1956 Ford Thunderbird Convertible
Up for sale is a beautiful red 1956 Ford Thunderbird nearly fully restored. The continental kit was removed by a previous owner and the bumper replaced with a 1955 Thunderbird bumper. Other than that it is original. Red exterior/black and white interior, all exterior chrome re-finished, new tires, recently rebuilt engine and transmission. Lots of new parts: radiator (with additional electric cooling fan) fuel pump, brake master cylinder (manual brakes), wheel cylinders, brake pads, plugs/wires, fuel tank, water pump, hoses, belts, rebuilt carburetor, power steering unit and alternator. Runs great as a daily driver and with a little work could be a show car. Optional 312 cubic inch 225 hp engine with automatic transmission, engine dress up kit and Thunderbird AM FM cassette radio. The car has manual brakes but could be fitted with a power brake booster. Truth in advertising, the fuel gage currently does not work (sending unit), the clock has not worked since I have owned the car (I have not investigated why)and the wiper switch needs replacing. It also has an aftermarket temperature gage below the dash. I recently disconnected the speedometer because it was making noise, I believe it needs a new cable and casing (both of which I have) and will include with the car. I haven't had the time to run these cables yet THESE 1956 FOR THUNDERBIRDS ARE LOVED BY FAMOUS ACTORS/ENTERTAINERS SUCH AS FRANK SINATRA MARILYN MONROE, HOWARD HUGHES, PETER LAWFORD! AND MANY MORE! THESE RARE AND FINE AUTO MOBILES WERE PRODUCED BY FORD MOTOR COMPANY IN 1956, THERE WAS A PRODUCTION RUN OF 15345 THUNDERBIRDS IN 1956, AND SADLY NOT MANY LEFT TODAY! With the success of its first year, Ford made only a few significant changes to the 1956 model. One of those was the addition of an New cowl side vents along with new glass wind deflectors make for improved passenger ventilation and greater driving comfort. Advanced features of the new high torque Thunderbird Y-8 engines for 1956 include high compression, short-stroke design, new Double Twin-Jet carburetor with integrated automatic choke and a new 12-volt ignition system. The Ford Thunderbird began life in February 1953 in direct response to Chevrolet's new sports car, the Corvette, which was publicly unveiled in prototype form just a month before. Under rapid development, the Thunderbird went from idea to prototype in about a year, being unveiled to the public at the Detroit Auto Show on February 20, 1954. Like the Corvette, the Thunderbird had a two-seat coupe/convertible layout. Production of the Thunderbird began later on in 1954 on September 9 with the car beginning sales as a 1955 model on October 22, 1954. Though sharing some design characteristics with other Fords of the time, such as single, circular headlamps and tail lamps and modest tail fins, the Thunderbird was sleeker and more athletic in shape, and had features like a faux hood scoop and a 150 mph speedometer hinting a higher performance nature that other Fords didn't possess. Mechanically though, the Thunderbird could trace its roots to other mainstream Fords. The Thunderbird's 102.0 inches wheelbase frame was mostly a shortened version of that used in other Fords while the car's standard 292 cubic in Y-Block V8 came from Ford's Mercury division. Though inspired by, and positioned directly against, the Corvette, Ford billed the Thunderbird as a Personal Luxury Car putting a greater emphasis on the car's comfort and convenience features rather than its inherent sportiness. Designations aside, the Thunderbird sold exceptionally well in its first year. In fact, the Thunderbird outsold the Corvette by more than 23-to-one for 1955 with 16,155 Thunderbirds sold against 700 Corvettes With the Thunderbird considered a success, few changes were made to the car for 1956. The most notable change was moving the spare tire to a continental-style rear bumper in order to make more storage room in the trunk. However, the addition of the weight at the rear caused steering issues. The spare was moved back to the trunk in 1957 when the trunk was restyled and made slightly larger. Among the few other changes were new paint colors, the addition of circular porthole windows in the fiberglass roof to improve rearward visibility, and a 312 cu in Y-block! V8 making 215 horsepower when mated to a 3-speed manual transmission or 225 horsepower when mated to a Ford-O-Matic 2-speed automatic transmission; this transmission featured a "low gear", which was accessible only via the gear selector. When in "Drive", it was a 2-speed automatic transmission (similar to Chevrolet's Powerglide). The Ford Thunderbird has been the preferred mode of transportation for many celebrities over the years. Jayne Mansfield may have had her pink Cadillac, but for many notable personalities and celebrities, anything other than a T-Bird was simply unacceptable.