Ford Thunderbird – (photography by G.Renard)
The first generation of the Ford Thunderbird is a two-seat convertible produced by Ford for the 1955 to 1957 model year, the first 2-seat Ford since 1938. It was developed in response to the 1953 Motorama display at the New York Auto Show, which showed the Chevrolet Corvette. The Corvette in turn was developed in response to the popularity of European sports cars among Americans. Dubbed a “personal car” by Ford, it built upon the heritage of the bespoke roadsters of the 1930s yet was constructed largely of existing components, marking the first step toward the evolution of the personal luxury car as a mass market segment in the United States. While light weight for its era and fitted with a standard V8 engine, the Thunderbird focused more on driver comfort than speed, and was not a direct rival to either the Corvette or European sports cars.