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Farm Fresh: 1957 Ford Thunderbird


The owner of this Thunderbird acquired it when they purchased a property, which we assume was a farm because of the “farm fresh” reference used in the listing. They claim that it has been in this garage and under a cover since the 90s. Lots of moisture could have gotten trapped under that cover (tarp) in 20 years, but they do list the mileage at 5k so it’s definitely worth a look. Find it here on eBay out of San Marcos, Texas.


It looks like the new owner of this farm has a lot of junk to dispose of. It is unfortunate that they didn’t pull the car out and clean it up a bit for the photos, but perhaps they don’t really know what they have. That could work for or against potential buyers… The earlier two-seat T-birds are the ones to get, but these longer porthole packing convertibles still fetch decent prices at auction. Let’s just hope the seller didn’t base their reserve on the more expensive of the two.


Here is proof of the mileage. Well, not really. Odometers can be swapped or numbers can roll over. This car could have 5k or it could 105k. The seller does have a clear title, but we would want some documentation to prove that mileage figure too.


There are a few areas inside that have us doubting the mileage too. Can you find them? This is a 312/auto equipped car  so we got all excited that it might be one of the rare supercharged versions offered in 1957. There were no photos of the engine, so a quick check of the vin (D7FH299028) determined that it isn’t. A carbureted 245 horsepower isn’t bad, but the 300 horse SC would have been much more fun.


We want to believe that this is a 5k car, but we are very doubtful. A quick inspection would help clear up a lot of our concerns though. The seller is representing this Ford as a survivor, but they don’t even mention if the paint is original or not. You never know though, it could be the real deal. Perhaps this old bird really is farm fresh.


  1. Victor

    No way that’s a 5K mile car, you don’t add gauges to a car when its brand new and B) when you don’t use it that much.

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  2. Ramone de V8

    Is the speedometer needle broken? I doubt this is actually a 5k car. After market gauges, worn steering wheel, etc. I wish someone would throw in a car like this the next time I buy a property.

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  3. jim s

    seller has updated ebay with motor/under hood photo.

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  4. paul

    In those days as we all know the speedo rolled back to 0 at 100,000 so the steering wheel alone tells another story, so maybe 105,000.

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    • paul

      Regardless, you still have to rebuild everything & then you have to clean all the rodent crap before doing a lot of clean up of the interior.

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  5. Menmojo

    Milage more like….
    You pick…..it look pretty roasted and a major rust bucket!

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  6. rancho bella

    There are so many ’55 thru ’57 Birds out there……….they are not special. Just within a one mile radius of my house I know of four.

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  7. corvairkid

    Rear wheelwell looks very repaint-ey. FYI old steering wheels look like that even when they sit unused. It’s age cracking.

    Best guess….restored in the 80s and the odometer set to zero. Very common back then. 5k on a mid grade restored explains that car’s condition.

    Happy bidding

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  8. Don

    Steering wheel has WAY TOO MUCH WEAR for 5k miles!

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  9. Your Name

    Noticed they listed power windows,door locks,seats and A/C….Saw no evidence…Would go low on this one…Too many available!

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  10. Highway

    Bidding is over 8 grand with 6 days to go. Low volume bidders for the most part, too.
    Staging a photo by partially draping a fresh tarp over the vehicle has me walking away from this one…. briskly!

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  11. Richard V

    Power door locks? I don’t think so.

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  12. geomechs geomechs Member

    I’d be a little skeptical about this one. I have to agree that it’s rolled the odometer around at least once, and needs a lot more than just a major cleanup.

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  13. Rene

    I suspect that some re-spray has been going on, at some point.

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  14. Roy Smalley

    Sure looks like a standard shift to me. That makes a lead sled a bit more of a performer.

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    • rapple

      Nope. Big brake pedal visible behind aftermarket gauges, button on top of shifter, transmission dipstick in engine photo all say slushbox to my eyes.

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  15. whmracer99

    Sure looks like a well worn example that was probably parked for a reason (looking at carpet, steering wheel, seats, oil leaks from valve cover, a/m air cleaner, hot-rod gauges, etc., as clues). As mentioned above probably needs a complete go through. Not a bad place to start for a streetable project car but priced a little higher than it should be.

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  16. Wayne

    5K?? No way! As others have said “worn steering wheel” and “after market gauges” Plus, where is the original air cleaner? I wouldn’t think that would have disappeared on a 5K car!

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  17. Sim

    You can never be sure when looking at photos. I guess it might be a fun project if snagged for under $10,000. “Might be” is always my problem though ’cause I’ve just never quite been able to grasp the concept of purchasing a vintage or classic car via photographs on E-Bay, especially when considering the amount of investment involved. Right off the top I can see respray/repair peel and bubbling, color/dye worn through, bent rear bumper/lower from past impact, exhaust deposit oxidisation that wouldn’t occur in only 5000 mi, and if that drivers door is closed… well, maybe I’d go $6000?

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    • racer99

      Is it just coincidence that many of the recent “barn finds” are showing up with new-looking tarps strewn over filthy cars? That tarp sure hasn’t been there “20 years”.

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  18. racer99

    And …. just noticed the broken speedometer needle. Just don’t see $9K+ here.

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  19. dj

    I have to agree. More like 105k, 205k. There’s one here in my buddy’s body shop. Rusted out big time in the kick panels. Owner wanted it fixed. He’s got over 70k in it so far.

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  20. Dolphin Member

    Agreed 105K miles at least, and not rare or particularly valuable.

    Approx $10K bid right now is probably too high unless you want the ‘fun’ of doing the work yourself.

    Much better to do the legwork to get a good one to drive for a lot less than the cost of this + R&R costs.

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  21. 88R107

    The problem with a Baby Bird is that most of us old guys who have wanted one have bought. The younger guys/gals coming along could care less about them. Thinking maybe their time has come and gone.
    I cant imagine anyone taking this one on. Too many nice ones, already done with the prices beginning to take a bit of a drop.
    Maybe the gang at Amos Minter in Dallas would take a swing at this one.
    No way its a 5,000 mile car.

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  22. David G

    Agree with all that 5K’s very doubtful. I think dealers (or private resellers) still used to run odometers backwards with reversible drills back in the 50s, 60s, 70s so who knows what this baby’s true usage is. In-person inspection would be mandatory to know that. Simple start would be to pull the valve covers, then submarine the thing fully on a lift. The clues to truth would be there. To his credit, he’s not claiming 5K anyway. Good thing is almost everything’s easily (and relatively cheaply?) available for these due to the super-hot repro market originating as far back as the 60s…

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  23. Larry

    I think we all agree it’s not a 5k car. Aftermarket air cleaner, holley carb, a/m gauges, seat is not orig. factory pattern or color and so on and so on. At 12k now and still hasn’t reached reserve. Would be a very nice driver project but getting to high on the $$$$.
    Seems like another person watching to many BJ auctions.

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