The American Graftiker Loved by a Famous Actor

*This is a translation done by a machine.

The first Ford Thunderbird was developed to counter the unprecedented European sports car boom that occurred throughout the United States after World War 2 and was sold from 1957 to 1955. If you're a car fan in your 60s or older, you might be impressed in the same spot as Susan Somers' "goddess" car in the movie "American Graffiti"?

Looking at the launch failure of the Chevrolet Corvette, the Ford campaign decided it was too early to build a full-fledged sports car. Therefore, the mechanical components launched the "safety measure" using orthodox mass-produced Ford sedans, while attracting the attention of sports car users with styling and performance features such as the latest 193 ps 292 cu: in (about 4.8 liters) V8 OHV engine mounted in the sporty form with a clean, loose silhouette. It was also a strategy to secure mass production capacity while ensuring high reliability.

Also, it was the charm of Thunderbird that I was able to choose various amenities including options such as power steering, power brake, power window and power seat. Of particular interest was the fact that the 1955 model year (also the 1957 model year) was a convertible, but a FRP hardtop was the standard setting and a soft-top was an option. It might have been a way of thinking unique to America where there is plenty of space at home. The 3-speed MT was standard, and the 4-speed MT with electromagnetic overdrive and the ford-matic (AT) were optional.

Ford's quest to become a comfortable personal sporty rather than a sports car was a stunning success, selling just over 16000 cars in its first year. By contrast, Corvettes, our rival, sold only about 700 units, creating a wide gap in sales.

In addition to the engine 292 cu:in , the 225 ps 312 cu:in (about 5.2 l) engine was added in 1956, and the 312 cu:in supercharged, 300 ps high-performance version was added in 1957. The basic character of the personal car did not change, but we could not ignore the market demand.

Although sales were strong, market research showed that the 2 seater model was not supported by families. As a result, the 2 seater model, which was introduced in 1958, became a 4 seater convertible. After that, with the emergence of Mustang, the company began to steer toward a luxury line, and the first Thunderbird was a key player in establishing a new category of sports cars for Ford, which had been a popular car manufacturer until then.

Shinichi Yamazaki’s Highlights!

this is the first Thunderbird first model. The first year of registration was 1990 years, and after a multi-ownership history, I came to the current owner. When I got it, it was already equipped with a full restored inside and outside, but the plumbing and air conditioning have been modified so that it can run safely on Japanese roads, and it has been brushed up as' 50 s which can withstand modern traffic conditions. When I checked the VIN plate, I found that the body is a combination of white and the interior color is white and red, so it is faithfully restored to the original. I checked the condition of each part of the car body, but I couldn't find anything I should do right now.

The body looks neat and clean when viewed from the front, but the rear bumper is bulged out from the rear with the addition of a Continental kit (carry a tire on one's back), and the 2 mufflers are mounted on top of the rear bumper to hold the tires. You will surely feel a hot eye just by streaming the whole town with the novel design even now. In addition, FRP hard tops, which were standard equipment, were replaced with 1956 models and later models with port holes added to the rear for backward visibility. The soft top that was an option has been replaced and is also in good condition.

With a large speedometer that transmits external light, a slim steering wheel, a loose bench seat, and a beautifully finished red and white interior that retains the original look, you'll feel like you're in the American graffiti world. Everyone has an urge to open up and start running. I think it's an exciting this car just to see at a glance for the generation who watched movies and admired the American lifestyle at that time.

The highlight of this Thunderbird will be the late actor Yosuke Natsuki's former favorite car. The record shows that it was owned by Mr. Natsuki for 7 years from 2004 to 1998. Not only is he the first model in good condition, but Natsuki's love of collectible cars is also a medal.

Vehicle Specifications

Model Year1955
Year of PurchaseJul 1990
Engine Capacity4,785cc
Steering WheelLeft
Chassis No.P5FH195398
Engine No.
InspectionSeptember 2019
AreaOsaka, Japan