1955 Ford Thunderbird

Today’s car is a 1955 Ford Thunderbird owned by Janet. I photographed this car at the 2024 Women ‘N’ Wheels Car Show held at the Zimmerman Automobile Driving Museum, located in El Segundo, CA. The car is finished in Thunderbird Blue with a Snowshoe White top and a Turquoise and White interior. It is powered by, the owner claims a 225 hp, 292 cu in, OHV Y block V8 engine, with Holley four-barrel carburetor, mated to a Ford-O-Matic 2 speed automatic transmission with 3.70:1 rear axle. Slowing this beauty down are 11″ drum brakes in all 4-corners. The front suspension is independent with coil springs, double-acting shock absorbers, and a ride stabilizer. The rear suspension solid axle with semi-elliptical leaf springs and double-acting shock absorbers. This car was fully optioned with power steering, power brakes, power windows, automatic transmission, white wall tires, tachometer, clock, cigarette lighter, seatbelts, fiberglass top, heater, radio, fender skirts, simulated wire wheels, and engine dress-up kit. The 1955 T-Birds did not come with porthole windows, but these portholes were ordered and installed by the Ford dealership. This is the last year Ford used 6 volt batteries.

The 2 seater Thunderbirds (Early Birds) were built from 1955 – 1957 with a total 53,166 units built, of which 16,155 were built in 1955. The MSRP was $2,994.00 (excluding options), the sticker price of this car was $4,200.00. The published top speed of 112 MPH with a 0-60 mph time of 8.9 Seconds. Janet bought the car in 1967 for $500.00 and drove it for 12 years. Tim met Janet in 1973 and the car was in rough shape. Tim, without Janet knowing it, sent the car to Prestige Thunderbird for restoration in 2004. In August 2006 Tim presented the car to Janet on her birthday at Rick and Ronnie’s Diner in front of their friends including a group of Early Bird Club members. Talk about surprised!

What a great car to take to a show like the Women ‘N’ Wheels Car Show celebrating Women’s Month that Janet attended. This is such an over the top restoration that was pasted over in a competition, because the judges said Ford never built one this good. After 18 years It still looks like it just came out of the restoration shop. This outstanding Thunderbird is a big hit at FOMOCO car shows, Cars and Coffee events and it would be fun just cruising to Early Bird Club gatherings with other Early Bird friends. Thank you for riding along. Frank