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    Colour coded, turquoise vinyl
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The Ford Thunderbird began life in February 1953 in direct response to Chevrolet's new sports car, the Corvette, which had been publicly unveiled in prototype form just a month before. Under rapid development, the Thunderbird went from idea to prototype in about a year, being unveiled to the public at the Detroit Auto Show on February 20, 1954. Although the initial Thunderbird had been considered a success, Ford executives felt that the car's position as a two-seater restricted its sales potential, and as a result, the car was re-designed as a four-seater for 1958. It was offered in both hardtop and convertible body styles, although the latter was not introduced until June 1958, five months after the release of the hardtop. With 37,892 sold in 1958, outselling the previous model year by well over 16,000 units, the new Thunderbird began a sales momentum previously unseen. It also made history by becoming the first individual model line (as opposed to an entire company) to earn Motor Trend "Car of the Year" honours. With little more than a new grill and a newly optional, 350 horsepower 5.8 litre V8 for 1959, sales climbed even higher to 67,456.

This beautiful convertible T-Bird resplendent in Corinthian White was bought by the vendor's late father in 2014 and shows an odometer reading of just under 13,000 miles. At the time of purchase, he was told that the car had once belonged to 'star of stage and screen' Frankie Avalon, and although this interesting fact is not substantiated in the history file it would be a good homework project for the new owner. Having been treated to a re-spray in 2010, the vendor's father completed a programme of mechanical and electrical works totalling £5,000 shortly before his untimely death. These included the installation of new air conditioning from Classic Auto Air, US retro washer pump, new rear leaf springs, shackles, bolts etc., new ignition coil, distribution cap, rotor arm, both front and rear wheel cylinders, new fuel pump, steering valve, sleeve and inner and outer track rod ends and a replacement carburettor.

A regretful sale, the vendor has had one last hurrah to Cornwall in it, a six hundred mile round trip mostly with the top down, and this, on the button, 'Happy Days' T-Bird is now ready for some 'boulevard cruising' this spring.



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