1957 Ford Thunderbird 'F-Code'
Sold For $148,500Inclusive of applicable buyer's fee.
RM | Auctions - HERSHEY 5 - 6 OCTOBER 2017 - Offered on Friday
- Rare and desirable supercharged F-Code V-8
- Reportedly one of 16 F-Code convertibles in Starmist Blue
- One of just 17 supercharged three-speed examples
- Documented by a copy of original FoMoCo build sheet
Ford introduced its 1957 models on 1 October 1956, including the new Thunderbird, which was 6.1 inches longer than previous models. It featured updated styling with canted fins to resemble the rest of the Ford lineup. The lengthening allowed the Ford designers to return the spare tire to the trunk. Fourteen-inch wheels and 7.50 × 14 tires gave the car a lower riding stance. The interior received a new dash and updated upholstery treatments. The public liked the changes too, as 1957 was the largest production year for the original two-seat Thunderbirds with 21,380 produced.
Standard engine was a C-code, two-barrel, 292-cu. in. V-8 now rated at 212 hp. Base price was $3,408, though most cars with options were well over $4,000. New turbine-style wheel covers and wide whitewall tires were popular options for 1957. Also new were four available engine choices, including the base 292 and optional 312 V-8s in three versions. The D-Code car produced 245 hp from its 312 cubic inches. The E-code car produced 275 hp. Finally, the vaunted F-code was an all-out racing variant. It used a belt-driven McCullough/Paxton supercharger producing 340 hp at an extra cost of $500. Approximately 200 or so (sources vary) of these were produced, making them the rarest of the original two-seat Thunderbirds.
This coveted “F-Bird,” formerly part of the Ron Pratte collection, has been part of the consignor’s cache of Thunderbirds since 2007. It has been both meticulously maintained and housed in a climate-controlled facility. It was restored by Robbins Restorations of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, in the l980s and remains in superb condition, attesting to the quality of the restoration. It received both AACA honors and Best of Show at the Classic Thunderbird Club International Meet in Bend, Oregon, in 1986.
Finished in Starmist Blue with two-tone blue interior, it is one of reportedly 16 made in that color for 1957 and one of 17 supercharged T-birds with the three-speed manual transmission. This is a late-production car, completed on 31 July 1957 and shipped to the Jack Roach dealership, Houston, Texas, as evidenced by a copy of the build sheet, which is included in the sale. Options include a signal-seeking radio, Dial-o-Matic power seat, power windows, and windshield washer. The car retains its original jack.
Certainly one of the finest Thunderbirds recently on offer, this T-Bird has it all: color, condition, authenticity, and the rarity of the F-code engine option. It is among the very best available.