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Ford Thunderbird: 1st Generation


Ford Thunderbird: 1st Generation
Vehicle Model

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Wikipedia: Ford Thunderbird (first generation)
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The first generation of Ford Thunderbird was a two seat convertible created in response to the Chevrolet Corvette, and would be sold for model years 1955-1957.

The back of a pink 1956 Ford Thunderbird with a continental kit appears on the cover of the 2017 book Soon To Be Ex by Jacqueline Newman.


History

The following section is an excerpt from Wikipedia's Automotive Industries page on 1 August 2021, text available via the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

The first generation of the Ford Thunderbird is a two-seat convertible produced by Ford 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 New York Auto Show, which showed the Chevrolet Corvette. The Corvette in turn was developed in response to the popularity of European sports cars among Americans.

Dubbed a "a personal car of distinction" by Ford, this appellation was also used by the motoring press at the time. The car built upon the heritage of the bespoke roadsters of the 1930s, yet was constructed largely of existing components, marking the first step toward the evolution of the personal luxury car as a mass market segment in the United States. While light weight for its era and fitted with a standard V8 engine, the Thunderbird focused more on driver comfort than speed, and was not a direct rival to either the Corvette or European sports cars. The Thunderbird proved more suited to the American market than the Corvette, with sales of 16,155, versus 674 Corvettes in 1955. This remained the only two-seat convertible Thunderbird until the eleventh-generation was unveiled in 2002. The design of this generation of the Ford Thunderbird was the direct inspiration for the Auto Union 1000 Sp sports coupe.


Reference Desk

The Crittenden Automotive Library's "Reference Desk" is a collection of materials that cannot be shared due to copyright restrictions. Information from these resources, however, can be shared. Go to the Reference Desk page for more information.

TypeTitle
2003 BookStandard Catalog of Thunderbird 1955-2003 by John Gunnell; Krause Publications



Photographs

Ford Thunderbird Subject:  Ford Thunderbird
Source:  www.cepolina.com
View photo of Ford Thunderbird - 97KB
Ford Thunderbird Subject:  Ford Thunderbird
Source:  www.cepolina.com
View photo of Ford Thunderbird - 60KB
Ford Thunderbird Drawing Subject:  Ford Thunderbird Drawing
Source:  Premier Model Kit Box
View drawing of Ford Thunderbird - 199KB
2002 AACA Eastern Division National Fall Meet (Hershey) Poster - 1956 Ford Thunderbird Subject:  2002 AACA Fall National Meet at Hershey
Artist:  Ken Eberts
Car:  1956 Ford Thunderbird (foreground)
Event:  AACA Eastern Division National Fall Meet
Source:  CarArt.us
View 2002 AACA Eastern Division National Fall Meet (Hershey) - 1956 Ford Thunderbird - 85KB
1997 AACA Eastern Division National Fall Meet (Hershey) Poster - 1957 Ford Thunderbird Subject:  1997 AACA Fall National Meet at Hershey
Artist:  Ken Eberts
Car:  1957 Ford Thunderbird
Event:  AACA Eastern Division National Fall Meet
Source:  CarArt.us
View 1997 AACA Eastern Division National Fall Meet (Hershey) Poster - 1957 Ford Thunderbird - 102KB
Custom 1955 Ford Thunderbird Subject:  Custom 1955 Ford Thunderbird
Photographer:  Bill Crittenden
Event:  2012 The Cars Time Forgot
View photo of Custom 1955 Ford Thunderbird - 3.9MB
Custom 1955 Ford Thunderbird Subject:  Custom 1955 Ford Thunderbird
Photographer:  Bill Crittenden
Event:  2012 The Cars Time Forgot
View photo of Custom 1955 Ford Thunderbird - 3.9MB
Custom 1955 Ford Thunderbird Subject:  Custom 1955 Ford Thunderbird
Photographer:  Bill Crittenden
Event:  2012 The Cars Time Forgot
View photo of Custom 1955 Ford Thunderbird - 3.9MB
1956 Ford Thunderbird Subject:  1956 Ford Thunderbird
Photographer:  Bill Crittenden
Event:  New Berlin Quaker Steak & Lube Cruise Night: 18 July 2013
View photo of 1956 Ford Thunderbird - 1.9MB
1956 Ford Thunderbird Subject:  1956 Ford Thunderbird
Photographer:  Bill Crittenden
Event:  New Berlin Quaker Steak & Lube Cruise Night: 18 July 2013
View photo of 1956 Ford Thunderbird - 1.3MB
1956 Ford Thunderbird Subject:  1956 Ford Thunderbird
Photographer:  Bill Crittenden
Event:  New Berlin Quaker Steak & Lube Cruise Night: 18 July 2013
View photo of 1956 Ford Thunderbird - 1.8MB
1956 Ford Thunderbird Subject:  1956 Ford Thunderbird
Photographer:  Bill Crittenden
Event:  New Berlin Quaker Steak & Lube Cruise Night: 18 July 2013
View photo of 1956 Ford Thunderbird - 1.9MB
1957 Ford Thunderbird Subject:  1957 Ford Thunderbird
Photographer:  Bill Crittenden
Event:  WCS & NGMC Spring All Make & Model Carshow
View photo of 1957 Ford Thunderbird - 3,234KB
1957 Ford Thunderbird Subject:  1957 Ford Thunderbird
Photographer:  Bill Crittenden
Event:  WCS & NGMC Spring All Make & Model Carshow
View photo of 1957 Ford Thunderbird - 3,395KB
1957 Ford Thunderbird Subject:  1957 Ford Thunderbird
Photographer:  Bill Crittenden
Event:  WCS & NGMC Spring All Make & Model Carshow
View photo of 1957 Ford Thunderbird - 3,289KB
1957 Ford Thunderbird Subject:  1957 Ford Thunderbird
Photographer:  Bill Crittenden
Event:  WCS & NGMC Spring All Make & Model Carshow
View photo of 1957 Ford Thunderbird - 3,092KB
1957 Ford Thunderbird Subject:  1957 Ford Thunderbird
Photographer:  Bill Crittenden
Event:  WCS & NGMC Spring All Make & Model Carshow
View photo of 1957 Ford Thunderbird - 3,229KB
1957 Ford Thunderbird Subject:  1957 Ford Thunderbird
Photographer:  Bill Crittenden
Event:  WCS & NGMC Spring All Make & Model Carshow
View photo of 1957 Ford Thunderbird - 3,079KB
1957 Ford Thunderbird Subject:  1957 Ford Thunderbird
Photographer:  Bill Crittenden
Event:  WCS & NGMC Spring All Make & Model Carshow
View photo of 1957 Ford Thunderbird - 2,996KB
1957 Ford Thunderbird Subject:  1957 Ford Thunderbird
Photographer:  Bill Crittenden
Event:  WCS & NGMC Spring All Make & Model Carshow
View photo of 1957 Ford Thunderbird - 2,947KB
1957 Ford Thunderbird Subject:  1957 Ford Thunderbird
Photographer:  Bill Crittenden
Event:  2012 The Cars Time Forgot
View photo of 1957 Ford Thunderbird - 3.5MB
1957 Ford Thunderbird Subject:  1957 Ford Thunderbird
Photographer:  Bill Crittenden
Event:  2012 The Cars Time Forgot
View photo of 1957 Ford Thunderbird - 3.7MB
1957 Ford Thunderbird Subject:  1957 Ford Thunderbird
Photographer:  Bill Crittenden
Event:  2012 The Cars Time Forgot
View photo of 1957 Ford Thunderbird - 3.7MB
1957 Ford Thunderbird Subject:  1957 Ford Thunderbird
Photographer:  Bill Crittenden
Event:  2012 The Cars Time Forgot
View photo of 1957 Ford Thunderbird - 2.7MB
1957 Ford Thunderbird Subject:  1957 Ford Thunderbird
Photographer:  Bill Crittenden
Event:  2017 Woodstock on the Square Benefit Car Show
View photo of 1957 Ford Thunderbird - 2.7MB
1957 Ford Thunderbird Subject:  1957 Ford Thunderbird
Photographer:  Bill Crittenden
Event:  2017 Woodstock on the Square Benefit Car Show
View photo of 1957 Ford Thunderbird - 2.8MB
1957 Ford Thunderbird Scale Model Car Subject:  Modified 1957 Ford Thunderbird Scale Model
Photographer:  Bill Crittenden
Event:  2010 Cedarville Model Car Contest and Swap Meet
View photo of 1957 Ford Thunderbird - 1,824KB
1957 Ford Thunderbird Model Car Subject:  Modified 1957 Ford Thunderbird Scale Model
Photographer:  Bill Crittenden
Event:  2010 Cedarville Model Car Contest and Swap Meet
View photo of 1957 Ford Thunderbird Model - 3,507KB
1957 Ford Thunderbird Model Car Subject:  Modified 1957 Ford Thunderbird Scale Model
Photographer:  Bill Crittenden
Event:  2010 Cedarville Model Car Contest and Swap Meet
View photo of 1957 Ford Thunderbird Model - 3,291KB
1957 Ford Thunderbird Model Car Subject:  Modified 1957 Ford Thunderbird Scale Model
Photographer:  Bill Crittenden
Event:  2010 Cedarville Model Car Contest and Swap Meet
View photo of 1957 Ford Thunderbird Model - 3,289KB
Ford Thunderbird Scary Canary Drag Race Car Scale Model Subject:  "Scary Canary" Ford Thunderbird Drag Race Car Scale Model
Photographer:  Bill Crittenden
Event:  2011 Attack of the Plastic
View photo of Ford Thunderbird "Scary Canary" Drag Race Car Scale Model - 1,849KB
Ford Thunderbird Scary Canary Drag Race Car Scale Model Subject:  "Scary Canary" Ford Thunderbird Drag Race Car Scale Model
Photographer:  Bill Crittenden
Event:  2011 Attack of the Plastic
View photo of Ford Thunderbird "Scary Canary" Drag Race Car Scale Model - 1,863KB
Ford Thunderbird Scary Canary Drag Race Car Scale Model Subject:  "Scary Canary" Ford Thunderbird Drag Race Car Scale Model
Photographer:  Bill Crittenden
Event:  2011 Attack of the Plastic
View photo of Ford Thunderbird "Scary Canary" Drag Race Car Scale Model - 1,758KB


Merchandise

Type & Item #NameDetails
Metal Body Model Kit Revell 85-1582American Dreams '56 ThunderbirdAqua 1:25 scale
Model Kit - AMT T3921957 ThunderbirdModern Classics, 1:25 scale
Pre-Painted Model Kit - Revell 383951957 Ford ThunderbirdProShop, 1:25 scale, Light Blue
Die Cast - Matchbox 96089-09101957 ThunderbirdGreat Drivers, 1:63 scale, Yellow
Die Cast - Matchbox K9483-09101957 ThunderbirdMBX Metal, 1:63 scale, Yellow



Article Index

DateArticleAuthor/Source
30 September 2014California Man Convicted of Concealing Thunderbird in Montana Bankruptcy CaseU.S. Attorney’s Office
23 January 2015Former Hamilton Man Sentenced to Prison for Bankruptcy FraudU.S. Attorney’s Office, District of Montana


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