The Ford Thunderbird was introduced in 1955 as a sporty, luxurious two-seat car to compete with the Chevrolet Corvette. The original designs featured either a powered soft-top convertible or a removable fiberglass roof, with restrained lines and more modest fins than most cars of the era. T-Birds, as they were often called, soon overtook Corvettes both in sales and speed. The Thunderbird’s standard V8 engine was able to reach 114 mph, and could reach 60 mph in under 10 seconds.

While not a true sports car, the T-Bird caught on as a personal luxury vehicle, despite its limiting soft springs and low-geared steering. The Thunderbird’s 1957 update added clunkier rear fins, and in 1958 the entire vehicle was altered for a boxier, low-riding four-seat design. After 1961, the Thunderbird took on a sleek, bullet-shaped look, although the model was actually much larger than '50s T-Birds.

In the 1970s, Ford incorporated larger engines, power side windows, and air-conditioning to the standard Thunderbird models. The 1975 design became one of the first American cars to offer power disc brakes on all four wheels. Ford ultimately created 13 different generations of Thunderbirds until officially ending production of the car in 2005.


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BlackTop Nationals catches a break from the weather
Wichita Eagle, August 28th

August often means car shows are staged in scorching heat and humidity, with time divided between prowling the rows of vehicles and seeking out shade and a cool drink. This year's BlackTop Nationals dodged a bullet last Saturday, as an ominous ...Read more

American Graffiti said goodbye to both summer and youth
A.V. Club, August 27th

To highlight the nostalgia effect, Lucas features not only an impressive collection of vintage cars, but a virtual vault of wonderful rock 'n' roll songs from the era, which resulted in a best-selling double-album soundtrack. As the title ... Milner is...Read more

BlackTop Nationals fuels up for a weekend of activities in Wichita (+video)
Wichita Eagle, August 20th

A 1967 Nance with the Kansas Antique Racers is on display at the Black Top Nationals in downtown Wichita Friday. (Aug. 22, 2014). Spectators look at a 2002 Dodge Viper at ..... Dozens of vintage and modern cars were on display at the Blacktop Nationals...Read more

As Clifton's cafeteria is set to reopen, readers share fond memories
Los Angeles Times, August 18th

Caldwell said her mother was a special hit with young servicemen and earned enough to move out of her parents' house in El Monte and buy a canary-yellow Ford Thunderbird convertible. Halet kept a box of memorabilia from Clifton's and looked back on her...Read more

From Ohio to Maine, collectors of histories
Boston Globe, August 15th

A 1965 Ford Thunderbird and two Ferraris, 2000 and 2002 models, failed to sell. ... Offerings and prices were as varied as the Victorian baby carriage purchased in 1875 for $37.25 that sold for $1,103, the 19th-century working cannon on a brass...Read more

Hot Bristol Night Antique Car Show
Bristol Herald Courier (press release) (blog), August 15th

Drew Hierwarter showed his 1928 Ford Model A Lakes Modified at the Hot Bristol Night Antique Car Show on Friday in Downtown Bristol. .... Mayor Lea Powers of Bristol, Tennessee, selected a 1957 Ford Thunderbird registered by Ronald Dotson...Read more

A T-Bird owner in the pink, turning Dream Cruise heads
The Detroit News, August 14th

He restored the vintage Ford over three years, painting it pink and giving it to her as an anniversary present. The T-Bird's paint job is “a color I love and so do lots of little girls,” she said. Wiegand says the car often attracts young girls at the...Read more

A '50s dream at this Tyngsborough diner
Boston Globe, August 12th

On carhop Saturday, the diner opens at 7 a.m., two hours before the antique cars begin crawling into reserved spaces and a father-and-son deejay team cranks up the tunes. Inside, the booths and counter seats begin to fill, and a waiting line forms a...Read more