This particular car is a 1955 model year that was first registered in 1956. This car was delivered new to Mr.Polak from Aerdenhout in the Netherlands in 1956 and has an extensive service record haling back to 1972. In 1993 the car was professionally body-off restored by Kees Versluijs over a period of 2-to-3 years, and the 292 cu in (4.8 L) V8 from Ford's Mercury division, was rebuilt. After this the car was used for occasional drives and kept in a warm garage. The car only had 4 owners in it’s entire life and was recently treated to new bumpers and an exterior treatment. Finished in its original Thunderbird blue colour combination it is a lust for the eye and really brings back the great days of the Thunderbird.
The Ford Thunderbird began life in 1953 as a direct response to Chevrolet's new sports car, the Corvette. Under rapid development, the Thunderbird went from idea to prototype in about a year, being unveiled to the public at the Detroit Auto Show in 1954. It was a two-seat design available with a detachable glass-fibre hard top and a fabric soft top. Though sharing some design characteristics with other Fords of the time, such as single, circular headlamps and tail lamps and modest tailfins, the Thunderbird was sleeker and more athletic in shape, and had features like a hood scoop and a 150 mph (240 km/h) speedometer hinting at a higher performance nature that other Fords didn't possess.
Ford positioned the Thunderbird as an upscale model and is credited in developing a new market segment, the personal luxury car, by adding a rear seat to the Thunderbird. While initially controversial, it marked the creation of a market segment eventually known as personal luxury vehicles. An American interpretation of the grand tourer, personal luxury cars were built with a higher emphasis on driving comfort and convenience features over handling and high-speed performance. Though inspired by, and positioned directly against, the Corvette, Ford billed the Thunderbird as a personal car, putting a greater emphasis on the car's comfort and convenience features rather than its inherent sportiness. The Thunderbird sold exceptionally well in its first year. In fact, the Thunderbird outsold the Corvette by more than 23-to-one for 1955 with 16,155 Thunderbirds sold against 700 Corvettes.
1956 Ford Thunderbird
Do you want to have a close look at this Ford Thunderbird yourself? Please buy a ticket for the museum and visit us or make an appointment by entering your data in the contact form below. We will contact you as soon as possible.