Disclosure: This site may receive compensation when you click on some links and make purchases.

Pink Flamingo! 1957 Ford Thunderbird Project

This 1957 Ford Thunderbird is 1 of 16,423 D-Code cars produced in 1957. Originally dressed in Desert Rose with a white interior and powered by a 312 Y-block, this baby bird epitomizes 50’s style. Find it listed here on eBay bid to $6,966.00 with no reserve.

The seller provides 24 photos in his listing and shows the exterior from all angles. There are pictures of the trunk included but no pictures of the frame. The seller notes in his listing that there is rust through in the trunk, but that the floor pans are solid, the quarter panels seem solid, and that the frame is good. Pay special attention to the fenders and quarters. While some patch panels are available, if you need to replace quarters or fenders you will need to locate good used or NOS.  Fiberglass is sometimes available as a lower-cost alternative. The pictures show patches of exterior rust and cracking paint, which could also signify lifting body filler. Both rockers show rust. Check the wheel openings closely for rust as well as the front air ducts which run through the front fenders.

The VIN is pictured in the listing and the first letter indicates this is a D-code Thunderbird. In 1957, the D-code option was a 312ci 4-barrel Y block motor which produced 245hp. The D-code option was the most popular engine choice in 1957. The seller notes that the engine runs off of an auxiliary fuel source and that the Ford-O-Matic transmission shifts fine. The engine looks complete and original and power steering can be observed. The seller notes that the brakes require a full refurbish. An interesting modification for these is to retrofit a 2 bale 1967 Ford Mustang master cylinder to replace the original single bale. They are readily available and provide an additional circuit in the event of brake failure. Also of interest is the vacuum-driven windshield wipers that pull vacuum from the fuel pump. Higher speeds equal slower wipers; which was viewed as an incentive for the driver to reduce speeds during inclement weather.

The interior looks complete but is in need of a full refresh. The data plate indicates a Desert Rose (XX) exterior and appears to show interior code XK which in 1957 would signify white. If this is correct, then the black interior presents a color change. The seller mentions a Town and Country Radio. Note the bracket under the passenger dash side. Perhaps a tissue dispenser at one time? Also, note the aftermarket door speakers. The cabin is tight in these cars and the legroom is at a premium. The telescopic steering helps, but the large factory steering wheel does not. It’s always best to sit in a baby bird before buying so you can make sure it’s a comfortable driving experience.

This 1957 Ford Thunderbird could be an appealing project. It’s offered in a desirable color, shows as complete, and runs and drives. The brakes are a straight forward repair. If the rust turns out to be minimal and you refurbish the brakes and clean out the fuel system, and some exterior patina doesn’t bother you, then you might be driving this Thunderbird in a short period of time. So are you ready to own a pink baby bird?


  1. Phlathead Phil

    Not too bad, but that Desert Rose is a bit of a turn off.

    It EVEN has a motor.

    Again, IMHO, buying a project that is missing a motor and lots of it parts is a money sink.

    I ONLY buy COMPLETE projects. This one appears to be a good candidate.

    Price is CORRECT!

    Like 1
    • egads

      It’s not Desert Rose— it’s called Dusk Rose

      Like 1
      • Plathead Phil

        I stand corrected…O.K.,

        I’ll modify. Sorry, I got an old flame mixed up with a car color!

        Like 2
  2. Stan Marks

    Lots of possibilities. I never cared for the Desert Rose either, Phil. An old friend, of mine, had the same exact ’57 “Bird”, in the same color. I didn’t like it then, either.
    Why some people call rust, patina, is beyond me. I don’t consider a rust-through body, patina. When I see old cars & trucks, with faded paint & imperfections in a solid body, that’s patina. JMHO…

    Like 4
    • Stan Marks

      The blue ’53 GMC pick-up, in today’s finds, now that has patina.

      Like 0
  3. Maestro1 Member

    I am an enthusiast of these cars and I think this one is a $5000.00 car maybe
    after careful inspection. It’s a big project, and I think it would be better to buy the best one you can afford. These cars are starting to decline in price. If you
    want one, stand by.

    Like 3
  4. Rudy Samsel

    Over the past thirty years, too many Baby Birds were restored to the point now that prices for great survivors or older restorations are in the mid-20’s, so restoring this one now would be a guaranteed money-losing proposition.

    Like 3
  5. Bill Hall

    We had a customer at my Dad’s service station who for a daily driver literally as he was a county food inspector who used his own car. This was a very nice original red 57 with a 312 3 speed od. It was eventually sold to someone in Minnesota. After he sold sold the bird it was a very nice 65 Comet Coupe

    Like 0
    • Phlathead Phil 🙃

      You might say he gave someone in Minnesota ‘the bird.”

      Like 0

Leave A Comment

RULES: No profanity, politics, or personal attacks.

Become a member to add images to your comments.


Get new comment updates via email. Or subscribe without commenting.