Car Albums
Ford Thunderbird Index
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Ford Thunderbird 1955-57
Frank Hershey and William Boyer are credited with the design of the first generation Thunderbird which was launched at Detroit in Spring 1954 as a 1955 model. Although the green light for its development was given by Louis Crusoe and George Walker after they saw the unveiling of the Chevrolet Corvette prototype at the 1953 Paris Salon. In fact Ford were already developing a car and it was this project that was fast-tracked in response to the Corvette. Underneath the Thunderbird lay a shortened chassis frame of their larger cars and a Mercury V8 engine. Ford never saw the T-bird as a Sports Car, but rather what their own Jonah Lucas Bender termed a 'Personal Car'; a term later given to the Ford Mustang 1964. In 1955 the Thunderbird was given a more powerful 5.1litre V8, revised grille and lights. 1956-year Thunderbirds were given a rear-mounted spare wheel to increase boot space, but this was dropped for the 1957-year as it gave poor handling. 1957-year Thunderbirds also had revised lights and badging. Elements of the Ford Thunderbird can be found in the British Ford Consul. For the 1958 year a new second generation Ford Thunderbird was launched as a much longer four seater car.
aa_Ford Thunderbird 1957 badgea
Ford Thunderbird 1957 - wing badge. Only the 1957 T-bird had this script on the front wing
aa_Ford Thunderbird 1957 badgeb
Ford Thunderbird 1957 - badge. 'Thunderbird' is a mythical bird, emblem of the Pueblo Indians of the South-West United States. The name was coined by a Ford stylist and won a 'name that car competition'.
aa_Ford Thunderbird 1957ornament
Ford Thunderbird 1957 - wing ornament
ab_Ford Thunderbird 1956 grille
Ford Thunderbird 1956 - grille. A similar grille was given to the British Ford Consul MkII
ab_Ford Thunderbird 1957 grille
Ford Thunderbird 1957. Alarger grille was given to the 1956 and 1957 Thunderbirds
ac_Ford Thunderbird 1957 head
Ford Thunderbird 1957. A larger grille was given to 1956-year Thunderbirds, and in 1957 the over riders were removed
Ford Thunderbird 1956 front
Ford Thunderbird 1956. The Ford Thunderbird was given the new (4.8litre) Y-block V8 engine that was only available in the T-bird and Mercury cars. In 1956 the Y-block was enlarged to (5.1litre)
Ford Thunderbird 1956 rear
Ford Thunderbird 1956. The external spare wheel was a feature of the 1956 model year T-birds to improve bootspace. For the 1957-year the spare wheel was relocated inside the boot as the external one unbalanced the car's handling.
Ford Thunderbird 1957 front
Ford Thunderbird 1957. Portholes ('Opera Windows') were given to 1956 and 1957 Hardtops.
Ford Thunderbird 1957 rear
Ford Thunderbird 1957 Hardtop. For 1957 the rear wings were revised, round lamps given, and the external spare wheel moved inside.
g_Ford Thunderbird 1957 glass
Ford Thunderbird 1957 Hardtop. Portholes ('Opera Windows') were given to 1956 and 1957 Hardtops.
l_Ford Thunderbird 1956 lamp
Ford Thunderbird 1956 - rear lamp. A similar lamp was given to the British Ford Consul MkII
l_Ford Thunderbird 1957 lamp
Ford Thunderbird 1957 - Round lights were given to the 1957 T-bird.
m_Ford Thunderbird 1956 details
Ford Thunderbird 1956 - front wing details
s_Ford Thunderbird 1957 side
Ford Thunderbird 1957 Hardtop. Portholes ('Opera Windows') were given to 1956 and 1957 Hardtops.
w_Ford Thunderbird 1956 wheel
Ford Thunderbird 1956 - front wheel
w_Ford Thunderbird 1957 wheel
Ford Thunderbird 1957 Hardtop - wheel
Ford Thunderbird 1964-66
Sunbeam Alpine Series I to V
Ford Consul MkII (204E)
key text:  This is the page introducing Simons love of cars from the website  RedSimon which is a series of photo albums of Simon GP Geoghegan.
The names of Pinin, Farina, and Pininfarina are also considered
There are also notes on Pininfarina
as well as the car maker
and links tothat car maker
see also my Picasa car albums
withe even more on RedSimon
Simon is also a contributor to SuperCars.Net
And also to Wikipedia
Photos may be purchased from PhotoBox