HomeFeatured VehiclesPick of the Day: 1957 Ford Thunderbird

Pick of the Day: 1957 Ford Thunderbird

Numbers-matching roadster with four-year restomod treatment


The best-selling year for the first-generation Thunderbird was 1957, when 21,380 units rolled off the assembly line and into consumer driveways. T-bird enthusiasts may be quick to point out that this number may have been due in part to the fact that the fully-redesigned 1958-model-year cars were a few months late.

The Pick of the Day is a 1957 Ford Thunderbird listed for sale on by a private seller in Golden, Colorado. (Click the link to view the listing)

“This car was a four-year build,” the listing begins. “Taken down to bare metal and refurbished from the ground up. I call it a semi-restomod because it has all of its original engine, transmission, and drivetrain but everything has been upgraded to the new technology that’s available today.”

In response to Chevrolet’s new sports car, the Corvette, the original Thunderbird moved swiftly through the development process and was first shown at the Detroit Auto Show about 70 years ago in February 1954. The production car went on sale in October of that year for the 1955 model year. Even though the car was positioned as a competitor to the Corvette, Ford’s marketing team focused more on the car’s luxurious attributes. This was one of the cars that created the “personal luxury car” segment.

As for today’s featured T-bird, the proof is in the pictures: The listing includes documentation of the restoration process such as photos of the removed engine, the body in primer, and the fresh coat of paint before trim and reassembly. The Diamond Metallic Black finish looks great, and the seller says that the car will come with color-matched fender skirts. They aren’t currently installed because of a need for clearance for the currently-installed American Racing wheels and Cooper tires.

Although the V8 is reportedly original, the listing says that it has gone through a number of upgrades. Included on the equipment list are Teflon-coated pistons, an RV camshaft, a high-volume water pump, a four-core radiator, a Holley Sniper fuel-injection system, and a custom Magnaflow exhaust system.

A great-sounding classic ride also needs a good audio system, so the build included the installation of a six-speaker Bluetooth radio setup with an amplifier and a subwoofer.

“It is truly a beautiful, solid, and great-running car!” the seller says. The asking price is $79,500, and the car will come with a color-matched removable hardtop as well as a newer soft top.

What is your favorite year for the first-generation 1955-through-1957 Thunderbirds?

To view this listing on, you can find it in the archives at Pick of the Day.

Tyson Hugie
Tyson Hugie
Tyson Hugie is a Phoenix-based automotive enthusiast who has been writing for The Journal since 2016. His favorite automotive niche is 1980s and 1990s Japanese cars, and he is a self-diagnosed “Acura addict” since he owns a collection of Honda and Acura cars from that era. Tyson can usually be found on weekends tinkering on restoration projects, attending car shows, or enjoying the open road. He publishes videos each week to his YouTube channel and is also a contributing author to Arizona Driver Magazine,, NSX Driver Magazine, and other automotive publications. His pride and joy is a 1994 Acura Legend LS coupe with nearly 600,000 miles on the odometer, but he loves anything on four wheels and would someday like to own a 1950 Buick Special like his late grandfather’s.



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