RB Collection

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Ford Thunderbird

Year: 1958|Ext: Winterset White|Int: Two-Tone Turquoise |

RB Collection is very pleased to offer this beautifully presented 1958 Ford Thunderbird coupe. It wears an older but very well-preserved restoration to factory original specification. A three-owner car, it was most recently part of the collection of a highly respected expert in the classic car hobby, and includes comprehensive documentation, including photos and receipts from the restoration, original invoice from 1958, handbooks, and factory-issued service information. Finished in correct Winterset White, it is a fine and tidy example that is worthy of casual show or regular enjoyment. The body is very straight with high quality bodywork and paint. Panel gaps are very good all around, and it retains all original and correct exterior trim. Brilliant and stylish, we just love the looks of this ’58 T-Bird. Nearly all of the exterior chrome has been restored, while a few items such as the badges appear to be well-preserved originals. In either case, the chrome is straight, free of damage properly fitted. The car sits level and proud on original steel wheels with full turbine-style wheel covers. The tires are proper wide-whitewall bias ply, returning factory correct ride and handling.

The crisp and attractive white paint is complemented by a very-1950’s two-tone Turquoise interior. Turquoise seats with white inserts are in excellent condition front and rear. The two-tone theme continues on the door panels and quarter panels, which all are in good condition and appear clean, tidy and well maintained. Correct nylon loop carpet is in good order as well, with period correct rubber mats protecting the driver’s carpet. It is nicely equipped with an original radio, power windows and Ford’s “Magic Aire” ventilation system. The bright alloy trim on the glovebox door, instrument bezel and radio faceplate is all in excellent condition and certainly a highlight of the highly stylized interior. The white headliner is excellent with no damage or sagging. The trunk is correctly detailed with correct pattern liners and original style spare wheel.

Mechanically, this Thunderbird is very strong. The 352 4V engine resides in a tidy engine bay and is properly detailed the correct colors, decals and hardware. The engine runs very strong and exhibits no signs of smoke or leaks. It is backed by the optional Ford-O-Matic transmission that provides smooth takeaway and positive shifts. Power steering and power brakes allow for effortless, relaxed cruising.

The well-documented and very correct restoration was rewarded with a coveted AACA National First Prize Senior award in 2004; a well-deserved achievement. It remains very handsome, in very clean yet usable condition; a very fine driving example of the first of the Square Birds. The sale includes extensive documentation, a photographic record of the restoration, spare keys, original owner’s manual, and workshop manuals. Please contact Alex Ruozzi for more information on this or any other fine automobile in our inventory.
  

Ford’s original two-seat Thunderbird first appeared in 1955 in response Chevrolet’s sporty new Corvette. While the Corvette did its best to appeal to sports car enthusiasts, it struggled with poor sales, so Ford wisely chose an alternative route for its own foray into the two-seater market. With the Thunderbird, the idea of the “Personal Sports Car” was born. It was less overtly sporty than a Corvette or a Jaguar XK, and was loaded with luxury equipment and stylish flair at the expense of outright performance. Ford struck a chord with buyers and the new Thunderbird sold remarkably well, with numbers far outstripping Corvette sales for all three years of its first iteration.

In spite of the sales success of the two-seat T-Bird, Ford boss Robert McNamara felt they could do better with a more versatile car. He pushed to replace Ford’s baby sporty car with a larger four-seat coupe and convertible that would still offer all of the style of the small T-bird but with room for four in a luxurious cabin. The new Thunderbird would share an all-new unibody platform with the Lincoln Continental. The styling was a radical departure from the previous generation, with highly stylized surfaces, fins, scoops and chrome. Nicknamed “squarebird” for the coupe’s squared off roofline, the new Thunderbird was longer, lower and wider than ever, yet still retained a sporty and stylish edge. Ford’s robust and proven 352 cubic inch “Y-Block” V8 provided the thrust, and when mated to the Ford-O-Matic transmission, smooth, unencumbered cruising. Any and all sportscar pretenses of the original Thunderbird were shed in favor of style and luxury. As sales figures came in, the rebooted Thunderbird proved a hit. In the first year, 37,892 were sold, followed by massive jumps in the following years to a high point of 92,843 in 1960. Mr. McNamara’s vision for the future of the Thunderbird proved to be spot-on.

  • Great restoration to factory original specification
  • Three-owner car
  • Two-Tone Turquoise interior
  • Fully documented