At the Detroit Auto Show in 1954, Ford unveiled what would become an iconic adversary to the all-conquering Chevrolet Corvette. Out selling the competition from the very first year of production, by 1957 the Ford Thunderbird triumphed as an outright threat to the Corvette on more than just the personal car market - the racing scene was claimed, too.
However, this one heading to auction is unique like no other. Of the 21,380 T-Birds produced in 1957, only 196 of them were F-Birds, and of those only one is known to have been finished in Azure Blue.
According to the factory invoice included with the rare machine, the F-Bird was delivered new to Craig Wood Ford in Ridgewood, New Jersey, and was specially ordered with a non-porthole hardtop. It was also equipped with Ford-O-Matic transmission, white interior with signal seeking radio, and Firestone wide whitewall tires with turbine-style Ford wheel covers.
After being professionally restored, it won the Antique Automobile Club of America National First Prize in 2017 in Hershey, Pennsylvania. The star vehicle is part of The Amos Minter F-Bird Collection, the main attraction for the Indy 2019 Mecum auction, to be held on May 14-19.
The opportunity to own this highly coveted F-Bird, one of today’s most collectable classic cars, will likely be once in a life time affair.
With the release of the F-code engine option, the 1957 Thunderbird homologated the supercharger for NASCAR racing and, at the 1957 Daytona Spring Speed Week Trials, pronounced tarmac dominance over its bow-tied Corvette foe.
The 1957 Thunderbird with a F engine code, or “F-Bird” as it would later be called, came equipped with a 312 CI 4-barrel V-8 engine with a Paxton-McCulloch VR57 supercharger, delivering 300 HP capable of 0-60 MPH times in less than 6 seconds and a top speed of just less than 130 MPH.
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