DREAMCARS Mount Dora, Fla. (352) 385-1945
on Photo to Enlarge)
FORD THUNDERBIRD RARE "E" BIRD ROADSTER
ONLY 149 CARRIED
THE 312 C.I. V8 WITH 2-FOUR BARREL CARBS AND 3-SPEED TRANSMISSION
FROM THE FACTORY (1,499 'E-TYPE BIRDS' WERE PRODUCED
TOTAL). IT WAS CODED 'E" ON THE VIN TAG AND TITLE DELINEATING*
THE THUNDERBIRD "SPECIAL" V8, OVERHEAD
VALVES, CAST IRON BLOCK, 10:01 COMPRESSION RATIO AND "RACING
KIT" 285 HP @ 5,000 RPM , 2-4V CARBS AND 5 MAIN BEARINGS.
THE "E" BIRDS WERE NOT HEAVILY LADEN WITH ALOT OF FANCY
OPTIONS... SIMPLY BECAUSE FORD DID NOT OFFER THAT MANY AND
BECAUSE MANY WERE USED FOR RACING. THE PRUDENT BUYER DID NOT LOAD
THE MOTOR UP WITH 'POWER ROBBING' EQUIPMENT. OUR CAR IS FINISHED
IN FLAME RED WITH MATCHING RED INTERIOR, HARDTOP AND WHITE SOFT
TOP. IT CARRIES THE CORRECT 3 SPEED TRANSMISSION WITH THE RARE
OVERDRIVE UNIT, HEATER AND DEFROSTER, CHROME KELSEY-HAYES WIRE
WHEELS, HARDTOP WITH OPTIONAL PORTHOLE, FACTORY SOFT TOP W/ NEW CORRECT FRAME, RARE TONNEAU COVER OPTION (RED),
REAR FENDER SKIRTS WITH FENDER SHIELDS, HIDDEN UPGRADES ON THE
ORIGINAL AM/FM "TOWN & COUNTRY" RADIO, OUTSIDE REAR
VIEW MIRROR, SELDOM SEEN TRUNK MOUNT ANTENNA, TACHOMETER, WORKING
CLOCK, OVERSIZED W.W.W. TIRES AND 3:70 REAR. THIS IS A FRESH $91,655.32
RESTORATION OF A CAR THAT WAS PURCHASED FROM A VIRGINIA MUSEUM
AND THEN SOLD TO A FORD DEALER WHO HAD A SUBSTANTIAL FORD COLLECTION.
IT BECAME AVAILABLE UPON HIS DEMISE... IT WAS RECENTLY SOLD TO
A LOCAL FLA. GENTLEMAN WHO PLACED THE CAR IN A COMPREHENSIVE,
TRUE 'NUT * BOLT" RESTORATION. THEN IT FOUND IT'S WAY HERE.
THIS YEAR IN HISTORY WAS NOT ONLY THE
LAST YEAR FOR THE VINTAGE "T-BIRD" BUT,
ALSO BECAUSE IT IS THE YEAR WELL-KNOWN FOR THE FACT THIS IS THE MOST SOUGHT AFTER, AND MOST
DESIRED, OF ALL "THE BABY BIRDS". FORD
BUILT 21,380 THUNDERBIRDS IN 1957 BUT, ONLY 1499 DUAL CARBURETED
"E BIRD'S". . THIS CAR JUST WON THE COVETED MAGUIRE'S AWARD AT THE WINTER PARK CONCOURSE (SEE PHOTO). IF YOU'RE
LOOKING FOR THE ULTIMATE RED '57 BIRD- YOU JUST FOUND IT! IN THIS
CONDITION: THIS CAR BOOKS OUT FOR WAY MORE MONEY THAN WE ARE ASKING
-THIS IS THE SAME CAR
THAT SOLD (IN BLACK) AT BARRATT-JACKSON / SCOTTSDALE 1/16/09 FOR
$117,000 +$11,700 BUYERS FEE( =$128,700). NO NONSENSE
/ RECESSION PRICED AT
IT IS AGAINST FEDERAL LAW TO ALTER THE VIN OF THE E-BIRD
If you remember
"The Mouseketeers", Jane Mansfield and Elvis Presley
you're on the right track to remember what it was like to live
in 1957. Allen Ginsberg wrote that year of "The best minds
In the business are being destroyed by madness..." in an
epic poem which would serve as the precursor to the "Beat
Generation". RCA Records would sign Elvis who immediately
released "Heartbreak Hotel" in March 1957. By the end
of the year, he would score TEN other #1 Hits including
"Don't Be Cruel", "Hound Dog", "Love
Me Tender" and "I Want You, I Need You, I Love You".
Other Top Tunesters were Guy Mitchell with "Singing
The Blues" and Kay Starr "The Rock 'n Roll Waltz".
Top Television Shows (on Black & White TV) would be "The
$64,000 Question", "I Love Lucy", "The Ed
Sullivan Show", "Disneyland" ( with what seemed
like a 15 minute introduction) and "The Jack Benny Show".
Rock and Roll took the Nation by storm..... leaving
no prisoners. You couldn't turn on your AM radio without hearing
Little Richard, Gene Vincent, Carl Perkins, Elvis, Andy Williams,
The Platters, Pat Boone or Buddy Holly..... plastered all over
the airwaves. Dick Clark's 'American Bandstand' became a mainstay
on after-school TV. If you had a date, and you weren't
'necking' on Air Force Beach you were at the Drive-In Movies or
the Drive-In -Diner. Little kids collected 'Ants' in the device
invented by Milton Levine called "The Ant Farm"..."a
living TV Screen for only $1.98" (and $5 in pest control
when you knocked the plastic case on the floor). Best Actor that
year, would be Yul Brynner in "The King and I" while
Ingrid Bergman got accolades for Best Actress in "Anastasia".
Jane Mansfield caused sensory overload with her more
than ample attributes in "The Girl Can't Help It"....
while Elvis scored big at the Box Office with his First Movie
"Love Me Tender". America's rural population declined
more and more as families sold their ranches and farms and moved
to 'housing tracts'. You could buy a beautiful "Ranch Style
Bungalow" for only $11,000. An amazing Six Million trucks
and cars were sold in 1957, with one in every 8 being a Station
Wagon. Ford would be the very first to offer a "Safety Package"
that included a Padded Dash, Sun Visors, Deep Dish Steering Wheel,
& Safety Door Latches. Comically, few American's were
interested as very only a few hundred were ordered and
the package was withdrawn the very next year. Later it became
Ford was indeed
FIRST as they offered the 'Retractable Hardtop' for the First
Time, Chrysler offered the 'HiWay Hi-Fi', 16 1/2 rpm auto record
player, and Continental Kits were The Rage. No one knows
whether it was Suzanne Summers appearance in "American Graffiti",
driving a White '57 T-Bird, or the fact the car 'appears' Small
& Sexy ( actually, its the same size as a early Mustang)
but, the 1957 Thunderbird is an American Icon Car fit
for a Pedestal. The majority of T-Bird production was the
312 V8 with a 4 barrel carb coupled to the classic 2-speed Ford-O-Matic
Automatic Transmission but, only a handful were built expressly
for Performance Fanatics. Those carried the 3-speed transmission
( some, like ours, were even fitted with the gas-saving Overdrive).
This package provided you with incredible performance and rocket-like
take-off. But, the Real Motorheads ticked off the "E"
box and ordered the 312 / 285 hp "Racing V8" with 2-4
carb's. Due to the relatively light weight this gave you a Real
Performance Machine. Understanding the Bird weighed in at 3145
lb.s vs. the 3274 lb. Bel Air vs. 3475 lb. Belvedere Plymouth.
Ford licked the out-of-whack gravity problem of the '56
'outside spare tire carrier 'by moving the spare back into the
trunk. Ford even offered a 340 hp Paxton Supercharged version....
though production books only show 25 or 140 (depending which one
you read) actually being built. Many folks don't realize that
the 1957 model was actually 4 inches shorter than
it's 1956 counterpart and, that Ford used the straddle-mount pinion
this year only for better handling & greater durability. Another
factoid is that the Town & Country Radio originally was offered
with a feature that increased the radio volume with speed.
They also offered an option which allowed the Power Seat to return
automatically back to the rearward position. After the owner
replaced a few batteries this 'cute' but, power sucking feature
was junked. The dash got a 140 mph speedo this year but, lost
the 'greenhouse' seen on the 1956 model . It is
a published fact the 1957 Model T-Bird was so popular Ford
continued to build them more than 3 months into 1958 production.
When the Car Magazines released photo's of the "all new"
Thunderbird for 1958 and people saw the much larger, 'boxy'
1958 4-passenger model- they were shocked (horrified) and
orders poured in for the Baby Bird (production continued to Dec.
13 1957). So, this car was 'iconic' before it was even
a year old. Not to mention..the baby Bird out-sold Corvette by
huge margins 1955-1957*. The 1957 Thunderbird definitely
earns it's place in The
Collector Car Hall of Fame.
*FORD THUNDERBIRD SALES