The Thunderbird appeared a year after the Corvette and was direct competition. Ford's new two-seater had the same simple layout of a separate chassis with live rear axle on leaf springs, but with the important difference of a V8 up front. The 265ci (4.3-liter) engine gave the performance people expected, and a year later a larger, 312ci (5.1-liter) unit became available. The T-bird also had other advanced features such as power brakes and steering, making them better cars to drive. The car came with a glass-fibre bolt-on hardtop, but had the option of a convertible roof for an extra $290. At first the T-Bird carried its spare wheel above the fender, but Ford extended the rear for 1957, which meant it could be carried in the trunk. The extra weight put into the rear of the car also helped ride quality. This was the best-selling of all early Thunderbirds.
Ford Thunderbird (1957) Specifications
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