Concours Condition 1957 Ford Thunderbird E-Code Heads to Auction

Five decades before the Ford Thunderbird ended up as a slow-selling failure, the evocative nameplate created an automotive niche that was all the rage back in the 1950s. Though the personal luxury car didn’t make past the awkward eleventh generation, the first-gen Thunderbird continues to be revered by car collectors.
1957 Ford Thunderbird E-Code 13 photos
Photo: Mecum Auctions
1957 Ford Thunderbird E-Code
The Thunderbird that caught our attention on this occasion is a 1957 model with the E-Code option. Compared to other versions, the Ford Thunderbird E-Code is enhanced by a 312 (5.1-liter) variant of the Y-block V8. The optional mill is completed by dual inline-mounted Holley 4-barrel carburetors, an aluminum intake manifold, large valve heads, a hotter camshaft, and a free-breathing dual exhaust system.

Add the 9.7:1 compression ratio to the menu and you’re looking at 270 horsepower at 4,800 rpm and 343 lb-ft (465 Nm) at 3,500 rpm. For the job of swapping from cog to cog, the Ford-O-Matic three-speed takes care of that. Only 1,499 units of the Thunderbird E-Code were built in 1957, making this breed a rarity among first-generation Thunderbirds.

Slated to go under the hammer next month courtesy of the folk from Mecum Auctions, the Gunmetal Grey with Red old-timer featured in the adjacent pictures is expected to fetch a lot of money. That’s to be expected considering that the car was subjected to a money-no-object nut-and-bolt restoration by the experts from R C Restoration. Thanks to the careful attention to detail poured into restoring this Thunderbird to its old glory, the car went to earn plenty of concours accolades for the condition it boasts.

Other than the condition and rarity, the E-Code before your eyes also comes with period options, including Master Guide power steering, a porthole hardtop, Town and Country radio, Swift Sure power brakes, as well as amenities such a full-sized wheel covers, a heater, and a defroster.

So there you have it. Before the Corvette earned its rightful V8 engine, the T-Bird E-Code was the American-made two-seater convertible to have use for boulevard cruising and all the other leisure activities specific to that era.
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About the author: Mircea Panait
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After a 1:43 scale model of a Ferrari 250 GTO sparked Mircea's interest for cars when he was a kid, an early internship at Top Gear sealed his career path. He's most interested in muscle cars and American trucks, but he takes a passing interest in quirky kei cars as well.
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