Originally finished in Raven Black (AA), this 1957 Ford Thunderbird was repainted around 20 years ago. It is showing its age but overall presents nicely. It comes with a removable fiberglass hardtop with a porthole that is finished in Colonial White. A hardtop stand will accompany the sale.
Flaws in the finish can be seen above the front driver-side wheel, on the driver-side of the hood, passenger-side tailfin, passenger-side trunk to fender line, and behind the rear bumper on the driver-side. There are said to be no rust issues underneath these areas, just chipped paint.
Chrome on the front grille, bumpers, windshield surround, driver-side mirror, and faux fender vents sets off the black nicely. Those eight slanted fender chevrons were designed to denote the eight cylinders powering the car. Flaked chrome with rust underneath can be on the lower sections of both bumpers.
Features include hooded headlamps with clear lenses, hood scoop, functional lower front fender vents that direct air into the cabin, a mast antenna, wind wings, rear fender skirts, dual exhausts integrated into the rear bumper, and those wonderful fins that run from the chrome door handles to the large taillamp pods.
The 14” steel wheels feature polished turbine-style covers. They are mounted in Coker Classic whitewalls sized 275/15 and said to be a little more than two years old. Power-assisted drum brakes are fitted all around.
Thunderbird badges are retained, and aside from the hood bird, which shows some fading, look to be in very good condition. Surface rust can be seen on the undercarriage, including small holes on the passenger-side exhaust pipe, but no major corrosion is evident on the car, per the owner.
That Engine-Turned Trim!
The cabin matches the exterior with a Raven Black vinyl bench seat and pleated Colonial White inserts. As seen in the gallery, there are a few small splits on the driver’s side.
The color scheme extends to the door panels, with logo-embossed lower sections and engine-turned aluminum inserts. Black staining can be seen on both door panels, as well as small tears on the armrests.
Though currently non-operational, this T-Bird features the innovative “Dial-O-Matic” seat. Controlled by the under-dash dial, the seat could be power adjusted horizontally and vertically by an actuator mounted behind it. It was also designed to automatically move the bench rearward when the car was turned off to aid egress and vice versa.
The three-spoke steering wheel, with a horn ring, has an aftermarket wrap that is starting to pull from the rim, as seen in the gallery. It frames a 5,000-rpm tachometer, 140-mph speedometer with an odometer reading 20,184 miles, non-operational coolant temperature gauge, and clock.
The black dash looks to be in good shape, and how about the killer engine-turned aluminum trim that frames out the instruments and runs across the dash to connect with the doors? Love it!
Original switchgear is retained along with the Town and Country “Volumatic Signal-Seek” push-button AM radio that would “raise and lower its voice” based on speed, in period Ford-speak.
Features include power windows, a heater, a defroster, a floor-mounted shifter, and an aftermarket gauge set with amperage and oil pressure dials.
The perforated white headliner shows some staining around the back window, and the trunk lining is showing wear, as seen in the gallery. Jacking tools and full-size spare are also present.
Mounted up front is the original powertrain consisting of an optional D-Code “Thunderbird 312 Special V8” that pairs with a three-speed “Ford-O-Matic” automatic to spin the rear wheels.
This motor came from the factory with a single four-barrel Holley carburetor and was rated for 245 horsepower and 332 lb-ft of torque when new. Ford added a 12-volt electrical system for the 1957 model year, and this car features a polished air-cleaner cover and finned valve covers with Thunderbird logos.
The original generator, which is retained, has been converted to an alternator. However, the original generator wiring and regulator remain in place should the next owner wish to change it back.
The transmission was rebuilt in 2022 with associated records and a guarantee included with the sale. Other work performed in 2022 included replacing the harmonic balancer, water pump, and radiator core. The car is said to run strong and cool, though the current owner notes it is due for a carburetor overhaul.
Located in Camarillo, California, this 1957 Ford Thunderbird has been with the current owner for the past month. In that time, 100 miles have been added. The odometer currently reads 20,184 miles but is thought to have turned over for a total of 120,184 miles; however, the true mileage is unknown.
The previous owner was also located in California and owned the T-Bird for nearly 25 years. The car comes with a hardtop stand and an original shop manual.
Stacked with nifty details and strutting largely original condition, this 1957 Thunderbird is the kind of classic car that will never go out of style.
The decoded chassis tag is as follows:
- Engine: D – 312 CID V8, 4-barrel Holley carburetor
- Model Year: 7 – 1957
- Assembly Plant: F – Dearborn, Michigan
- Body Style: H – Thunderbird
- Consecutive Unit Number: 395015
- Body Type: 40 – 2-door convertible
- Color: AA – Raven Black
- Trim: XA – Pleated Raven & Colonial White vinyl
- Transmission: 3 – Ford-O-Matic 3-speed
- Axle: 1 – 3.10 to 1