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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Weekend picks: Peter Cetera croons at Paramount
Chicago Daily Herald, September 4th

Classic car buffs won't want to miss the 14th Annual Ford, Mustang, Shelby, Cobra and T-Bird Show at the Volo Auto Museum, 27582 N. Volo Village Road, Volo. A cookout, music ... Other highlights include concerts, an antique tractor show and more. Free...Read more

September 3, 2015 in Tom Vartabedian // When Stamp-Collecting Hits a Dead End
Armenian Weekly, September 3rd

Could it be people have a fanaticism over hot rods and antique cars? I once attended a classic car show at the ... I always dreamed of getting a Ford Thunderbird, but that never occurred. I bought hot rod magazines and drove off into ... The hot rods...Read more

Weekend picks: Lucky Boys, Daughtry play Last Fling
Chicago Daily Herald, September 2nd

The four-day fest includes music by national acts like Lita Ford, Daughtry, Lucky Boys Confusion and Chevelle, new attractions in the Family Fun Land such as an interactive Army Fun Zone, a day of free country entertainment Sunday at the stage on...Read more

Winners announced at annual Pierce City Car Show Saturday
Monett Times, September 1st

The car was one of 27 vintage vehicles shown at the South Park in Pierce City on Saturday. Murray Bishoff times-news@monett-times. ... The Committee Choice Award was won by Myra Markley's 1956 Ford Thunderbird. Clarence Gaston's 1956 Chevrolet Bel ...Read more

Budget-friendly fun: Last Fling, Oktoberfest, Street Dance and more
Chicago Daily Herald, September 1st

Classic car buffs won't want to miss the 14th Annual Ford, Mustang, Shelby, Cobra and T-Bird Show at the Volo Auto Museum, 27582 N. Volo Village Road, Volo. A cookout, music, ice cream and more are also on tap. Trophies and other awards will be given ...Read more

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

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