Matt Harwood

1957 Ford Thunderbird *SOLD*

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SOLD! Look, I know that some of you are going to hate this car, and that's OK. You could be be forgiven for thinking that all Thunderbirds were delivered new with chrome wire wheels, fender skirts, and wide whites, but the truth is, all those things were optional and not everyone (in fact only a minority) of buyers purchased them loaded up that way. I acquired this car from a nice lady whose late husband bought it for her and then passed away. She couldn't deal with the car, so they covered it up in their garage and forgot about it. Eventually her son talked her into getting rid of it and called me to take it off her hands and help ease her heart. It's no secret that I don't much like these cars, but she was such a nice lady that it didn't feel right to turn her down. It showed up pretty forlorn and wearing these goofball K-Mart wheels with plastic wire hubcaps, so I did just what she did--I put it in the corner and covered it up, figuring I'd get to it sooner or later. Or not.


Eventually I decided I needed to do something with it and at least free up the shop space, so we cleaned it up. Lo and behold, there was a REALLY nice car under there. Apparently it had a high-quality restoration right before her late husband gave it to her (we have full restoration photos), and it has been driven very little. The Raven Black bodywork is laser straight and the paint is really nice. OK, now we're getting somewhere. Same with the interior, which was dirty, but mostly new, so it all cleaned up beautifully. LIkewise the black canvas convertible top, which was stashed behind the seats for years. Cleaned up, it looks almost new with just some light stretching. Chrome was brilliant. Engine nicely detailed. It needed some mechanical TLC, obviously, but even there most of it was rather nicely done. Underneath, it's all new with almost no wear or signs of driving. Turns out, this is probably the nicest baby 'Bird I've ever had, and I've had many.


But those Godawful wheels and it didn't have skirts. What to do?


I wasn't interested in pouring another several thousand dollars into the car for the usual wire wheels and wide whites, plus another few hundred for some repro skirts, trim, and paint, all so I could try to make it stand out among hundreds of other identical cars. So we went the other way and turned it into a bare-bones knuckle-brawler. I saw a 1957 F-Bird sell at auction last year that looked identical to this car, colors and all, and that was my inspiration. It was built for combat. I figured there are plenty of generic, soft, fluffy, chromey, Suzanne Sommers T-Birds out there. Maybe this one will talk to someone in a different way. It just looks badass, and I have to admit, I've never seen a badass 2-seater T-Bird. Have you?


It's going to be a love-it-or-hate-it thing, I know that, but my 89-year-old friend Jerry came in and said that this was how most T-Birds looked back in the '50s, and I guess he should know. So here it is. It turns out that it's the nicest T-Bird I've ever had, and it's the ONLY ONE I've ever liked. I stand back and admire it. I drive it because I like it. If you want a fluffy garden-variety one, look on Hemmings, there are about fifteen pages of them. But if you want the badass 'Bird with a documented frame-off restoration that's detailed to a very high level, well, this one might fill the bill. Asking $39,900 and the quality measures up.

Thanks for looking!









Edited by Matt Harwood (see edit history)
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I think it's JUST RIGHT! I am by no means at all a Ford guy, but that car is my kind of car. It's BEAUTIFUL.

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While I've never had much interest in baby birds, this is one cool looking car and the only one I've seen I'd want to drive. 

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A friend of mine's, grandfather; had bought one new in 1957.  It looked exactly like this one.  Black color, red interior,  no skirts


When the car came up for sale only about 15 years ago; they honored my request at, getting a first chance to bid on it.  Yes, fair enough


It had been in storage for many years; and I saw it in that storage; only as a walk -by - look.  When it came to buy it; I needed a better look.  Every body mount, had serious rust; the floors were perfect original, the car looked good and ran good.  At the time, I thought the body ,mount rust was beyond me. 


And Yes, I like the look of this car, in the post



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