Lot 27

2022   |   Geared Online Scottsdale Edition

1955 Ford Thunderbird


$40,000 - $50,000| Without Reserve



Car Highlights

A Fine Example from the Introductory Year of Ford’s Two-Place Thunderbird Model

Longtime California Car

Dramatically Presented in Its Original Raven Black over Black and White

Highly Original and Well-Optioned Example

Held for 17 Years in a Respected California Collection

Register to Bid

Garth Hammers

In a bold move into two-place automobiles, the Ford Motor Company marketed the Thunderbird as a congenial “Personal Car”, rather than an outright sports car. This proved to be a winning formula, outselling GM’s Corvette, nearly 25 to 1 in 1955. Many early Thunderbird enthusiasts consider the 16,155 examples built for its inaugural model year to be the purest iteration of Ford’s design, with its modern, polished 15" wheel covers, cross-flag badging, blind-quarter hardtop, and six-volt electrics.

Joining the fastidious consignor’s collection in 2005, the Thunderbird is desirably optioned with power brakes, steering, windows and seat, automatic transmission, heater, Town & Country radio, and engine dress-up kit. This Thunderbird presents beautifully in its original color of Raven Black. A light restoration by the consignor’s in-house shop includes a show-level repaint, and fitting of newly chromed and polished exterior trim. The consignor believes the black and white vinyl interior, and its displayed 41,000 miles to be original; he also states that the Thunderbird appears to retain a majority of its factory assembly. The Thunderbird has been equipped with a cleverly disguised Optima battery for reliability and a new set of Coker radial tires. It is accompanied by a file of registration cards and repair receipts, in addition to its jack, spare, and lug wrench fitted in the trunk.

The 1955–1957 Thunderbirds are a benchmark in Ford’s illustrious history, and indeed in the heyday of 20th century American motoring. This very well-kept, longtime California-owned example is particularly deserving of a special place in its next caretaker’s collection.