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Classic Thunderbird Engines
Just what was a stock, no frills added, 
'55, '56, or '57  Ford Thunderbird?

A basic Thunderbird came stock with a manual 3-speed transmission, 292 Y-block engine,  "Thunderbird" decaled black valve covers, painted oil breather cap,  painted fan, Argent silver air breather cover,  plain black-wall tires, removeable hardtop, manual steering, small hubcaps, manual roll-up windows, manual brakes, manual seat adjustments, clock, vinyl interior.

No Radio, No heater, No fender skirts, No back-up lights, No windshield washer, and no seatbelts.

These were the options for ALL the little 'Birds (except where noted) - many of which, the dealers ordered for the cars as a matter of practice- for better sales.

  • Soft-top: this could be ordered as a no-cost option in place of the Hardtop OR as a cost option if both tops were wanted.
  • Engine:  no option for the 1955; for 1956 and 1957, the 312 Y-block was commonly the engine of choice.  See the "engine" page for specifics.  Dual 4-barrel carburators were available in '56 & '57 and a supercharger was available in '57.
  • Transmissions:  3-speed manual with overdrive OR the Ford-o-matic: which was the most common option ordered of the transmissions.
  • Heater: in southern climes, you will find T-birds without heaters.
  • Radio: this was an option!
  • Back-up Lights 
  • Wide WhiteWall Tires
  • Fender Skirts
  • Engine Dress-up Kit: very commonly found on these 'birds, included chrome air filter cover, chrome oil filler tube cap, finned aluminum valve covers and in the 55's and early '56's, 3-bladed chrome fans.
  • Wind shield washer
  • Full wheel hub caps:  wire wheel style hub caps were also available in '55 & '56 and came with the small hubcaps - no wire style sets were made for the 57.
  • Power windows
  • Power seats:  in '57, 2 options were available, the normal powerseats available for all 3 years or a new "dial-a-matic" power seat.
  • Power steering
  • Power brakes
  • Seat Belts: only on the '56 and '57
  • Tonneau cover: a vinyl cover for the cockpit, hung behind the seat and could be snapped into place across the dash.  Also had a middle zipper so the driver could have the front passenger seat covered while driving.
Next Question?
Can not tell the difference in the years?? 
Then check out this link--------------------------
For more information on the Classic Thunderbirds of 1955 thru 1957, join CTCI.  CTCI has been THE organization for Classic Thunderbirds since 1964.
 Pictures will be added eventually. 
that's it for now . 
A LIne of Dot's
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copyright 2000-2009 Dot Lang

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