Ford Thunderbird 1955
Chassis number: P5FH180463
– Luxury American convertible
– Attractive colour specification
– After professional restoration in Poland
Starting price: 120 000 PLN (estimation 140 000 – 160 000 / 32 500 – 37 200 €)
Engine: 4.8-litre, V8
Power output: 193 break horsepower
Other: automatic gearbox, rear-wheel drive
Legal condition: registered in Poland, yellow ‘vintage’ number plates
Model and Vehicle History
The Ford Thunderbird was first unveiled in February 1954 on the Detroit Motor Show. It is often said that it was conceived as a response to a rival vehicle made by General Motors – the Chevrolet Corvette. In reality however, the Thunderbird created an entirely new market niche called “personal luxury car”. The Corvette was a lightweight sports car focused on performance. When Ford designed the car however, they focused on everyday comfort and luxurious equipment. On the other hand, details such as a sleeker and more athletic silhouette, an air intake on the bonnet or a speedometer ranging up to 150 mph were clear indications of this car’s sporting pretentions. Mechanically though, the vehicle was closely related to its more humdrum siblings from Ford’s model range. The car was by no means cheap, but despite this it became hugely popular. Already in the first year of production sales of the Thunderbird reached 23 times the number of Corvettes sold in the same year. The concept of a Thunderbird turned out to be so successful that Ford had developed it for another 11 generations, right until 2005, producing a total volume of about 4.4 million examples. The first-generation Thunderbird will remain the most iconic though.
The Ford Thunderbird offered by Ardor Auctions at the September event is the most valued model from the very beginning of production. It was brought to Poland from the United States a couple of years ago, where it underwent a professional restoration. Its bodywork was completely disassembled and meticulously repaired, signs of previous body- or paintwork repairs were also removed. The car was painted in its original colour. Interior was cleaned and fitted with missing parts. Engine was thoroughly inspected and prepared for everyday driving. Recently a thorough maintenance of fuel system, including refurbishing of the carburettor and fuel pump has been done. For a 60-year old car, the Thunderbird has surprisingly impressive driving characteristics. Soft suspension and massive, electrically operated seat will provide comfort for two adults. Retro-futuristic styling of the interior reminds of a time capsule or an American diner from the 1950s. The visual sensation is accompanied by a very satisfying rumble of the eight-cylinder engine, which can still surprise with its vigorous nature despite its age. Red Ford is a beautiful American roadster, exciting and yet elegant. As an object, it will never go down in value, because it is a perfect embodiment of one of the most significant periods in the history of global motoring.