The 1957 Thunderbird is an American automotive icon and an instant reminder of the days of winged spaceship inspired cars of the 1950’s and 60’s. With that being said, bringing this car back to its original paint and interior colors is a no brainer. This same theme was carried throughout the car, from its engine to wheels and tires. With 245 horsepower and its light weight (for the time) of 3100 pounds, it was a quick car (also for the time). This combination makes for a perfect cruising machine even to this day and well into the future.

In the early 1950’s, Ford and Chevrolet were racing to launch a two seater roadster sports car to the American market and the Thunderbird and Corvette would take center stage for a faceoff. However, the original concept of the Thunderbird was far from what would be released in 1955, whereas the Chevrolet EX-122 concept would be nearly identical to the production corvette and would release earlier in 1953. The Thunderbird was the early winner, however, with their standard 312 cubic inch Y block V8 and 3 speed manual transmission or automatic transmission over the Corvette’s standard passenger car based inline six engine and automatic transmission. These first three years would be called the “baby birds” as the model would grow in size from there on out. This 1957 was one of 21,380 produced that year and came with a 245 horsepower V8 and optional 4 barrel carburetor. For comfort items the car was well optioned with power seats, windows, brakes, and steering as well as the optional Dial-o-matic automatic transmission.

The restoration of this car started at another shop who stripped some of the car down to bare metal before the project was abandoned. It was then sent to our shop to be finished and for us to fix what they had begun. Several poorly executed patches were made and many hidden rust areas were left untouched. Once this work was complete, final finish work and primer was laid down ahead of this car’s original paint color, Ford Colonial White. Under the hood got the same treatment of factory colors on the engine and associated parts. The interior was also done up to perfect factory appearance with original black and white upholstery. Even the trunk was given the original “Burtex” plaid style trunk mat seen in many 50s and 60s cars. Overall, the car’s build was done to honor the car’s heritage of staying factory correct over the last 65 years.

Before and Afters

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