1957 Cali Ford Thunderbird All Original Restored "D Code" 312 CI V8 Bronze/White

1957 Ford Thunderbird

Technical specifications of Ford Thunderbird 1957

Price: US $25,099.99
Item location: Glendale, California, United States
Make: Ford
Model: Thunderbird
Type: Convertible
Year: 1957
Mileage: 92850
VIN: D7FH125576
Color: Bronze
Engine size: 312 CI V8 "D" Code
Number of cylinders: 8
Power options: Steering, Disc Brakes, Power Windows
Fuel: Gasoline
Transmission: Automatic
Drive type: RWD
Interior color: White
Drive side: Left-hand drive
Safety options: Seatbelts
Options: Convertible
Vehicle Title: Clean
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Car description

No solicitations please - I don't need assistance selling.

Note, I have over 470+ pictures of the car from every possible angle in a google photo album that I am working on embedding onto this page. Interested parties may message me for a link to the pics. Please note that pictures 2-18 on this listing are of the actual car for sale, picture 1 is a stock picture that shows what the car looks like with the top off and is NOT the actual car.Taking off the hardtop is a two person job and when taking pictures didn't have assistance thus I wasn't able to take pictures with the top removed.

A purchase agreement on ebay is binding and it costs me as the seller money to list each time, so make sure you are going to follow through on the purchase, that you have the full funds available at the time of purchase, and that you ask questions beforehand. This is an extremely thorough and honest write-up, so it should answer most questions. My number is listed below, please read carefully and ask questions BEFORE agreeing to purchase. My goal is to make customers totally happy so I try to minimize the possibility of surprises by being very direct in my descriptions. I put myself in the buyers shoes.

Terms of sale: Once you agree to purchase you will need to leave a standard deposit. You have 7 days to make a full payment for the balance via cash, cashier's check, or bank/wire transfer. Once full payment is made and confirmed I will physically mail you the signed and completed California title within 24 hours (unless Sunday) and will email you the tracking number for the title. Title will be sent via USPS certified mail. The buyer is then responsible for picking up the car. You have 14 days to pickup the car off the premises, after which storage fees of $100 per day will apply. The car will not be released until storage fees, if any are incurred, are paid. The current pandemic shutdown in California does not apply to car transport companies, mechanics, and banks thus you should be able to pick up, get inspected (if desired), and pay right away. The car is sold solelyAS-ISas an used 63 year old car, i.e. not perfect,without any warranties implied, I have done my best to describe it accurately and honestly below. Buyers should inspect before buying as a professional mechanic will find things that were missed, I am not a mechanic and do not claim to be.

For sale is a professionally restored (documented restoration) matching-numbers "D" code 1957 Ford Thunderbird convertible with original California black plate in Thunderbird Bronze paint with Colonial White Top and White Interior. This is a matching-everything car. The engine, transmission are the original ones from the factory with this car. The t-bird bronze color and white interior are as specified on the firewall plate QE = Thunderbird Bronze with Colonial White Top, and XK = White Interior. This is a private party sale with the California title immediately on hand and ready for transfer. Odometer is showing 92,890.Miles are original and has not turned. Not a single dent or ding on body and zero rust on body or frame. Stick your head underneath the car and you won't find any rust anywhere, underneath the car looks amazing. The chrome on the front and rear bumpers looks beautiful and shiny with no rust, dings/dents, or pitting. A Southern California original car from day one when it was first sold new in the San Diego area. It has power windows, power brakes (front brakes had a documented conversion showing the parts/labor breakdown from drum to disc brakes during restoration to help with stopping, see below), and power steering. One owner between 1959-2019, I am the third owner overall since early September 2019. It was built on October 20, 1956 in Dearborn, Michigan and shipped after being built to be sold at City Motors Ford in National City, CA in the San Diego area (later renamed Colonial Ford in the late 1960s). It has resided inside a garage with a car cover to protect its interior/exterior and bumper chrome throughout its life, being driven only occasionally in dry and fair Southern California weather. The dealer it was sold to is documented in the original (not a photocopy) 1956 Ford Motor Company sales invoice stamped at the Dearborn factory it was built in showing the options breakdown which I will provide the new owner. The invoice also has a stamp: "DRIVE AWAY GARAGE" "DEARNBORN ASSEMBLY PLANT" "PLANT SECURITY SECTION" with a time/date stamp of 1:16 PM on October 31, 1956. The invoice also shows the ship to dealer, number of days of scheduled transit, etc. Total sales price according to the invoice in 1956 for this t-bird was precisely $3,305.70 including dealer charges. All four tires are in good shape and do not show cracking or age fatigue. Both windshield wipers have been tested and work great. The blower/heater have been tested and work great. The steering wheel horn has been tested and works.

This is a “D” code car that has a 312 CID V8 245 hp engine with Ford-O-Matic automatic 3-speed transmission. The engine and transmission are “matching numbers” and are the ones that came originally with the car and have never been swapped out. This t-bird is immediately ready for long distance trips and is a good driver grade car. It starts right up every time as soon as the key is turned and is regularly driven to avoid problems. It was recently driven from the San Diego area to Los Angeles, 120 miles, without any problems. It comes with the porthole delete option in the hardtop (the porthole was a zero cost option when new) and has the T-bird insignia in its place, which matches the insignia on the steering wheel. 50% of these t-birds were portholes, 50% were not. Note that this is a hardtop only with no soft top, although it includes the original heavy-duty vinyl tonneau cover (with original slip case) which protects the entire passenger compartment and covers the seats, steering wheel, top dash in case there is sudden rain and you are caught with the hardtop off.

In 2012 it underwent a documented $11k+ professional restoration by Hilltop Classics. A frame-off restoration was not needed and work during this light restoration was left to mainly mechanical and interior work. There was an extensive amount of work that was done to get in running after it was sitting for a number of years, with a parts and labor list that is several pages long. The fuel system from the tank to the carburetor was rebuilt. The cooling system was rebuilt. The seats were re-upholstered including with new foam, and installed to factory original specs and colors. The interior dash padding was replaced during restore to factory original spec and color. The side door panels were replaced with original spec parts, the carpets were replaced to factory spec, etc. Too many things to list, but I have the paperwork showing what was done. There are two documented functional improvement modifications done to it during this restoration; the original front drum brakes were converted to disc brakes and the neutral safety switch was modified to allow for it to start more easily in the modern park "P" gear, instead of in neutral. Lap belts were also added for safety. During the restoration a new exhaust was installed along with muffler and new rear tail pipes, a new fuel tank, new fuel pump, new radiator, new starter, and a large amount of other work done and parts replaced. Numerous bushing parts in the suspension were also installed. All of this work described previously is fully documented and readily available for review and split into parts/labor costs.

The chrome bumpers look wonderful and are very shiny and attractive with no rust or pitting anywhere. Note, although the body is immaculate and perfect, there are minor scratches and paint chips on different spots on the paint. It is not a perfect concours car but an original, rust-free, attractive looking, and solid running driver car capable of immediately driving long distances. Sellers of classics tell you all of their cars positives, but usually never a list of their known and obvious negatives; which I don't agree with because it is a waste of time for both sellers and buyers. There is no '57 T-bird in the world at this price point that is going to be perfect.

All known cosmetic and functional issues:

1) As previously mentioned, paint chips/minor scratches on paint in various locations. Still looks very good overall but set expectations for the paint accordingly.

2) All the original equipment has been tested and works with the exception of the original town & country radio and the clock. From what I have researched the town & country radio may need its vacuum tubes replaced. Headlights (high and low) and turn signals work. Both rear turn signals work but the rear brake lights, rear parking lights, and license plate light do not currently turn on. The interior map light in the center of the dash turns on automatically each time the door is opened, but the instrument lights come on only dimly.

3) The glove box - The keyhole which opens the box has become recessed and fallen inside the box and needs to be pulled out. The glove box does not currently open due to this.

4) Both of the rear tires rub slightly against the insides of the rear fender skirt sometimes when turning. Practically speaking, the only time you can sense this is when the car makes a noise from the rear wheels when turning at low speed. I have not had this diagnosed, but I believe it may be due to a wheel alignment issue or an issue with pressure (the owner's manual specifies 22 PSI for the tires).

5) The driver's side power window goes up and down perfectly, the passenger side is slower to go up and down but still does work and closes all the way properly on its own.

6) The passenger side door's rear edge sticks out about .5" from the rest of the body when closed. The door locks and unlocks correctly using the key, and the hinge opens and closes it normally and smoothly, so mechanically the door seems to be fine. This car hasn't been in any accidents so I believe it's a door and/or hinge alignment issue. The car is weatherproof if exposed to water as there is no water that seeps in, so it's up to the buyer to investigate and fix if they choose to.

7) Various exterior rubber weatherstrips around the door windows and hardtop will need to be replaced as they have deteriorated.

8) Nearly all1955-1957 t-birds with original engines, with slim-to-none exceptions, either leak engine oil or will soon leak oil after a recent engine rebuild. This one is no exception. The problem is due to the rope material that was originally used to seal the rear main seal of the engine at the factory. Unfortunately even if newer, modern materials such as neoprene are used to put in a new seal at the cost of several thousand dollars (engine out and hood off job often times), the problem will reappear and oil will leak whether it is days, weeks, months, or years.Search for this issue on t-bird forums and you will hear repeated stories of owners replacing the rear seal on their cars 1-3 times and it continuing to leak shortly afterward. Honest restoration shops that areknowledgeableabout these cars won't redo the seals by themselves because they know they can't guarantee the work.Long story short is they all do it, and unfortunately there's no way to prevent it on these old engines.The good news:the leak is very minor, at only a few drops of oil per month, but it's enough to point out to the buyer of this car or any other t-bird from this era. This is more of a "put a piece of cardboard under the car" leak, rather than a "put a container under it" leak problem. In fact, we just keep a piece of cardboard under the car. I am telling any potential buyers about this and other issues beforehand because I want to make certain that the new owner is happy with their purchase and to minimizethe possibilityof any surprises.

In addition to the 1956 ford factory invoice and the restoration documentation and receipts, I will also include the original owner’s handbook/manual. Includes a spare tire. Also included is the original 3 key set with the Thunderbird logo engraved on each key. Includes the original tonneau cover with original pocket which the cover folds into. Also included is a custom car cover which fits tightly over the entire body. Also included is a hardback full color book on the history of the Thunderbird as well as a small box of spare parts.

If you have any questions or would like to see the car call my cell at eight one eight eight three nine zero two three seven.

Disclaimer: This is a 63 year old used car that is sold solely AS-IS. It's an original car in very good shape overall, but is not perfect. I have done my best to describe its positives and negatives to the best of my abilities in the above description, but I may have missed some things. It is up to any potential buyer to do an inspection of it, either themselves or by having it looked at by a professional. I don't have a problem with a potential buyer taking it to a local mechanic if desired to get inspected.

It is currently registered as non-op with the California DMV and does not owe anything. Although I am serious about selling and hope to find a new owner for it soon I am not desperate or in a hurry to sell, I believe the price I am asking is reasonable compared to other '57 birds.I am more than happy to answer any questions from interested parties and show the car to serious buyers, but please no tire kickers.

Thanks for looking!

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