Ford - Thunderbird
Three men are generally credited with creating the original Thunderbird: Lewis D. Crusoe, a retired GM executive lured out of retirement by Henry Ford II; George Walker, chief stylist and a Ford vice-president; and Frank Hershey, a Ford designer. Crusoe and Walker met in France in October 1951. Walking in the Grand Palais in Paris, Crusoe pointed at a sports car and asked Walker, 'Why can’t we have something like that?' Walker promptly telephoned Ford's HQ in Dearborn and told designer Frank Hershey about the idea. Hershey took the idea and began working on the vehicle.
SwitzerlandUSA
Switzerland
Ford Thunderbird-click for a larger picture
Ford Thunderbird 1955
Ford Thunderbird Convertible
Location
Cressier
County
Fribourg, Switzerland
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Available for photography only: Luggage: 1 small Available only with chauffeur:chauffeur  photography onlyGearbox:manual Power steering: Audio:radio
USA
Ford Thunderbird-click for a larger picture
Ford Thunderbird 1957
Ford Thunderbird Limited Edition
Location
Los Angeles
County
Cailfornia
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Number of persons:2 Luggage:2 large + 1 small Minimum driver age:25 Gearbox:auto Power steering: Audio:radio
The concept was for a two-passenger open car, with a target weight of 2525 lb (1145 kg), an Interceptor V8 engine and a top speed of over 100 mph (160 km/h). Crusoe saw a painted clay model on May 18, 1953, which corresponded closely to the final car; he gave the car the go-ahead in September after comparing it with current European trends.

 

The car was shown at the Detroit Auto Show on February 20, 1954. The first production car came off the line on September 9, 1954, and went on sale on October 22, 1954 as a 1955 model, and sold briskly; 3,500 orders were placed in the first ten days of sale. Ford had only projected building 10,000; eventual 1955 sales were 16,155. As standard, the 1955 Ford Thunderbird included a removable fiberglass top; a fabric convertible top was an option, although commonly specified.

 

The engine was a 292 Y-block V8. The car had fender skirts. The exhaust pipes exited through twin bumper guards, which are bolted to the rear bumper.  

 

Created to act as a retort to the Chevrolet Corvette, it was also the first mass produced edition of all the Ford Thunderbird models. Exactly 53,166 models were produced. It was produced with a Fordomatic or Overdrive transmissions, and featured four-way powered seats and pushbutton interior door handles. Equipped with a V8 engine, the Thunderbird could hit 110-120 mph. It was a smaller two-seat "personal luxury car", compared to the wallowing barges that roamed all the roads in the 1950s. It was designed to be a brisk luxury tourer, and not a sports car.  

 

Source: Wikipedia.
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