Lot 369

1957 Ford Thunderbird 'E-Code'


$66,000 USD | Sold

United States | Hershey, Pennsylvania



Chassis No.
Canadian Registration
  • Stunning example of the final year for two-seat Thunderbirds
  • One of just 1,499 “E-code” Thunderbirds
  • Award-winning refurbishment completed in 2008
  • Highly desirable and factory correct Flame Red over red interior
  • Equipped with Kelsey Hayes wire wheels and removable hardtop

The Ford Thunderbird, considered a “personal car” rather than a sports car upon its introduction in 1954, was a sophisticated, luxurious reply to Chevrolet’s visceral Corvette. The “T-Bird,” as it was affectionately nicknamed, was low slung and of all-metal construction, and boasted a V-8 engine over the Corvette’s Blue Flame straight-six. Success was instantaneous, and a total of 16,155 examples were sold in its first year, as opposed to just 700 Corvettes.

As sales of the Thunderbird increased, the 1957 model year brought a redesign, resulting in what many enthusiasts consider to be the most beautiful two-seater version of the car. The new T-Bird was longer, lower, smoother, and fitted with canted fins that flowed back to big, round taillights at the rear. In all, more than 21,000 Thunderbirds found owners for 1957, the final year of two-seater production until the reintroduction of the Thunderbird nameplate in 2003.

The 1957 Ford Thunderbird offered here is reported to be one of 1,499 “E-code” examples, with a 312-cubic-inch Y-block V-8 engine featuring a pair of Holley four-barrel carburetors. It was rated at 270 horsepower at 4,800 rpm and 336 lb.-ft. of torque at 3,400 rpm. Power is sent rearward through a three-speed manual transmission equipped with overdrive. This example benefits from a refurbishment completed in 2008 under previous ownership. The body was reportedly removed from the frame and refinished in its factory shade of Flame Red. It is fitted with Kelsey Hayes wire wheels wrapped in wide whitewall tires, and a black soft-top. A removable porthole hardtop completes the car’s superb exterior presentation.

The Thunderbird’s cabin features a bench seat trimmed in correct red vinyl upholstery, while chromed and engine-turned trim accents the color-coordinated dashboard and doors. Equipment includes roll-up windows, lap belts, a heater and red carpeting. The Town and Country signal-seeking radio is said to be inoperable.

Belying the age of the refurbishment, the car still presents beautifully. It is a multiple award winner, having received the Palmetto Award at the 2012 Hilton Head Island Concours d’Elegance. Additional recognition includes a class win from the Vintage Thunderbird Club International (VTCI) that same year. An ideal addition to any mid-century collection, this E-code Thunderbird is ready to be enjoyed both on the show field and on the open road.