The coil springs in the rear were replaced with a Hotchkiss drive unit and parallel leaf springs. Succeeding generations became larger until the line was downsized in 1977, again in 1980, and once again in 1983. A substantial component of the weight reduction was in the drivetrain, where a replaced the heavier V8s of previous years and proved to be an outstanding performer. The exhaust pipes exited through twin bumper guards bolted to the rear bumper. While the hydraulics are not often a cause for trouble, the electrical relays are known to fail. To power the new Thunderbird, the V6 and 5. While only 10,000 were planned, 16,155 were sold in 1955.
If you have wanted a baby bird that is of the highest quality this beauty is for you. A Limited-Edition of 2000 'Principality of Monaco' Landau model were created. Frameless door glass was no longer used; a chrome metal frame was used, making this car more like a two-door sedan. Acknowledging increasing fuel prices and more stringent federal emissions standards, a new, down-sized Thunderbird would appear for 1977. Kelsey-Hayes wire wheels and trim completed the ensemble.
Other, even more powerful versions of the 312 cu in 5. The Lead-Up to the Thunderbird Prior to the Thunderbird, the Vega arrived in 1953. This design reduced available trunk space when the top was down. The Turbo Coupe was replaced in 1989 with the Super Coupe, a 3. With the top down and the trunk lid lowered, there is no sight of the soft top.
The 1957 season actually had three extra months of production because the 1958 models were not ready to be sold. Compared to the previous generation Thunderbird, the new car lost nearly 8 inches of overall length at 217. Unveiled to the public at the Detroit Auto Show, it was embraced by the public and was immediately and warmly received. The big news was under the hood with versions of the 292 and 312 cubic-inch engines being offered. Only 145 examples were produced with the 'M-Code' option. Even so, many feel that the Thunderbird was a direct response to the then-new Chevrolet Corvette, as that prototype was unveiled a month before.
The naturally aspirated V6 came with an 4-speed as standard equipment. It came equipped with a Motorcraft 2150 2V carburator. Along with a new, more rigid construction was new styling, including quad headlights, more prominent tailfins, a bolder chrome grille, and a larger, though non-functional, hood scoop. The body now sat atop of a uni-body frame. The square and angular design quickly made its way to the rest of the Ford model line. The 312ci V8 became the Thunderbird's standard engine, and now produced 245hp. In the part of model year 1958 that the car was available, sales were 37,892 units, outselling the previous model year 16,000 units.
The ninth generation began in 1983 and continued until 1988. The 1957 Thunderbird was the last two-seater Ford sold until the 1982 car. From its introduction in 1955 to its final phaseout in 2005, Ford produced over 4. The size of the wheelbase and length were increased. Unlike hardtop models that utilized a conventional key-secured, forward hinged design, the convertibles combined the trunk opening and closing within the convertible top operating system.
The 1983-1988 bodied cars routinely broke the 200 mph barrier, in one case during a qualifying session set the record of the fastest lap in stock car history at 44. Ventilation was improved with the addition of side vents. For 1959 Ford began offering leather seats in the Thunderbird. To prevent overlap between the two cars, Ford's response was to move the Thunderbird upmarket. A Ford stylist who had lived in the southwest submitted the Thunderbird name. The contrasting black vinyl power top is in good shape. Ford went ahead with a redesign for the Thunderbird to debut in 1961.
Though based on the like the previous Thunderbird, the new Thunderbird featured a radically sleeker, more aerodynamic body and a slightly shorter wheelbase of 104. In 1958, the Thunderbird gained a second row of seats. 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. Ford made the decision to continue to make the Thunderbird smaller and lighter. This generation grew in every conceivable way, thus gaining it the 'Big Bird' name.
Another view showing the same cars. The front grille is in very good condition showing only minor signs of wear. Styling changes continued in 1964 with square features replacing many of the round items. It would grow larger and more powerful over the next few years. The horsepower improved to 155 on the Turbo Coupe. The most noticeable change was in the front where there was now a large prominent projection resembling a bird or eagle's beak that was in line with long angular lines in the hood. It was a luxury hardtop version that featured a vinyl roof.