1957 Ford Thunderbird

Mecum Dallas 2022
Wednesday, 7 September - Saturday, 10 September
Sale Price
$180,000 - $200,000
Est. Range
9 September 2022
Sold Date
Lot Number
Older restoration
Mecum Auctions
Auction House
Chassis no. F7FH337989. Raven Black with tan top over black and white vinyl. F-code 312/300hp supercharged V8, automatic, fender skirts, porthole hardtop, wire wheels, whitewalls, heat/defrost, Town and Country AM radio.

Evaluation: One of 196 built according to the F-Bird registry. Presentable but old paint and chrome. The windshield is delaminating around the edges. The whitewalls are a little yellow. Very good interior. The ultimate T-Bird, restored a while ago and lightly used since.

Bottom Line: Ford sold 21,380 Thunderbirds in 1957, and these supercharged “F-Birds” are the most desirable of the bunch, worth three or four times as much as ’57s with the more common engines. Although Ford advertised the original T-Bird as a “personal car of distinction,” the top spec engine made it a real performer with more power than even the top-spec fuel-injected Corvettes made the same year.

And yet this rather nice F-Bird sold for way under expectations, both Mecum’s and ours. For reference, Barrett-Jackson sold it in Scottsdale in 2008 for $150,700. Sure, it was fresher then, but top-spec examples of classic cars don’t tend to lose that much money just from driving around. With less clear performance heritage than and no modern connection like C1 Corvettes, first gen Thunderbirds may just have a shrinking following like some other ’50s domestic cars, which makes a six-figure example like this a harder sell than it used to be.

by Andrew Newton
16 September 2022
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Condition definitions
Condition #1: Concours
Condition #1 vehicles are the best in the world. The visual image is of the best vehicle, in the right colors, driving onto the lawn at the finest concours. Perfectly clean, the vehicle has been groomed down to the tire treads. Painted and chromed surfaces are mirror-like. Dust and dirt are banned, and materials used are correct and superbly fitted. The one word description for #1 vehicles is “concours.“
Condition #2: Excellent
#2 vehicles could win a local or regional show. They can be former #1 vehicles that have been driven or have aged. Seasoned observers will have to look closely for flaws, but will be able to find some not seen by the general public. The paint, chrome, glass and finishes will all appear as excellent. No excessive smoke will be seen on startup, no unusual noises will emanate from the engine. The vehicle will drive as a new vehicle of its era would. The one word description for #2 vehicles is “excellent.“
Condition #3: Good
#3 vehicles could possess some, but not all of the issues of a #4 vehicle, but they will be balanced by other factors such as a fresh paint job or a new, correct interior where applicable. #3 vehicles drive and run well, but might have some incorrect parts. These vehicles are not used for daily transportation but are ready for a long tour without excuses, and the casual passerby will not find any visual flaws. “Good” is the one word description of a #3 vehicle.
Condition #4: Fair
#4 vehicles are daily drivers, with flaws visible to the naked eye. The chrome might have pitting or scratches, the windshield might be chipped. Paintwork is imperfect, and perhaps the body has a minor dent. Split seams or a cracked dash, where applicable, might be present. No major parts are missing, but the wheels could differ from the originals, or other non- stock additions might be present. A #4 vehicle can also be a deteriorated restoration. “Fair” is the one word that describes a #4 vehicle.
Condition #5: Poor
Running, but battered, incomplete, and perhaps rusty.
Condition #6: Parts car
Parts car.
Hagerty only assigns condition ratings to vehicles we can inspect in person or, for online listings, via high-quality photography.