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.