Ford Thunderbird 1957-1958

For  the Thunderbird in 1957 the grill is larger, the spare tire is back in the trunk mounted vertically now, the tail fins are more pronounced, and the portholes are now a standard feature as they do offer better visibility for the driver. The hard tops roof is made of fiberglass, there are also many new paint choices offered this year. A new option are the four way adjustable “Dial-o-Matic” power seats designed to automatically move back when you turn off the ignition to make it easier to exit the vehicle. The options include telescoping steering wheel, push button interior door handles, and a tachometer are all choices to be made.  The standard power is the original 292 which will take the car up to 120 mph (193.12 km/h). Offered optionally in ‘57 is a new 312 cu in (5.1 L) Y-block engine which develops 215 hp (160 kW) when bolted to the three speed standard transmission with manual overdrive. However the engine will put out an additional 10 hp to give 225 hp (168 kW) if you mate it with the Ford-O-Matic two speed automatic version. Additional power options for the 312 cu in (5.1 L) include two four barrel Holly carburetors offering a power boost to 300 hp (223.8 kW) but with the McCulloch or Paxton supercharger the engine will develop up to 340 hp (254 kW). All this is on the table if you want it on your new Thunderbird in ‘57.


Ford Thunderbird first generation sold a total of 53,166 units in the three years it was produced. The ’57 is produced for an extra three months because the ’58 versions are late due to engineering details that need attention.


Thunderbird second generation is after a bigger market share and Ford executives, in particular, Robert McNamara, decide the 1958 version will seat four as this will give the car more appeal to a larger segment of the buying public. The unibody construction is chosen to offer the largest seating capacity in the smallest compartment on the shortest possible frame. This new “T”bird is completely designed by the styling department before any engineers are even consulted. The car is a full nine inches (230mm) lower than any other vehicles of the time and the body carries a major part of the stress that is normally taken by the frame (monocoque construction) the balance of the engineering methods used are more conventional. The tunnel for the drive chain assembly intrudes into the passenger compartment which is partially disguised by the addition of a large full console which extends to between the twin bucket seats holding ashtrays, electrical switches with other minor controls.


The ’58 power is the FE series 352 cu in (5.8 L) engine rated at 250 hp (190 kW) at 4,400 rpm and develops 352 lb-ft (477 N-m) of torque at 2800 rpm. The transmissions available are basically the three speed manual with overdrive or the Cruis-O-Matic as an option. Independent front suspension with coil springs and the rear is a live axle suspended by coils with drum brakes all around. Many fans are unhappy the two seat version but sales figures confirm they are on the right track, as well, this is the car of the year in ’58 according to Motor Trend. Due to late production there are very few convertible models leave the assembly line this year.

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1 week ago

Muscle Car Fan

Perfect 1969 z-28 professionally built body and drivetrain ...

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69 cam. best car ever

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2 weeks ago

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Streamlined roof-mounted emergency lighting pods were beginning to appear by 1940 and Meteor showed a number of ambulances so-equipped in their mailings. Meteor's flower cars were topped by 5-window business coupe-style roofs and featured a fake folded convertible top made of aluminum mounted at the rear of the flower box. Meteor introduced a new driver's door first seen on 1939 S&S carved-panel coaches that featured an unusual A-shaped window frame. Meteor then mounted a miniature coach lamp within the triangular panel that was now part of the body. Although the new arched door looked great on their service cars, flower cars and carved Gothic hearses, it looked hideous when combined with the vertical B & C pillars found on their limousine-style coaches and ambulances. The rear door window frames as well as the B-pillars and C-pillars were still vertically oriented and clashed with the sharply sloping outline of the front door's arched window-frame.S&S did the right thing and used vertical B-pillar front door frames on their regular limousine-style and landau-style hearses and ambulances. Although they could have used a regular door on their limousine-style coaches and ambulances (as did S&S), for some unknown reason, Meteor didn't and continued producing ugly limousine style coaches until 1950, when regular door frames returned.Quite unfairly, LaSalle had acquired the reputation of being a "cheap" Cadillac and was eliminated by GM just as Cadillac released their new Bill Mitchell-designed models in 1941. The new Cadillac was decidedly forward-looking, side-mounted spares had been eliminated and the new Hydra-Matic automatic transmission was available for the first time having been pioneered by Oldsmobile in the previous year. The prow-nosed look seen in the Thirties was gone, replaced by massive front-end highlighted by the now-famous egg-crate grille. Headlamps were now mounted in, rather than on top of, the front fenders. Equipped with a Cord-like coffin-nose hood the new Cadillacs were noticeably different from their predecessors and set the standard for American luxury during the 1940s. A mid-sized 29-passenger transit bus prototype called the 101 was built during 1941, but never saw production. However their experience with the vehicle helped procure a large contract to produce bodies for a post-war Reo transit coach.The A-framed Meteor coaches continued little unchanged through 1942 although a less-expensive series of coaches appeared in 1941 mounted on Chevrolet chassis that featured normal-looking vertically-oriented B-pillars. When seen on a flower car body, Meteor's A-framed front doors looked good and their 1942 version featured a 5-window business coupe roof mounted on top of a standard Meteor coach body that had been built with no structure above the beltline. The coupe's blanked-in rear quarter-windows were covered by a landau bar and the base of the roof flowed straight back to the rear of the flower box which still had a makeshift faux folded-convertible roof. The rear doors were left intact and could be used to load chairs or other graveside necessities. Access to the casket compartment was through the tailgate which had built-in casket rollers that matched those on the compartment floor. The height of the exposed stainless steel flower deck was hydraulically adjustable so that different-sized floral tributes could be accommodated and a tonneau was included to cover the bed when not in use.After an illustrious career with Henney and a short stint at the Des Moines Casket Company, automotive designer Herman Earl (1878-1957) worked for Meteor up until his retirement during WWII. Another famous wartime Meteor employee was John B. Judkins who became a consultant for the firm, when his Merrimac, MA coachbuilding firm folded in 1942. During the War, Meteor manufactured aviation equipment for the US Navy and ramped up for civilian production in early 1945.Immediately after the war Meteor built 969 bus bodies for Reo's post-war 96-HT 'Victory' bus (1945-1947). These Reo-Meteor coaches included a Continental 427cu in 6­cylinder gasoline engine mounted under the floor and featured sectional bodies similar to those produced by Wayne Works.1946-1948 Meteor coaches remained unchanged from the pre-war 1942 models and still included weird A-framed front doors with integral miniature coach lamps. As with other makers, post-war prices increased by about 50% and new Meteor coaches started at $5,000. All Meteor coaches were now built on Cadillac chassis and included rear fender skirts plus optional automatic transmission and air-conditioning. Ambulances could be ordered with built-in roof-top warning lights, a choice of sirens plus a clever front fender-mounted fire extinguisher.Cadillac's new commercial chassis was available beginning 1949, one year after the introduction of their famous P-38 Lightning-influenced rear fenders.

Are the engine and drive train still there?

It's all there folks!

No engine

I like to see them when their done too.

Thing is really trashed


Greg Andry

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3 weeks ago

Muscle Car Fan

About 60 vintage Vintage parts cars for sale in Michigan. Cadillacs, Olds... ...

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4 weeks ago

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One beautiful Car. One of my favorites !!!! I wish I had the money to buy it !!!!!!🚦

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