After the end of the Second World War, there was a demand for sports cars in America. The American automobile industry was slow to recognize this market and foreign companies such as MG and Triumph were importing and selling two-seat sports cars in large numbers. General Motors first responded to this demand in 1953…
After the end of the Second World War, there was a demand for sports cars in America. The American automobile industry was slow to recognize this market and foreign companies such as MG and Triumph were importing and selling two-seat sports cars in large numbers. General Motors first responded to this demand in 1953 with the Chevrolet Corvette. Ford responded in 1955 with the all-new Thunderbird.
The 1956 Ford Thunderbirds used the same body as the 1955 models, but there were a few new features that made them distinctly different. The most visible difference was the outside location of the spare tire, which collectors refer to as a Continental Kit as this feature was first seen on the 1940 Lincoln Continentals. Other stylistic changes seen on the 1956 models included wind wings, fender mounted cowl vents and a redesigned rear bumper that provided a neat exit for the dual exhausts.
This example of a 1956 Thunderbird is a largely original car that has received areas of cosmetic restoration over the years. It is certainly not a show car, but it is a reliable driver that has been regularly enjoyed by its current owner. The mileage indicated is just under 55,000 and the VIN number is M6FH166101.
The body shows some evidence of repair. These repaired areas are mainly the sills below the doors and the rocker panels, which have evidence of fillers and visible rust bubbles in the paint. Both the driver and passenger side floor pans also show evidence of old, metal repairs and a few of the body supports have also been repaired as needed. These repairs were done many years ago and have survived well. The trunk pan appears to be solid as does the floor pan behind the seat. Most importantly, the “X” frame, which is typically damaged on 1955 through 1957 Thunderbirds, is solid and thick. The undercarriage appears to be structurally sound and mostly original with normal surface rust and some original paint.
The exterior of this vehicle is finished in Thunderbird yellow. While the paint is worn, has overall blemishes and flaws, it shows well from a distance. The car was originally black from the factory.
On the inside, the black and white interior is very clean and presentable. The dashboard assembly looks to be mostly original. The working AM/FM radio is an aftermarket and has a cassette player. There are rubber floor mats. The power seat assembly moves back and forth but the up/down function does not operate. The car is equipped with seat belts.
This example is equipped with both the removable hardtop and the folding, convertible top. Both are in very good condition.
Mechanically, this Thunderbird runs and drives extremely well. It has been actively used and frequently serviced.
The original 292 cubic inch, Thunderbird V-8 engine starts easily has been recently tuned. It has never overheated and it does not smoke. The exhaust system is older and will likely need replacing soon. The engine is extremely strong and easily propels the car down the road. The engine is equipped with the optional Thunderbird, finned-aluminum valve covers. A new fuel tank and sending unit were installed a few years back.
This Thunderbird is equipped with the seldom seen, three-speed manual transmission, which adds to the sports car experience. The transmission, clutch, rear end, steering and suspension appear to be in good working order and the car has a tight feel when driving down the road. The steering is responsive and free from excessive play. The brakes have been recently serviced with new cylinders and hoses. Both the service brakes and emergency brake operate well. The tires are older but the wheels have been fitted with new accessory wire basket wheel covers and new center medallions.
The headlights, horn, wiper, heater blower and rear lights function properly.
This Thunderbird is equipped with an original, dealer installed, air conditioner. The air conditioner has been recently serviced and filled with R-12. It blows cold and works well. May need recharging by summer time. Very few two-seat Thunderbirds are equipped with this desirable option.
Overall, this is a ready to drive Thunderbird that is attractively priced and ready for its next caretaker. We invite you to come and see this car personally. We believe you will be pleasantly surprised.It is a well-equipped car with both tops and air conditioning. This 1956 Thunderbird can be easily improved upon while it is driven and enjoyed. It presents an affordable opportunity for a new or experienced collector to own one of the most iconic American cars ever built.
All potential Stateside customers should simply contact the St. Louis Car Museum & Sales directly for competitive rate quotes and professional, enclosed shipping options.
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