Lot #42: 1957 Ford Thunderbird "E-Code" Convertible
An amazingly restored, multiple show winning example; Two Tops
- Rare, multiple concours-winning "E-Code" Thunderbird
- Professionally restored by marque specialist Phil McCurdy
- Exceedingly rare in trim-tag-original Coral Sand paint color
- Complete with both a convertible top and "porthole" hardtop
- Beautifully presented and highly equipped with desirable options
- Limited test and sorting mileage since completion; show-quality
- Offered from a well-known Northwestern collector
|Engine Number:||Y Block|
|Estimated Value:||$100,000.00||-||$135,000.00 (Selling at Well Below Estimated Value)|
*Post restoration mileage; TMU
Multiple concours-winning example of the rare and powerful dual-carbureted "E-Code" 1957 Thunderbird, offered from a discerning and well-known Northwestern collector. Rarer still in its factory-specified Coral Sand paint finish, confirmed by the firewall tag. A professional restoration by noted 1955-1957 specialist Phil McCurdy. Equipped with a desirable 3-speed/overdrive transmission, it features a wide range of desirable factory options and with its limited mileage, remains fresh and ready to return to the concours field!
Specifications: 312 cid V-8 engine, twin Holley four-barrel carburetors, 270 hp, three-speed manual transmission with overdrive, independent front suspension with coil springs, live rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 102"
First shown at the February 1954 Detroit Auto Show and available for purchase that October, the two-seat Thunderbird convertible crowned a very successful year in which Ford sold nearly 1.5 million cars - the second-best in company history. Conceived as a sporting, stylish and well-equipped "personal car" rather than a harder-edged sports car, the Thunderbird was a decidedly more sophisticated alternative to Chevrolet's early and somewhat haphazard fiberglass-bodied Corvette, with its six-cylinder engine and side curtains.
Low-slung, cleanly styled, and of all-metal construction, the T-Bird came with a powerful 292 cubic-inch V-8, removable hardtop, and a wide range of standard and optional features. A total of 16,155 examples were sold for 1955, as opposed to just 700 Corvettes that year. The 1956 Thunderbird was relatively unchanged, although the hard top gained round porthole-style rear-quarter windows, the spare tire was changed to an external "Continental" mounting for additional trunk space, and the enlarged 312 cubic-inch 'Thunderbird Special' V-8 engine optional. Curiously, sales dipped slightly for 1956 to 15,631, partly the result of global instability the oil-supply shocks of the Suez Crisis.
Further refined for 1957, the final two-seater Thunderbirds are considered by many today as the most beautiful and desirable of all. The front bumper was smoothed out and dropped down low at the center, the trunk extended to accommodate the spare wheel that was now repositioned inside, and a pair of tasteful canted tailfins flowing back to the big round jet exhaust-style taillights. Smaller-diameter 14-inch wheels visually lowered the car. Engine choices for 1957 ranged from the 212-hp, 292 cubic-inch Thunderbird V-8 with two-barrel carburetion and 312 cubic-inch Thunderbird Special V-8 delivering 245 hp with a single Holley four-barrel carburetor to the 270-horsepower "E-Code" Thunderbird Super V-8 engine with 9.7:1 compression sporting twin Holley four-barrel carburetors, a 285-hp racing special, and even a McCulloch-supercharged, 300-hp unit. Sales rose briskly to 21,380 for 1957, but it would in fact be the final model year for the two-seater Thunderbird until 2002. Of all Thunderbird variants, the "E" Series or "E-Bird" was particularly rare, with some experts citing production of as few as 1,499 examples for 1957. Today, the original Thunderbird's remains an automotive and cultural icon, recently celebrated by the U.S. Postal Service as part of the "America on the Move: 50s Sporty Cars" commemorative postage-stamp issue of 2005.
This "E-Code" 1957 Thunderbird was acquired in 2009 by the current owner/collector, who commissioned a complete, frame-off restoration performed to concours standards by Northwestern 1955-1957 Thunderbird specialist Phil McCurdy. Striking in its factory-specified Coral Sand, as confirmed by the data plate on the firewall, this Thunderbird is one of the rarest of all with only 1.7 per cent so finished for 1957. Features and options include a 3-speed transmission with overdrive, power-operated brakes, steering, and windows, back-up lights, a Classic Town & Country radio, Dial-a-Matic seat, fender skirts, and both tops including a "porthole" hardtop.
Following completion of the restoration work in 2012, the Thunderbird was shown with great success, winning Gold and Senior Status at the Memphis CTCI (Classic Thunderbird Club International) National event in 2012. At the 2013 National event in San Jose, this Thunderbird garnered the Gold Medallion and Excellence in Authenticity award, with the latter award granted only to those few cars scoring in excess of 290 out of 300 points on the CTCI judging platform. In addition, the judges at San Jose noted this Thunderbird's engine compartment was "perfectly prepared." Since then, the Thunderbird's only showing was at the 2014 Forest Grove Concours d'Elegance, where it was First in the Thunderbird class and the winner of the prestigious President's Award. Only limited test miles have been covered since the restoration was completed and this extremely rare Thunderbird remains ready for continued showing at the most desirable concours events in judged competition. If you are looking to add a first-generation two-seat Thunderbird to your collection, this high-specification example from the final 1957 model year is one of the most desirable and certainly one of the finest available.
|Bid Date||Bid Amount||Bidder|
|Aug 20, 2016 - 9:45:22 PM||USD 67,000.00||i6658|
|Aug 20, 2016 - 9:33:09 PM||USD 66,000.00||i6681|
|Aug 20, 2016 - 4:30:42 PM||USD 65,000.00||i6483|
|Aug 20, 2016 - 4:30:42 PM||USD 64,000.00||i6259|
|Aug 20, 2016 - 3:06:11 PM||USD 63,000.00||i6259|
|Aug 20, 2016 - 3:06:11 PM||USD 62,000.00||i6584|
|Aug 20, 2016 - 2:41:28 PM||USD 61,000.00||i6584|
|Aug 20, 2016 - 2:41:28 PM||USD 60,000.00||i6532|
|Aug 20, 2016 - 2:40:10 PM||USD 58,000.00||i6584|
|Aug 20, 2016 - 2:40:10 PM||USD 57,000.00||i6532|
|Aug 20, 2016 - 2:38:59 PM||USD 56,000.00||i6584|
|Aug 20, 2016 - 2:38:59 PM||USD 55,000.00||i6532|
|Aug 20, 2016 - 2:38:17 PM||USD 54,000.00||i6584|
|Aug 20, 2016 - 2:38:17 PM||USD 53,000.00||i6532|
|Aug 20, 2016 - 10:36:35 AM||USD 52,000.00||i6584|
|Aug 20, 2016 - 10:36:35 AM||USD 51,000.00||i6259|
|Aug 20, 2016 - 10:35:30 AM||USD 46,000.00||i6584|
|Aug 20, 2016 - 10:35:30 AM||USD 45,000.00||i6259|
|Aug 20, 2016 - 10:33:55 AM||USD 38,000.00||i6584|
|Aug 20, 2016 - 10:33:55 AM||USD 37,000.00||i6259|
|Aug 20, 2016 - 10:11:47 AM||USD 31,000.00||i6584|
|Aug 20, 2016 - 10:11:47 AM||USD 30,000.00||i6545|
|Aug 19, 2016 - 2:04:48 PM||USD 10,000.00||i6584|