1957 Ford Thunderbird Convertible, Palm Springs California Beauty

Price: US $16,100.00 Item location: Fallbrook, California, United States
  • Condition: Used
  • Make: Ford
  • Model: Thunderbird
  • Type: Convertible
  • Trim: Convertible
  • Year: 1957
  • Mileage: 23,970
  • Color: Willow Green/White
  • Engine size: 312/245 HP
  • Number of cylinders: 8
  • Transmission: Automatic
  • Drive type: RWD
  • Interior color: White/Green
  • Vehicle Title: Clear
  • Want to buy? Contact seller!

1957 Ford Thunderbird

This 1957 Ford T Bird Convertible with Power Steering and Brakes was originally delivered to the San Jose Sales district (Location Code 72), and was sold at Ben Cowan Ford/Edsel on Highway 111 in Palm Springs, which is the area in which this car has lived it's life. This is not a restored car. However, it has been amazingly well maintained in which very few expenses were spared. It is presently owned by a senior couple who are finding it increasingly difficult to get in and out of the car, but have kept it lovingly garaged and maintained in Yucaipa, Ca. We feel that they are the fourth owners of the vehicle since 1957. We have an extensive log of receipts dating back to 1986, although the car maintains many of it's original parts and is still a fairly original car. The receipts record bodywork being completed on the car on two separate occasions described on the receipts as "Fender Repair". The car has had one strip and repaint done in October of 1986 by Five Star rated Redwood Auto Body in Healdsburg, Ca. (Still in business), at a cost of $3,486, (Code J, Willow Green) The paint was done beautifully back then and still shows very well today. It is more than likely an Acrylic Enamel. It is no over-restored show-car, but the paint has a glasslike finish, will stand tall at any formal/informal automotive event, and still attracts a lot of attention even here in Southern Cal, known for it's collector car communities. As the pictures show, the stainless and chrome on the car is still in great shape. Overall, it's a great looking exterior with typical paint wear and blemishes, but absolutely nothing glaring or detracting. Quite frankly, the car would benefit greatly by a very thorough and extensive detailing including a paint treatment with clay bar, compound, polish, and wax.
The interior is O.K. but presentable. However, keep in mind that this is a Desert car. The Desert is brutal on rubber seals, padding, and generally all interior components. With that said... The interior had been redone at one time or another, including carpet, seat upholstery, and dash pad, which should probably all be redone again someday. The carpet is actually still very nice. The Dash instrument panel, all instruments and controls are beautiful looking, including the chrome bezels.The Heater blower, Cig Lighter, Wipers, all operate correctly. The clock does not operate, and the speedo/cable is noisy, the speedo needle bounces and will require servicing. Otherwise, the instruments all work along with the indicator lamps. The steering wheel was restored a few years back and looks NOS. The door panels appear to be the originals. The Town and Country radio does not seem to operate but we've never looked further into as to why. The headliner is showing it's age and has become extremely brittle. The single White Opera window hardtop is in good shape and the top sling will be included in the purchase. We believe all the glass to be original except the passenger side glass, and all glass is in good shape. Although, the Wind Wings edges are very slightly delaminating, and the drivers side lower Wing hinge is shot.
The trunk as depicted in the pics, is pretty much original. The trunk carpet and panels are the original from the factory and are actually still in reasonably good shape. If they were replaced the trunk would look cleaner, but they wouldn't be the originals. Due to the fact that we feel the trunk interior is factory original, it has remained untouched. Pulling back the trunk floor carpet exposes the original factory paint and remaining carpet spray adhesive used at the factory some 60 years ago.
The drivetrain, especially the engine, is Stellar. The original 312/245hp. 4 Barrel motor was rebuilt back in June of 1991 by JD Engine Rebuilders in Cathedral City, Ca. The rebuild was pretty extensive based on the invoice totaling $2,502, and the services description including: Main, Rod and Cam Bearings, Pistons, Cam, Lifters, complete valve job, head resurfacing, etc. Based on the invoices, I would probably say that the premature engine failure seemed to be due to an overheating event. Considering it's often 110-120 degrees in Palm Springs and the surrounding areas, this could be considered somewhat understandable. This engine runs like a Swiss watch, runs cool and has a LOT of guts, and it's the original motor to the car. The two speed automatic trans shifts firmly, and operates like new.
Speaking of receipts... We have receipts for the replacement of brakes including drums, wheel cylinders, hoses, hardware kits, and shoes, ($1300 in 1992), Axle bearings, seals and gaskets in 1997 ($700.), Carb, Master cylinders, P.S. Pump rebuilt, Motor Mounts, etc.The list of maintenance items goes on and on. This vehicle was very, very well maintained, and it's all well documented. The invoices we have date back to 1986, and all have the same odometer readings. The odometer is showing 23,970 miles. We can't confirm the mileage, but we don't consider it to be that far off. The car is far too solid and has way too many original parts to have lot's of miles on it, also one must consider the fact that vehicles without A/C in Palm Springs can only driven either early AM, or after sundown... If you're lucky.
This car is the perfect purchase for the 57' T-Bird enthusiast/driver who is looking for a nice example in overall good condition... A vehicle that is turn-key, beautifully presentable and can be driven anywhere, still retains many of it's original parts, but still has room to tinker and improve. This car is not a show car, but it can be shown... Proudly. The TLC repairs and/or maintenance that this car requires are not major or expensive to perform. However, it would allow one to improve the vehicle without a lot of knuckle busting or heavy repairs, while still enjoying the use of the car. Window seals, door seals, having the seat re-upholstered, radio, clock, waxing, cleaning, and polishing are all this car really needs. It needs NOTHING to turn the key and attend the local car cruise or informal car show, or just to take a drive to remind yourself of what it's like to get 10 MPG. :>)
I am acting as the seller of this vehicle for the owner. I did not inspect the car on a lift. I did not crawl all over the car with special lighting, a magnifying glass and clipboard. Although, I am attempting to provide you with an accurate overall description of the vehicle. If someone was to represent this car as a "Concours/Show Level" vehicle, I could pick the car apart forever... But it's not a show car and not deserving of that level of scrutiny. As you can probably tell, I wrote the ad and I call it like I see it. I can be extremely critical when need be, and I prefer any potential buyers are left with no surprises. After looking the car over, I felt the car deserved the Ebay exposure for the simple reason that it's a beautiful car. However, it's a 60 year old beautiful car that has been driven, it has a patina and it's not perfect. Although, an individual looking for an extremely solid, non-rotted, fairly original California Desert car would really appreciate what this vehicle is. It is a good, honest, unadulterated vehicle with many more enjoyable miles still left in her. I'm sure that the "T Bird Aficionados" could also scrutinize the car forever, but they could never escape the fact that this is a very nice example of a very sound California classic. Please feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns you may have. The reserve price has been set based on the above comments and is actually quite reasonable. Thank you for looking and best of luck with your bidding. We will also be promoting this vehicle using other advertising resources, so we do reserve the right to end this auction early should the vehicle sell outside of the Ebay community. Thank you for your understanding regarding same.