Lot 109

Amelia Island 2023

1956 Ford Thunderbird

Offered from the Iannelli Family Collection


$85,120 USD | Sold

United States | Amelia Island, Florida



Chassis No.
US Title
  • Offered from the Iannelli Family Collection
  • Formerly a member of the esteemed Jerry Capizzi collection
  • Rotisserie-restored to concours quality in the 1990s
  • Powered by a twin-four-barrel 312-cu. in. V-8 engine
  • Featuring aftermarket air conditioning, power brakes, and power steering

The 1956 Thunderbird offered minimal changes from the previous year, the most notable including a new rear bumper, a winged badge on the nose, new taillights, front fender vents to keep the passenger compartment cooler, new interior seat and door panels, and new exterior colors. As Chevrolet did with the Corvette, Ford quickly learned that more power equated to more sales; newly optional was a 312-cubic-inch V-8 producing 215 horsepower with manual transmission and 225 horsepower with the Ford-O-Matic automatic transmission.

Perhaps the most notable changes were the addition of portholes in the optional hardtop to improve visibility and the decorative mounting of the spare tire on the rear of the car outside the trunk. Ford built 15,631 Thunderbirds for the 1956 model year, including this example finished in Silver Grey over a non-standard grey interior.

Formerly part of the esteemed Jerry Capizzi Collection, the Thunderbird presented here received a comprehensive rotisserie restoration while under his care in the 1990s. Photos on file show the process of removing the various mechanical components and separating the body and chassis for reconditioning. Once reassembled, the roadster was further equipped with a twin-four-barrel carburetor setup atop the 312-cubic-inch V-8 engine. Creature comforts include an aftermarket air conditioning unit, power brakes, power steering, and a Thunderbird AM/FM/cassette stereo. The exterior further features Kelsey-Hayes wire wheels, fender skirt shields, and whitewall tires for a classic mid-century look. An award winner, the car received the 1st Place, Gold at the 1994 CTCI National Convention and followed up in 1995 and 2000 with regional 1st Place awards from CTCI which further substantiate the quality of the restoration.

The Thunderbird left the Capizzi Collection in 2006 and remained in the care of its subsequent long-term owner until 2022, when it joined the Iannelli Collection. The car will be accompanied by a collection of restoration photos and the aforementioned awards. Under the care of its current owner, work was performed in preparation for the sale, including full mechanical systems tests of the suspension, engine, gearbox, charging system, and comfort features. In addition, various components were lubricated, the fuel system received a new filter, and the carburetor was tuned. Lastly, an original-type battery was sourced and installed.

Still showing in remarkable condition, this Ford Thunderbird remains an excellent candidate for any number of shows both regional and national.