1957 FORD ‘E-TYPE’ CONVERTIBLE
Engine: E-type V8
Displacement: 312 cu. in./5.11 L
Horsepower: 270 hp at 4,800 RPM
Torque: 336 ft. lbs. at 3,400 RPM
Transmission: 4-speed manual
A Little History
The first Thunderbird made its debut as a concept car at the 1954 Detroit Auto Show. Ford was testing out the waters in the sports car world, as Chevrolet had also recently released the first Corvette with moderate success. The first Thunderbird chassis left the factory for the 1955 model year and were already considered to be better engineered than their Chevrolet counterparts, due to their all-steel bodies in comparison with the fiberglass bodies found on early Corvettes.
The decision to begin production on a small, two-seater sports car was a very risky move by Ford, as the public was deeply enamored with very large and over-the-top automobiles at the time. However, Ford engineers noticed the growing trend of war veterans importing many of the stylish sports cars being driven around Europe at the time, and decided to begin designing their own domestic variation. The Thunderbird was so easily accepted by the public because it strongly resembled other current Ford models.
Retrospectively, releasing a small sports car in the middle of the 1950s went very much against the grain at the time. Other manufacturers were making cars bigger and bigger, whereas Ford went smaller. Then, just as competitors started following in Fords footsteps, Ford took another gamble and released the 1958 Thunderbird as a four-seater only, which did extremely well on the market. In total, there were 21,380 Thunderbirds sold in 1957, each with one of three V8 engine options: D-, E- or F-Type. The vast majority were the D-Type V8, while 1,363 were E-Type, and just 197 were F-Type. There are only an estimated 40 F-Types left in existence today.
Did you know?
The color of this car is Starmist Blue. It features a removable hardtop, but has not soft-cloth option.
In the first year of production, the Thunderbird outsold the Corvette 24 to 1. Only 674 Corvettes were sold in 1955, almost causing Chevrolet to entirely discontinue the line!
The small, circular windows on either side are called portholes, in homage to to their resemblance of submarine and ship windows.