Cars > Ford > Ford Thunderbird 1956 - Convertible American Dream Car

By Ketan Patel


Ford Thunderbird 1956 - Convertible American Dream Car

The Ford Thunderbird showcases the true character and classic design cues of a true American Sports Car. After 55 years since it made the debut, owners would like to commemorate the 55th Anniversary. Nearly 300 Ford Thunderbirds and their owners will be heading to Dearborn, Mich., to honor the classic car with a car show at Ford World Headquarters on Saturday, June 26. Drivers will be coming from more than 30 states, with several coming from Canada.

FORD THUNDERBIRD OWNERS HEAD TO DEARBORN TO CELEBRATE 55 YEARS OF HISTORY

  • The Ford Thunderbird is celebrating its 55th anniversary this year, and owners from across the country are coming together to celebrate the classic car
  • More than 300 Thunderbirds will be on display, with owners coming from 30 states and Canada, at Ford World Headquarters from noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday, June 26
  • The Ford Thunderbird, an American classic, became available to customers on Oct. 22, 1954, and went on to sell more than 4.2 million

DEARBORN, Mich., June 25, 2010 – The Ford Thunderbird is known for its classic design cues and the character of a true American sports car. But it also has 55 years of history to go along with that, and owners across the country are coming together to celebrate.

Nearly 300 Ford Thunderbirds and their owners will be heading to Dearborn, Mich., to honor the 55th anniversary of the classic car with a car show at Ford World Headquarters on Saturday, June 26. Drivers will be coming from more than 30 states, with several coming from Canada.

“The Ford Thunderbird is one of the most iconic products in the history of the automobile,” said Jim Farley, Ford’s group vice president of Global Marketing. “Each generation of the Thunderbird had a unique personality that ushered in a new generation of breakthroughs in design or technology.”

The car show will kick off at noon and run until 4 p.m., with Thunderbirds from every year of production on display. The event is hosted by The Water Wonderland Thunderbird Club, The American Road Thunderbird Club and The Thunderbird Nest. “We appreciate the passion so many have for the iconic Thunderbird and the Ford brand. The emotional connection that our owners have with Ford has always differentiated us,” Farley added.

Making of a classic
The Ford Thunderbird went on sale Oct. 22, 1954 – starting a legend that would grow with each generation of Thunderbird cars. Since then, the Thunderbird has included classic two-seaters, roadsters, convertibles and four-door models, as well as hardtops and sedans – more than
4.2 million of them.

For restoration information
Visit the Ford restoration parts website at www.fordrestorationparts.com to find parts for classic Thunderbirds. Select the model in which you’re interested to load a list of suppliers with contact information.

The Ford Thunderbird is a car manufactured in the United States by the Ford Motor Company. It entered production for the 1955 model year as a two-seater sporty car; unlike the superficially similar (and slightly earlier) Chevrolet Corvette, the Thunderbird was never sold as a full-blown sports car. Ford described it as a personal luxury car, a description which named a new market segment. In 1958, the Thunderbird gained a second row of seats for greater practicality. Succeeding generations became larger and more luxurious, until the line was downsized in 1977 and again in 1980. Sales were good until the 1990s, when large 2-door coupes became unpopular; production ceased after 1997. In 2002, a revived 2-seat model was launched, was available through the end of the 2005 model year.

Genesis

Three men are generally credited with creating the original Thunderbird: Lewis D. Crusoe, a retired GM executive lured out of retirement by Henry Ford II; George Walker, chief stylist and a Ford vice-president; and Frank Hershey, a Ford designer. Crusoe and Walker met in France in October 1951. Walking in the Grand Palais in Paris, Crusoe pointed at a sports car and asked Walker, 'Why can’t we have something like that?'

Walker promptly telephoned Ford's HQ in Dearborn and told designer Frank Hershey about the idea. Hershey took the idea and began working on the vehicle. The concept was for a two-passenger open car, with a target weight of 2525 lb (1145 kg), an Interceptor V8 engine and a top speed of over 100 mph (160 km/h). Crusoe saw a painted clay model on May 18, 1953, which corresponded closely to the final car; he gave the car the go-ahead in September after comparing it with current European trends.

Comments:

Login to add comment

Ford Thunderbird 1956 - Convertible American Dream Car Pictures


Ford Thunderbird 1956 - Convertible American Dream Car
Prev 1 of 16 Next

Ford Thunderbird 1956 - Convertible American Dream Car Videos