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Extra Chassis Included: 1956 Ford Thunderbird Project

When first checking out this 1956 Ford Thunderbird, my initial thought was it’s probably worth saving but would likely be a major ordeal and time-consuming task to get this one back on the road.  While the car’s indeed going to require some serious attention, if you scroll through the photo collection to the very last picture there’s a nice surprise included, so if you’ve ever longed for a second-year T-Bird and have some good metal capabilities maybe this one’s worth a peek.  The two-seater is in Bloomsbury, New Jersey, and can be spotted here on eBay, where the owner has set his buy-it-now price at $6,599.

Let’s go the immediate gratification route regarding the surprise, as a rolling chassis from another ’56 Thunderbird is also included with the sale, so be sure to bring a trailer long enough to haul two.  There’s no story whatsoever about the donor frame, but from what we can see it appears solid and hopefully ready for action.  We don’t get a shot of the primary car from below, but based on the overall condition I’m guessing the spare platform will be a welcomed bonus here.

Unfortunately, there’s not a floor on top of the extra component so the next owner will have to source a replacement, as the lower sheet metal is well on its way to being reclaimed by nature.  The interior’s a mess, with several dash items missing and no seats present, but at least the speedometer is still intact.

The driver’s side appeal is better than the other, with the passenger’s door gone and from the looks of things I wonder if it might have become detached due to the rust deterioration.  But just judging from the photos, the front fenders and hood don’t appear all that severely corroded, plus a spare rear clip is also part of the deal but I’m not sure it’ll be of that much use.

New for the Thunderbird in 1956 was Ford’s 312 V8, which came factory-equipped with a Holley 4-barrel and produced 215 horsepower when mated to the 3-speed manual transmission.  There’s no word on how much of the drivetrain here is original and the seller mentions he has no idea of the engine’s condition, and I’m speculating that an overhaul is due but the fan blade is one of the parts that can be seen among the items resting inside the trunk.  Can you envision the sum of all these pieces together making this 1956 Ford Thunderbird a worthwhile project?


  1. Last 1LE

    pass — that poor thing is barely a parts car

    Like 9
    • Robert Thompson Member

      However. With the after market parts available, and everything that seems to come with it… might be worth it for a good backyard mechanic. I have a ‘55 in worse condition and plan on finishing it within a year. The ‘56 I purchased thru this sight a few months ago is about to have a rebuilt 292 with a three speed overdrive installed. Just takes time, effort and a stockpile of parts accumulated over the last 50 years😉

      Like 1
  2. Robert Thompson Member

    Seems like a big project but we’ll worth the buy it now.

    Like 3
  3. Jack Quantrill

    Send to the crusher immediately!

    Like 2
    • al

      this car was probably a automatic transmission when new so the 312 would have been a 225 HP one Ford back than has larger jets in the carburator and all was has a few more hp parents bought a new 1956 Fairlane 312 fordamactic 225 HP great engine for the time I was 11 years old remember it well

      Like 1
    • jwaltb


      Like 1
  4. Mark

    Save the valve covers.

    Like 1
  5. pwtiger

    Yikes! Somebody’s dreaming, I’ve seen driving, complete projects without rust for 10-15K that were hard to sell…

    Like 1
    • Robert Thompson Member

      Was that 20 years ago?

      Like 1
  6. Norm Matter

    Regal Roadsters in Madison WI. can build you a new 55, 56,or 57 Thunderbird for 70 to 80K. I haven’t look at their sit for 2 or 3 years, Give it a try. 81 year old 1957 Tbird lover, Norm.

    Like 1

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