Welcome to 365 Days of Motoring

An Everyday Journey Through Motoring History, Facts & Trivia

Belt up and enjoy this 365-day ride as you cruise past the most momentous motoring events in history. Packed with fascinating facts about races, motorists and the history of the mighty engine, this is a must-visit web site for any car enthusiast.

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On This Day


Friday 22nd October 1954

67 years ago

The Ford Thunderbird went on sale 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 Thunderbird included a removable fiberglass top; a fabric convertible top was an option, although commonly specified. The only engine option was a 292 Y-block V8. The exhausts exited through twin "bullets" above the rear bumper, as was the fashion. For the 1956 model, Ford made some changes. To give more trunk space, the spare wheel was mounted outside, Continental-style; the exhausts were moved to the ends of the bumper. Air vents were added behind the front wheels to improve cabin ventilation. To improve rear-quarter visibility with the removable hardtop in place, "porthole" windows were added to it. An optional 312 Y-block V8 was made available for those that wanted more performance.1956 sales were 15,631, the lowest of all three 2-seater Thunderbird model years. For 1957, a more radical restyle was performed. The front bumper was reshaped, with heavier sides, "bullets" at the ends of the grille, and the section below the grille dropping down. The grille was larger. The tailfins were made larger, more pointed, and canted outward; larger round tail-lights were fitted. The spare wheel moved inside the trunk again, which had been redesigned to allow it to be mounted vertically and take up less space. The side "Thunderbird" script moved from the fins to the front fenders. Engine options increased, because Ford went racing with the Thunderbird that year. As well as the standard 292 and 312 engines, versions of the 312 were produced in higher states of tune, and even a McCulloch supercharged version. 1957 sales were 21,380, including three extra months of production because the 1958 models were late.

1955 Ford Thunderbird brochure

1955 Ford Thunderbird brochure

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