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Evergreen Trailer Queen: 1959 Ford Thunderbird

031216 Barn Finds - 1959 Thunderbird 2

This 1959 Thunderbird found here on Craigslist in Evergreen, Colorado, is for sale at $1,600 firm and the trailer “is NOT included”, according to the owner. Even without the nice trailer, which is worth more than $1,600, this sounds like a very restorable T-Bird for a good price.

031216 Barn Finds - 1959 Thunderbird 3

We all know that by 1959 Ford was already into the second year of the restyled and upsized Thunderbird. The Squarebird was about 20″ longer than the previous generation (1956 was the longest of the first generation Thunderbirds) and an extra two seats provided the marketing power that Ford thought they needed to compete. It proved to be a good business decision, sales took off. The Thunderbird would be restyled yet again in 1961 so this one is right in the middle of the second generation. They only made a little over 53,000 T-Birds in the first generation but Ford made over 198,000 T-Birds in this second generation. Yep, it was a good business decision.

031216 Barn Finds - 1959 Thunderbird 6

This particular car was is an older restoration according to the seller, who does “not want to spend any more time or money on it, so that is why it is so cheap, just want to move on.” I know the feeling. The only rust mentioned is surface rust, but there’s a shot of the LR wheel opening and it looks like rust has punched a hole there so that’ll have to be fixed. It looks good overall and the original hubcaps are included as well as the fender skirts, which are hopefully in the trunk.

031216 Barn Finds - 1959 Thunderbird 4

I’m guessing that this is the 352 V8 and not the newly-introduced 345hp 430, but I’m not positive. There is no mention of the engine at all other than it “ran several years ago, when carb was rebuilt but have not tried to start.” It looks evergreen under the hood, too. This one must have been parked outside to have that many pine needles under there, which isn’t always a good thing. Hopefully it’ll fire up when you get it into your shop. I think there’s an AC unit lurking under the hood from looking at one of the engine photos.

031216 Barn Finds - 1959 Thunderbird 5

Ford added a leather option for the Thunderbird in 1959 and although it’s hard to tell from this one photo, the seats look great. This one appears to have power windows so it’s fairly loaded, at least for the late 1950s. Power windows and air conditioning weren’t found on all luxury cars in those days, let alone on all cars like they are today. This car could be brought back to its former glory as a drivable, trailer queen show-stopper with some work. Can this one be saved, or would you let this T-Bird fly the coop?






  1. Avatar photo redwagon

    post deleted.

    i wonder if this is a flipper or a long-time owner. why else would it be on a trailer?

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  2. Avatar photo Mike

    I would think it is worth saving, these are some really nice cars if done up correct.
    It is most likely the 352 most often called the Thunderbird 352 Special V-8.
    I hope it can be saved, I would hate to see it in the pine trees going to waste.

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  3. Avatar photo Dave Nicholson

    Looks like a 430 engine with the distributor at the rear. Makes this even more enticing.

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    • Avatar photo Donnie

      The distributor is in the front . It is also in the front on a 430.

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  4. Avatar photo Rick

    $1600 is all the money for this one, nice ones don’t go for much bigger money, last summer I test drove a white/red int ’59 T-Bird that was nice original in and out, and a good driver, asking price was only $7K. Unfortunately left the parking brake partially on during most of the test drive, but that’s another story . . .

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  5. Avatar photo Eral

    I had a ’58,black on black with black and white houndstooth seat inserts………352………a beautiful car,heavy ad slow to get moving but the top end speed on it was out of this world…………….lol
    A couple of the locals had 273 cudas,I could beat them in a quarter mile but after a mile they faded fast…………………….damn,my misspent youth………..lol

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  6. Avatar photo David G

    Indeed, factory A/C was pretty obscure in 1959, possibly because it didn’t really work as well in that era as that era’s COST for it might indicate it should. (A lofty line-item cost back then, at least as a percentage of the entire car’s price.) PW? -NOT really so obscure in the T-birds ime, lots of ‘bird owners went for that one. The 430ci engine (or ‘MEL’ engine in generic FoMoCo-speak) was actually ‘introduced’ in 1958 in the Lincolns and some Mercury models but you’re right – it wasn’t an option in the T-bird until 59..
    Neat cars the Squarebirds, thanks for listing it!

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  7. Avatar photo Judd

    I have witnessed the car sitting for years in the sellers yard. He is not a flipper. He has another bird, and a fair to good Merkur XR4ti. There will be pine needles everywhere in the car. It sat so long in one place that it is highly likely to have been home to many generations of mice families.
    The good news is there is little apparent rust damage.

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  8. Avatar photo YooperMike

    My Pops bought one new in 1959. I wanted a stick shift, he told me they didn’t have that anymore. I was but 13 at the time. Nice car what what I remember. It didn’t fare in Michigan’s god Country, The UP, very rusty in 3 years.

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  9. Avatar photo patrick

    352 ? I thought the 352 did not come out until 1960 ? The fe was introduced in 1958 as a 332 cubic inch. $1600 sounds like a great price.

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  10. Avatar photo DONALD SCOTT DAVIS

    I just bought a 1959 ford thunderbird, sat in a shed for the last 26 years. Got it for $500.00. Looking forward to making it a driver.

    Like 0

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