Eye Candy: 1957 Ford Thunderbird

A top down, Dusk Rose beauty. Barry Zeagman's 1957 Ford Thunderbird convertible was originally purchased in Hawaii.

Owner: Barry Zeagman

Occupation: Retired Customs Broker

The Car: 1957 Ford Thunderbird Convertible

1957 was the last year of the “Baby Birds” as they are known. From 1958 onwards Thunderbirds were no longer two seaters with the exception of the short lived 2002-2005 retro models.

It is widely believed that 1955, ‘56 and ‘57 Thunderbirds were built to compete with Corvettes. However, they were not marketed as a sports car. Ford sold them as a “Personal Luxury Car.”

My car was first sold in Honolulu, Hawaii, for the sum of $3,135.40, which included options such as automatic transmission, power steering, power brakes, power seat, a tonneau cover, backup lights, windshield washer, and 10 gallons of gas for $2.90. Under the hood is a 318 cu. in. V8 with 4-barrel carburetor that produces 245 horsepower.

The second owner was WW2 flying ace US Air Force Brigadier General Robert Lee Scott, who wrote the book “God is my Co-Pilot.” He bought it in Hawaii and in 1961 he retired and brought it to Florida with him.

Three owners later, I found it in La Grange, Texas, with only 46,000 original miles! It has both the soft top and the hardtop with the round opera windows.

The paint, “Dusk Rose,” is the original colour and it was repainted once. The interior was reupholstered to original state. Since I have owned it, I have had the distributor, steering, suspension (front & rear), exhaust, differential, fuel and oil pumps, and all seals either replaced or returned to original. The power brakes have been upgraded to disc and I have replaced the tires in favour of modern radials with the period appropriate wide white walls.

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Whether it sports the hard top, or goes convertible, top up or down, the 1957 Ford Thunderbird is a stunning ’50s two seater that draws attention wherever it goes.

I have also replaced the original “Town & Country” AM radio to a modern AM/FM, Sirius XM, Bluetooth radio that looks identical in the dash to the original, and upgraded the in dash speaker. These changes have resulted in a great improvement in how it runs, rides and handles.

I ship it to Florida for the winter months and use it as my daily driver as long as the weather is nice. In the spring it is returned home to Ontario, so we can enjoy it during the summer.

On sunny days my wife, Dian, and I enjoy going for rides off the beaten path, stopping for lunch at a small restaurant or country inn.

Our children and grandchildren love it too, and by the reaction of people we meet in parking lots everywhere, so do many others!

convertible, eye candy, ford thunderbird, performance, trackworthy

For the winter months Barry Zeagman keeps his “Baby Bird” Ford Thunderbird in Florida where he uses it as his daily driver, “as long as the weather is nice,” and in the spring it returns home to Ontario, where he and his wife, Dian, enjoy it all summer long.

Show us your Candy: Got a cool custom or vintage car?

Send us high-res, horizontal pictures (at least 1 MB) of you (and your family) with your beauty, and tell us your story in 300 to 600 words, giving us all the details of how you found your car and why you love it so much. We like photos — the more the better — of the interior, trim, engine, wheels, and emblems. Email wheels@thestar.ca and type ‘Eye Candy’ in the subject line. Google ‘Wheels.ca Eye Candy’ to see classic cars featured in the past.

More eye candy at Wheels.ca

convertible, eye candy, ford thunderbird, performance, trackworthy
convertible, eye candy, ford thunderbird, performance, trackworthy
convertible, eye candy, ford thunderbird, performance, trackworthy
convertible, eye candy, ford thunderbird, performance, trackworthy
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convertible, eye candy, ford thunderbird, performance, trackworthy
convertible, eye candy, ford thunderbird, performance, trackworthy
convertible, eye candy, ford thunderbird, performance, trackworthy
convertible, eye candy, ford thunderbird, performance, trackworthy
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