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Ford Thunderbird - 1958-1959
Although purists never forgave ford for making the two-seat thunderbird a four-passenger car for 1958, the move made sense on the balance sheet. Production almost doubled in 1958 and soared to 67,456 for 1959. And motor trend chose the 1958 t-bird as its car of the year.
Top speed of 110 mph
engine typedrivetrain: Overhead-valve, v8
displacement 352430 cu. In. Power rating 300350 hp
transmission 3-speed manual;
overdrive and 3-speed automatic optional
chassis: Coil-spring suspension (1958) and front coil springs and rear semi-elliptic leaf springs (1959); Drum brakes; 3,708-3,903 lbs.
price : $3,630-83,979, excluding options
offered for the first time as a hardtop as well as a convertible, the all-new 1958 squarebird so called for its flat, square roofline was a full two feet longer than the 1957 model and 800 lbs. Heavier. Unitary body-frame construction allowed reduction of ground clearance to only six inches. This required a high transmission tunnel over which was laid a central console, separating the interior into four bucket seats a layout copied by other automakers. Welding of the sheet metal made t-birds so strong they later became demolition-derby favorites.
characterized by side creases extending from the front and convex spears from the rear, t-bird styling changed little for 1959 except for the horizontal-bar grille that replaced 1958s chicken wire honeycomb. There were even more color
combinations for 1959 18 single colors, 41 two-tone combinations and 14 interior choices, not counting seven color options for the convertible top.
Making the two-passenger ford thundebird convertible a four-seater for 1958 may not have been sporting but sales took off.
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