11-12 October 2012

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Lot 151

1957 Ford Thunderbird Convertible Resto-Mod

  • Chassis no. 11D7FH232581

$35,000 - $45,000

Est. 225 hp, 5.0 liter fuel-injected V-8, Ford AOD automatic transmission, independent front suspension with sway bars front and rear, power front disc, rear drum brakes. Wheelbase: 102 in.

Ford introduced its 1957 models on October 1, 1956, including the new Thunderbird, which was 6.1 inches longer and featured updated styling, with features like canted fins to make it look more like the rest of the Ford lineup. The lengthening allowed Ford designers to return the spare tire to the trunk, and it received 14-inch wheels, which gave it a lower riding stance. The interior was given a new dash and updated upholstery treatments, in addition to a Volumatic radio that rose in volume as the car’s speed increased and the Dial-O-Matic power seat that returned to its rearmost position when the ignition was turned off, allowing for easier entry and exit, then returning to its pre-set position when the ignition was started. Base price was $3,408, although nicely optioned cars were well over $4,000.

This example is a full body-off restoration that appears largely stock from the exterior, deftly hiding a number of thoughtful advancements. Under the hood is a 1991 Ford 5.0 liter fuel-injected V-8 rated at approximately 225 horsepower. It was fully rebuilt prior to installation and has 423 test miles added since. The Ford automatic transmission is mated to a Lokar floor shifter. Other performance upgrades include a K&N air filter, GM rack & pinion power steering, power brakes with front discs using Thunderbird components, GM alternator, electric fuel pump, halogen headlights, and air conditioning by Vintage Air.

Other items of note include Kelsey-Hayes wire wheels with radial whitewall tires, a tilt and telescopic steering wheel and column by Ididit, AM-FM cassette player with Thunderbird logo, Dolphin gauges, an electric cooling fan, and electric wipers. Finished in red with a white top and two-tone black and white interior with a black padded dash, this Thunderbird gives all of the performance and comfort of a modern car with authentic Ford styling from 1957.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alexander Weaver


+1 864 313 6844
California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat


+44 (0) 74 1511 4179
United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht


+1 203 912 7168
Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

David Swig


+1 415 302 2247
California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose


+1 617 513 0388
United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould


+1 954 566 2209
Florida, United States

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff


+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Jake Auerbach


+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Kurt Forry


+1 717 623 1638
California, United States

Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut


+1 805 231 6410
California, United States

A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire


+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn


+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin


+44 (0) 75 0110 7447
United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill


+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher


+1 519 784 9300
Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

Shelby Myers


+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden


+31 653 84 19 60
United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more