Have Fun, Fun, Fun! In A ’55 Thunderbird!

Recently dragged from a mountainside barn, this petite survivor has been driven by only 2 owners over the last 6 decades, but for the last 20 years, it has seen no road time at all. Before that, though, this was a car that was obviously loved… and driven! In storage for many years in the wilds of Colorado, this red beauty is ready to kick up her heels, here on craigslist in Denver, Colorado!

Some of you may have heard me confess my weakness for the mid-50’s Fords. Recently, in these very pages, I waxed schmoopy over a ’55 Fairlane, which, you will notice, dear reader, shares many of the same parts and pieces with this little darling. Taillight assembly look familiar? Those eye-browed headlight surrounds? Mmm-hmm. LOVE THESE CARS! (Quick Highway Spotter Tip: the ’55 Thunderbird does NOT have the little vent doors on the front quarters; only the ’56 and ’57’s)

It obviously has just enjoyed a bath, but this baby ‘Bird looks really sharp. Nothing missing and everything in place. This little sportster, in truth, was pretty sparsely decorated with stainless side trim, chrome headlight surrounds, etc. Love the exhaust tips running through the chrome, ahh, chrome exhaust-runner-through-things. I think it needs a flamethrower kit…

Pretty little face on the ’55…crossed flags, two small Dagmarettes/ jet intakes and a hood scoop to boot!

Don’t know any more about the boot, but here, under the bonnet, is an original, factory-dressed Ford Y-Block. Look at the gleam on that air cleaner…gorgeous. Called the Thunderbird Special, the 292 cu in V-8 is topped with an odd-looking Holley (4000), 4-barrel carburetor, dual exhaust and a whopping 8:1 compression ratio. Ought to burn anything! That relatively tame compression is nice when you ask that 6-volt battery to crank ‘er up on a cold morning!

Here’s all kinds of good stuff. With the hardtop removed, we can see it all: the steering wheel that telescopes 3″ on a chrome column. All the radio, knobs, controls and trim are there around the Astra-Dial Control Panel with flanking tachometer and clock. I’ve always loved the way the speedometer peers into a little clear bubble behind…hard to describe but oh! so elegant! By the way, this car has the Borg-Warner “2-speed” Ford-O-Matic option; you can just see the floor shifter behind the wheel. And the carpet; wait, what’s with the carpet? Looks like something Ricardo Montalban might have had in his set trailer. Dat don’t look right. Oh well, it’ll probably wear like iron. The driver’s seat….darned if it doesn’t look like someone really drove this car! No problem-o because upholstery, carpet (and a lot more) is readily available and heck, there is only one bench seat and one front carpet set.

So there it is, gang. Since returning to society, she’s had a lot of things taken care of by the seller to making her drivable, but apparently, there is a little more to be done to get it all shipshape. (Isn’t there always more to be done?) Not sure if you could drive her home, but it is an amazing start and man! it sure looks great! Question for the panel: Is $21,000 the right price for you to be the third owner? Hope so!


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  1. elrod

    You will never have more fun with your 21k than buying this classic! DO EET! Hecks, its got a frikin HOOD SCOOP EVEN!

  2. Gaspumpchas

    Had a 55 and sold before I could restore.would buy this one if I could. These never really took off like some of the 50’s classics. 21k about avg for this beauty.

  3. 86 Vette Convertible


  4. JW

    Love it especially in red.21K seems reasonable IMHO.

  5. Bob C.

    That fordomatic actually had 3 forward gears, despite having a PRNDL quadrant. It would start in second and shift to third in D. To get it in first, you would have to shift manually in low or floor it while still. The 2 speed fordomatic didn’t come out until 1959.

    Like 1
    • Solosolo KEN TILLY Member

      Bob C. I believe my 1946/7 Cadillac series 62 had the same gear change sequence. If you floored it from standstill it would take off for about 20 feet before changing up to 2,3,and 4.

  6. Jieinthousandoaks

    Its a bit high as it will need a lit of restoration and they are not cheap to restore. Sweet little car though.

  7. jw454

    That carpet has the 1970’s written all over it. Neat. Of course I’d have to change it back to a stock type but, it gives a little insight as to where it’s been through the years.

  8. Rob S.

    Wow! Cool little car! Timeless style! Ever sit in one and drive one? Like sitting on a park bench trying to surf the internet in a hurricane! Very uncomfortable! better be on your game driving one in traffic. These things attract attention like crazy! One of the best Ford offered in the day!

  9. Ikey Heyman Member

    Values of these have been trending down lately, not including exceptional examples. The ask does seem a bit high but with a little work you could have a fun car. Love the contrast of the white top.

  10. Joe Haska

    I am leaving on a flight in the morning, for Denver Colorado. I will literally be within walking distance of this car, for two days. Maybe I should just cancel my return flight, and drive this sweet-heart home. I am sure my wife will understand, I just couldn’t abandon this car, it looks like it needs a new home!

    Like 1
    • Karl

      Walking distance? Well, it’s gonna be two beautiful days in Denver…you gotta go visit!

  11. TBAU Member

    Great writing Karl and that change of font just kept me reading…

    Like 1
    • Karl

      Hah! You, my friend, have an eye for detail!

      Like 1
  12. Solosolo KEN TILLY Member

    Bob C. I believe my 1946/7 Cadillac series 62 had the same gear change sequence. If you floored it from standstill it would take off for about 20 feet before changing up to 2,3,and 4.

    • Bob C.

      Hey Ken, that’s a new one on me with the hydramatic. I guess a lot of those early automatics were funny like that. Even the 1950 to 52 chevrolet powerglide didn’t automatically shift from low to high.

  13. JoeBazots

    Out of my budget, but a nice driver or restoration starting point. This will make a great little number for the lucky owner #3. I guess the closest I’ll get for the time being is the model I built a few years ago. Same color and all.

  14. John C Cargill

    For a nice first gen T bird that’s cheap money indeed.

  15. Ronald Foenander

    Any one interested in a 1959 Jaguar XK150 DHC fully restored from the ground up.This car is registered with the New York register.I will send pictures to anyone interested.Thanks.

  16. roundhouse

    Since there is no mention of a convertible top frame the buyer should budget at least $5000 for one if you want to go that route.

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