for The Arizona Republic and SPEED.com, the website for the SPEED motorsports channel. He has written free-lance articles for a number of publications, including Autoweek, The New York Times and Barrett-Jackson auction catalogs. A collector car enthusiast with a wide range of knowledge about the old cars that we all love and desire, Bob enjoys tinkering with archaic machinery. His current obsession is a 1962 Porsche 356 Super coupe.

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