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E-Bird: 1957 Ford Thunderbird

1957 Ford Thunderbird

T-Birds have been produced for decades, but the first generation ones are still my favorite. Like many automobiles, the first really were the best. Between 1955 and 1957, the Thunderbird was Ford’s sporty offering, but it morphed into more of a luxury car as the Mustang eventually took its place. This particular T-Bird is special because it is claimed to have been in the same ownership since 1978. It has also been parked for 35 years, but luckily it was stored inside in California. The car is dusty, but it appears have a solid body underneath all that grim. The icing on the cake here though is the fact that this is an E-Code car! That means that it has two 4-barrel carburetors sitting on top of the 312 V8 making it the second most powerful engine option available in 1957. In fact, it was almost as powerful as Chevy’s fuel-injected 283! It’s going to sell soon though so you’d better hurry. Find it here on eBay where the bidding ends in 6 hours!


  1. Avatar photo Georgemia Member

    Beautiful car, good color combination. E code birds are rare, perhaps because their reputation for catching on fire is well deserved

    This could be the start of a reasonable and relatively simple restoration.

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    • Avatar photo phoneman91

      The 1957s had the Holley carburetors that didn’t have fire issues.

      It was the earlier T Birds that had the “teapot “carburetors that could have fire issues.

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  2. Avatar photo DENIS

    Would love to have an E-code but wouldn’t spend that kinda $ without inspecting..there are a lot of ’57s on the market and a wide variation of prices. I hope this doesn’t need too much restoration at this price, but the miles…….
    This appears like it could be a beauty when finished.

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  3. Avatar photo don

    i get the E code being rare, bidding up to 25k, does not run, brakes locked up, what other hidden problems? to many other rare cars out there for 25k that are already finished. pass….

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  4. Avatar photo nicolas giguere

    I am still amazed to see a beautiful car like this Bird for sale and not have the decency to haul it outside, give it a good wash, shine it and ask the good price. The seller would have a big surprise how much high bids it would receive. For the record, what a beautifull Bird.

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    • Avatar photo Ed P

      Yeah, if I want to see a dirty car, I can go to my driveway and look at my daily driver.

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  5. Avatar photo phoneman91

    It looks to be in beautiful original condition-if you look past the dust! No wear on the pedals.No apparent dents! Dash pad looks to be in very good condition. No cracks in the steering wheel spokes. Nothing appears to be modified. No aftermarket parts. No apparent spray can areas! Look at the condition of the wheel jug nuts!

    Very nice original and complete condition of the engine bay. Mechanical issues are uncertain as to the extent of the damage. But the car is very rare. And NO rust is visible! And the bidded price of 25k isnt unreasonable-considering how nice it appears to be. o

    If it wasn’t 1k miles away—-I would bring it home ! Why are the really nice and rare cars at reasonable price-always far away from me?

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    • Avatar photo RollerD

      “Why are the really nice and rare cars at reasonable price-always far away from me?”

      To keep you from going broke.

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      • Avatar photo krash

        …and save your marriage…

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  6. Avatar photo Rick

    I have a question regarding the air cleaner’s finish. Did they originally have the finish we see there or was it chrome and this one is painted over?


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    • Avatar photo Don

      Strangely enough they came that way- I found one in a VW dealership in Triest, Italy back in 1969 owned by a Doctor that had automatic tranny problems n back then in Europe they didn’t know what to do with it so I bought it n then -well, it’s a stupid story so I won’t tell-I DO HATE MYSELF….

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      • Avatar photo phoneman91

        Don–after making all of us wait a year–we just have to hear the rest of your story! You bought it and then what happened? “We just gots to know! “

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      • Avatar photo Don

        Well,I really hate myself a lot because I try to blame others for my mistakes- being in the AF I happily married my beautiful Italian wife, parked the car at her fathers summer home, gave another car to a ‘friend’ to sell for me and finish the pmnts on the Bird-from what I understand it was the wrong ‘friend’ that didn’t pay off the old owner who got a hold of my father in law( who couldn’t believe his new son in law could ever buy an old car with only room for 2) and he released it to be resold- We returned after a year back in the states and I was going to have it shipped but found out it wasn’t there any longer….also when we returned from our ‘vacation’ abroad-I found out my prnts had sold the old 57 I had been using (which was in Moms name cause I needed a cosigner) n they thought cause I was bringing back the good one I didn’t need the ‘junker’ n I could use the $300……….at the time it was worth $3000!!!!!
        Anyhow…….I’m still searchin just to see where it went- there were onle 499 made so I just keep lookin…..
        Young n inocent-friends……

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  7. Avatar photo Dolphin Member

    Nicholas is right—-why not free the brakes and then roll it outside, especially if it has such low miles and is so well preserved under that dust? A lot of the value is in the under-25K miles and that long dry storage, so you’d want to know for sure.

    The dark, inside photos tell me: ‘do not bid unless you have seen the car up close, inside and out, in good light’. The seller says the same thing: “highly advise viewing before bidding”. Bring some floodlights.

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  8. Avatar photo jeff6599

    That E code with dual quads had a HP rating of 270. A little behind the 283 HP /283 Cu In Corvette. The T’bird did have a 300 HP supercharged option and an optional kit for racing that boosted the dual quad rating to 285 HP, dealer installed (not an option). But it was far from the highest HP rating that year which I think was owned by the Chrysler 300C at 375 HP.

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    • Avatar photo Clint

      The Dual Quad 283 was rated at 270 hp. The Fuelie was rated at 283.

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  9. Avatar photo Jim

    Car looks straight but I would travel to see it in person before dropping 25K.

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  10. Avatar photo Mark E

    Well it sold for $28,100. Presumably to someone who did go look at it in person… ^_^

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