Live Auctions

29k Original Miles?: 1956 Ford Thunderbird

In reading the seller’s description, the song “Ebony and Ivory” by Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder popped into my head. While it’s not my favorite song by either of these legendary musicians, the ’56 Thunderbird is my favorite year of Ford’s iconic two-seater Baby ‘Birds. I’m making that musical reference because this ’56 originally left the factory on February 24, 1956 in Raven Black, but was repainted its current Colonial White by the second owner back in 1969. The current owner has had it for a year, has done some mechanical work and upgrades to it, says it runs great, and has used it mainly for car shows. He also claims it has 29,900 original miles and has spent its life pampered, well maintained, and garaged. Currently perched in Edmond, Oklahoma, this T-Bird is for sale here on eBay and as of this writing, had received 28 bids for $31,000. In addition to a lot of photographs, the seller has also provided a start-up and walk around video.

The seller is a family friend of the second owner, an elderly gentleman who pampered this ‘Bird for more than 50 years and only took it to car shows, antique car cruises, and parades. Over the last 30 years, it’s only been driven 1,600 miles, the rest of the time “she was in the air-conditioned garage being wiped with a diaper.” The 53-year-old repaint to Colonial White is described as in “fair-to-good” condition with noted cracking on the passenger side front fender. The chrome is said to have some limited pitting but looks good overall as does the trim and glass and lenses. It currently has a white convertible top and comes with a color-matching hardtop as well as the optional rear fender skirts.

I wish there were more detailed photos of the interior, which is described as being the original XA Code Black and White vinyl pleated interior. It was the last year for Ford’s distinctive Astra-Dial Control Panel and the seller has a photo showing where he disassembled, cleaned, inspected it, and installed new light bulbs. I’m not seeing any major issues with the dash, seats, or door panels. The bench seat looks like it could use a cleaning and I’m not sure why it has a 1957 Thunderbird horn ring emblem (a stylized Thunderbird instead of the Ford crest) on the black leather-wrapped steering wheel. Some gauges have also been added below the dash.


This ‘Bird was ordered with the optional 312-cubic-inch Y block V8 with a Holley four-barrel carb that could produce 215 horsepower @4600 rpm when new. It’s mated to a 3-speed manual transmission with overdrive. The seller is a licensed aircraft mechanic and has performed the majority of the maintenance on what he describes as “tasteful updates installed to make her daily drivable as well as safely drivable.” The list of work performed is spelled out in the ad and supported by photos and includes a rebuilding of the carburetor and braking system, dissembling, cleaning, flushing, inspecting, and replacing seals in the engine, transmission, and differential, replacing the vacuum lines, adding an electric choke and augmented fuel pump, as well as installing new shocks and a 12V battery. As a two-seater T-Bird lover, this one got my attention. If the 29,900 miles are original (there’s nothing mentioned in the ad about documentation), then this is one low-mileage, pampered survivor ‘Bird for sure. Happy ‘Bird Bidding!


  1. Howard A Member

    Oh great, I HATED that song, and am by no means racist, and no mention of the “T-Bird girl”( Suzanne Somers) in the white T-bird in American Graffiti? This, I feel, was the nicest rendition of a continental kit, not like the “park bench” of the ’60 Ford. It actually had a use, to save room in the trunk. It never ceases to amaze me, this and Corvette kind of started in the same gear, but went entirely different ways. While I like the bigger T-birds, going down that path, considering the success of the Corvette, I feel was one of Fords biggest blunders. This is a beautiful car, no doubt.

    Like 5
    • Robert Hagedorn

      In ’58, Ford destroyed the magic and the Bird was ruined. Imagine an obese bald eagle.

  2. Joe Haska

    I love these small birds, my best friend in High School had one. His was a 55 and not the best and this was 1960. If I was able to buy one ,this one would be the top of the list. The only thing I don’t like is the continental kit, I know that is specific to the 56, I just don’t like them. I would take it off and all the purists wold come unglued.

    Like 4
  3. jwaltb

    Not sure if it’s “original” if it’s been repainted in a different color. But the really scary part is the “battery tenderizer” the owner says it’s hooked up to when parked. I sure wouldn’t want one of those anywhere near a battery of mine!

    Like 2
    • TouringFordor

      I’d be afraid of the “breaking system” also.

  4. Dennis Hogenmiller

    Of the 3 years of the 2 seater Birds, the 57 is my favorite. Next would be the 1961. Ford early in 2021, registered the Thunderbird name. I expect to see a Thunderbird down the road, but not until the chip problem is corrected

  5. Fran

    I think it was micheal Jackson? Anyway yes I cannot listen to it. I like rock not songs like that. That was Paul’s decline. By the way. Love the car!

    Like 1
  6. Philip Lepel

    Wow! 215 hp! That what my 2003 Gt Cruiser turbo makes. Lol! And it costs less too. And by 2073 it will probably be pulling down the same price. I’ll only be 120 years old by then.

    Like 1
  7. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    These off-topic opinions are the worse I’ve read…….

    Like 4
  8. Lowell Peterson

    Off topic, and way back when is not very interesting or relevant to the website in my opinion. Keep it on the car being offerred please and save the bench racing for your buddies at the cars ‘n coffee at the corner.

    Like 2

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