Inherited Bird: 1957 Ford Thunderbird

Brian BirknerBy Brian Birkner

Family Heirlooms are wonderful and symbolic items of family history, although they are usually something much simpler than this 1957 Thunderbird! Apparently this owner has inherited a few cars, but is looking to unload this Ford as well as some others in the future. With some condition concerns, there are still some redeeming factors for this old ‘Bird. With no reserve, bidding has reached $6,100 with 2 days remaining. Find it here on ebay out of White Haven, Pennsylvania.

“Y” blocked, this Thunderbird’s 312 cubic inch V8 appears complete minus its air cleaner. There is an obvious patina on the engine and in the bay, but overall the engine bay seems in reasonable condition. There is no report of the engines condition, or how long the car has been parked. Hopefully this Y block is not locked up, and can be put to some good use.

Peeking inside of this convertible you would almost think you could hop in, turn the key, and be on your way. Although photogenic, there are some things to be pointed out. The dash pad is moldy, and the vinyl covering is ripped off on the passenger side. Surprisingly the seats have made out pretty well over time, as has the beautiful engine turned dash trim. With a fair amount of wear, the steering wheel doesn’t appear cracked, but it would seem this Thunderbird covered a whole lot of miles before it was parked. The door panels are a bit wavy, but overall seem to be in okay condition. The reality of the condition of this Thunderbird sets in with a quick look at the floors. There is a generous amount of rust with a few big holes present, making for a severe need for floor replacement.  Although the passenger side is not as well documented, there is at least one good sized hole present as light can be seen through the floor on that side.

From the outside this Ford doesn’t look too shabby. In fact, this car has a rather neat un-restored look. Despite the cool looks, this convertible needs some help. The exterior seems quite solid compared to the rusty floors. From what can be seen, the passenger side rocker area looks great. A bit difficult to make out, it would appear the driver side may have some issues, and the lower portion of the driver door sticks out a bit not aligning with the rocker area. On the trunk lid there are a few rust blisters that have developed. The only other visible and concerning rust area is around the lower edge of the soft top, as there is a lot of surface rust, and some of which appears to be rather extensive. Most certainly in need of some metal work, this Thunderbird isn’t a complete loss as the body still seems to be more steel than rot. Certainly a worthy family Heirloom in my book, would you welcome this family heirloom to your home?

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  1. JBones

    Owner isn’t desperate to sell but it’s a no reserve auction? I’ve known about this car for over a year owner at the time wanted north of $9,000. I smell a flipper not a consignment.

  2. Todd Zuercher


  3. Bill

    Ad says it’s offered by a dealer, which in all fairness puts the buyer on notice. Dealers, like flippers, expect to turn a profit. No big deal. Cool car and with no reserve, I hope it gets the restoration it deserves.

    • Steven

      If a person could find the dealer and go take a look at it..

  4. Michael

    omg, reading that description on eBay hurt my brain!

    Love these cars but you could probably do better for the money than this one. There is a lot of work needed and that is even if the engine turns over to bring this one back.

  5. RoselandPete

    I hope it has “original” miles.

  6. Steven

    Alot of rust in this bird.. More like a Buck $2.95 for it..

  7. Steven

    Look at the
    Photo 📷 around the Top ? That says enough RUST RUSTY

  8. George B

    In terms of parts availability, T birds are one of the best cars to restore around

    I’d really have to know them about the body rust because it looks terrible, car could be too far gone

    The convertible top is worth quite a bit by itself as the cars came with a standard hard top and the convertible top was $150 option

    • Old Car Guy

      With the availability to build a car out of new parts why not go that route rather than start with a rustbucket and end up with a car that is 10% of the original parts. A car with 80-90% new parts is not an original in my book, which a lot of them are today. Reproductions with some original parts is a more apt description.

  9. mike d

    I really hate it when it states ” one of several” so, they are advertising one at a time.. so, there is a way to keep track of the seller? ( pardon my lack of tech savvy) my vote would go to this bird needs extensive work, one could probably get one that has already been restored ( or just one that is in better shape to begin with) and I agree with you 100% Bill!

    • Richard Gaskill

      If you go to the eBay listing there is an option under the seller’s name to click and follow the seller.
      However, it can’t be certain he will be the one selling the other cars.

  10. Steven

    The True Bird people in the country is Amos Minter in Dallas who bought everything from Ford on the 55 thru 57 as that rust around the top does mean rust way down in the body it’s self.. There isn’t any say if this one can be fixed.

  11. Dan

    In the first picture, it looks like the entire front end is rotted.! Maybe wash the car, then pictures?

  12. Joe Muzy

    Having grown up in PA I would be concerned about the rust. Would like to see pictures of the floors and under carriage before bidding.

  13. Steven

    If people would listen to how Amos Minter talks its true that Baby Birds should be kept in a Controlled environment of that being a Garage with Cool and dry with heat in the winter months inside.. Humidity an Poor Weather conditions is fact worst case scenario for any Classic cars!

  14. lawrence

    see Amos often……yes climate control is the way to go with ANY investment….ask Warren Bufffet……

  15. Marshall

    As of this posting, just under $7000 with a day and eight hours to go.

  16. lonnie93041

    Not a good deal at all. I’ve seen plenty in much better condition for $7k. You can get a well used running old driver for around $10k that isn’t rusted to the bone if you look hard. They are out there.

    • Steven

      Yeah there is no doubt about that, as this one here would better off sale in good salvageable parts for someone’s better project 57..

  17. steve

    Has character in spades.I would like to clean it up, fix the mechanicals and drive it for awlile. Patina deluxe! I also like that it has conovertible top and no continental kit.


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