5-6 October 2017

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Lot 150

1955 Ford Thunderbird

  • Chassis no. P5FH148999

Sold for $35,200

  • A fine example of an American icon
  • 292 V-8 engine with three-speed manual transmission
  • Beautiful example ready for cruising

In the early 1950s, a team of Ford Motor Company designers was given the green light to move forward with a bold new project; a mass-produced two-seat sports car. Much to the dismay of the design team, Chevrolet beat Ford to the punch when GM introduced its own two-seater, the Corvette, at the Waldorf Astoria Motorama in January 1953. Not until one year later, at the 20 February 1954 Detroit Auto Show, was Ford’s offering, the Thunderbird, introduced. Over the following decades, these two legendary automobiles established a new market segment and spawned many competitors, cementing forever their status as American icons in the process.

The first production Thunderbird rolled off the line on 9 September 1954, and the car was introduced to the public on 22 October. Standard features were power steering, brakes, windows, and a four-way seat with options, including a radio, heater, and choice of a three-speed manual or Ford-O-Matic automatic transmission. With a 292-cu. in. V-8 under the hood, there was ample power to smoothly cruise the new interstates of America was abundant.

As a result of its clean styling, luxurious interior, and V-8 power, the Thunderbird triumphed over the early Corvette’s novel fiberglass construction, anemic six-cylinder engine, and sports car austerity. The Thunderbird wildly outsold the Corvette in its first year of production, totaling 16,155 units to the Corvette’s 700.

The example offered here is finished in iconic Torch Red over a red and white interior, and it is equipped with a black folding soft top, power windows, full polished wheel covers, an AM radio, and wide whitewall tires. This Thunderbird is beautifully presented for driving in the last days of summer, and it is a wonderful opportunity to experience one of the most popular collectible automobiles of all time.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alexander Weaver


+1 864 313 6844
California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat


+44 (0) 74 1511 4179
United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht


+1 203 912 7168
Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

David Swig


+1 415 302 2247
California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose


+1 617 513 0388
United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould


+1 954 566 2209
Florida, United States

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff


+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Jake Auerbach


+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Kurt Forry


+1 717 623 1638
California, United States

Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut


+1 805 231 6410
California, United States

A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire


+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn


+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin


+44 (0) 75 0110 7447
United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill


+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher


+1 519 784 9300
Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

Shelby Myers


+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden


+31 653 84 19 60
United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more