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Early Bird: 1955 Ford Thunderbird

1955 Ford Thunderbird

While I liked the looks of most of the generations of T-Birds, if I were going to get one it would be an early example. While some of the kinks hadn’t been worked out yet, there is something pure about these early Birds. The one you see here is a first year car and while it is a project, looks to be a good one. It looks like it might be missing a few pieces of trim, but is otherwise complete. The seller doesn’t offer much information about it, but they do provide lots of photos here and I even see what could be some of the missing trim. You can find this early Bird here on eBay in Schaumburg, Illinois with a current bid of $5k and their photo gallery can be found here.

1955 Ford Thunderbird Engine

After taking a closer look at this one, I’ve noticed a few unusual things. The most curious of which has to be the engine. While it looks like the correct 292, they didn’t offer these with a triple carb setup. It is definitely an owner added upgraded and it looks to be a nice setup. I wonder how much power it adds?

1955 Ford T-Bird

It would be really nice to know more about the history of this Thunderbird. It looks like a decent project, but I would like to know if there are any other upgrades and what parts might be missing. This could be a really sweet cruiser, especially with some added power, but make sure to do your due diligence before bidding! So which year of Thunderbird is your favorite?


  1. Pharmag8r

    I always wanted one of these but even I am saying I have too many projects for this one. I hope someone gets it to enjoy.

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  2. Bob

    As the owner of both a 55 and 63 Sports Roadster I have restored both to Vintage Thunderbird Club International standards. I have to wonder how long the owner has had this car because he doesn’t seem to know a lot about it. For instance, all 55s had the 292 engine and power locks were definitely not available on the “baby birds” and neither were leather seats.. While the body looks reasonably solid, the fact that this car is in the Chicago area, I would have to see it up on a lift to determine the condition underneath.

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  3. Ralph Terhune

    My father had a ’56 T-bird in 1967. I remember the year because the Doors ‘ Light My Fire’ had just came out and it seems like it was always playing on the radio in the garage when he and I were out there working on it. He replaced the locked 292 with a 312 from a ’56 Fairlane and installed a 4 speed toploader in place of the original 3 speed. Ended up painting it black and installed a vinyl top on the removable roof along with a black naugahyde interior. He then found a pair of ’56 Mercury station wagon taillights and a factory continental kit and installed them as well. The finishing touch was a set of Fenton mag wheels on all four corners with black wall tires. When it was finished, we had the coolest car in the neighborhood. Wonderful memories!

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  4. PaulBz31996

    Less than 10 miles from my home. I’d be willing to take a look if anyone is interested in having someone take a closer look…

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  5. Steve

    Interesting project car. Did not know these birds came with soft tops. I learn something new every day.

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  6. Jim

    I worked on this car back in the ’90s. It was a turd then. It sat in an apartment parking lot uncovered for years. Buyer beware!

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  7. stillrunners

    thanks Jim…..

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  8. Doc

    yes no Tri-Power till ’57 E code cars. Ever heard of the birds nest? My brother knows a guy with one. Remove the trunk lid and insert a rumble seat. very few were made. I’ll send y’all some pics as soon as he sends them to me.

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  9. Bob

    I’m aware of the birds nest. Access to this after market option was nearly impossible without screwing up the paint job.
    The E code cars had two four barrel carbs rather than three twos.

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    • Rocco

      I’m aware of the E code 2×4 set-up, but that 3×2 set-up looks after market with the fuel lines and fuel filter hanging over the exhaust manifold with long rubber fuel lines. I’m sure Offenhauser or some speed parts company made conversions for many style engines back then. Just order them from your hot rod magazine, before Summit and Jegs days. Someone probably upgraded this car back then. Some of these ’55-’57 Bird owners ordered the 2×4 set-up from the dealer parts catalog, and added it later. These cars are so old that anything could have happened back then.

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  10. Mike Williams

    I have a 2×4 intake that for years I thought was for these, but found out it’s a Caddy through the internet. google is your friend.

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  11. Doc

    Birds nest and brothers Bird I will send one at a time

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  12. Doc


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  13. Doc

    3 of 5

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  17. Doc

    Santa Cruz pier. Beach and boardwalk in the background. A beautiful day in California.. It isn’t cheap to live here but we think it’s worth it

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  18. Robert Lloyd

    Looking to purchase the rumble seat and parts required to install on in a 1957. Any source someone may have.

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