POMONA, CA, USA
Up for auction is this 1956 Ford Thunderbird, finished in Colonial white with a white fabric convertible top over a light blue interior, powered by the 312 cubic-inch Y-block V8 running through the Ford-O-Matic two-speed automatic transmission, showing 47,650 miles. This car was previously bid to $50,000 but the buyer failed to pay.
This first-generation example of the Thunderbird is an exceptionally clean example. Ford’s response to the Corvette was this two-seat personal coupe, a configuration Ford immediately gave up on after three years by going for a larger four seat setup for the second generation. Ford only came back to the two-seat configuration for the short-lived reintroduction of the T-bird in the early 2000’s, which did its best to be a modern interpretation of this original.
Owned by one family since 1959, with that owner passing it down to his son, the car has been in Southern California its entire life. It was a daily driver for the father, a 15 mile round trip, and then used by the son for two years to get to school. The color spec is original, but this car received both an interior and exterior refurbishment six years ago, and has been stored in the interim. Recent invoices and receipts for work performed are included in the sale. With a simple and extensive known history, this is an excellent example of the first-generation T-Bird, worthy of any collection.
The Colonial White exterior of this Thunderbird is in excellent condition. The refinish is glossy and has even color tone across all body panels, which have even and tight gaps with no issues. The white fabric convertible top is taut with no stains or tears in the fabric, and has a plastic rear window free from haze or discoloration. The front is clean with no pitting or stone chips, with chrome bumpers in excellent visual condition with no impact damage. Out back, the external spare tire is fully functional and in excellent condition, and all chrome and lenses are clean with no fade or discoloration. Down the sides, the doors and fenders are free from dings or dents, with all badging in great shape and properly positioned.
The only damage to this Thunderbird involved a minor incident in 1974, which required replacing the driver side front fender, which was repaired at the time.
The light blue interior of the Thunderbird was refurbished in 2015, and is in excellent condition. The carpeting is thick and clean, with no discoloration. The seats are firm and free from wear or wrinkling. All touch points, including armrests, steering wheel and shifter, look brand new with no dirt or wear. The dash top includes the extra color coded padding on the passenger side, and is clean and free from warps or cracks. All trim and chrome on the dash is in similarly excellent condion, both cosmetically good and with all functions operating properly. Additions from stock include the radio, which looks period correct but is a retro Bluetooth model for full phone pairing, installed in July of this year. Below the radio is a cup holder upholstered in color coded vinyl, nicely integrated into the classic interior.
The 312 cubic-inch Y-block V8 has 400 miles on it since being mechanically refurbished in July of this year, and along with the 2-speed automatic transmission, is in excellent driving condition. The engine bay is clean, with fresh hoses and wiring, and nice additions of chrome with the air cleaner and the radiator shroud. For improved roadworthiness, new power drum brakes and new tires were also installed this past July. Underneath, the clean chassis shows the benefits of its Southern California climate, with the newer parts evident, along with some mild road grime but nothing needing mechanical or cosmetic refurbishment.
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