5-6 October 2017

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Lot 267

1957 Ford Thunderbird 'F-Code'

  • Chassis no. F7FH347632

Sold for $148,500

  • Rare and desirable supercharged F-Code V-8
  • Reportedly one of 16 F-Code convertibles in Starmist Blue
  • One of just 17 supercharged three-speed examples
  • Documented by a copy of original FoMoCo build sheet

Ford introduced its 1957 models on 1 October 1956, including the new Thunderbird, which was 6.1 inches longer than previous models. It featured updated styling with canted fins to resemble the rest of the Ford lineup. The lengthening allowed the Ford designers to return the spare tire to the trunk. Fourteen-inch wheels and 7.50 × 14 tires gave the car a lower riding stance. The interior received a new dash and updated upholstery treatments. The public liked the changes too, as 1957 was the largest production year for the original two-seat Thunderbirds with 21,380 produced.

Standard engine was a C-code, two-barrel, 292-cu. in. V-8 now rated at 212 hp. Base price was $3,408, though most cars with options were well over $4,000. New turbine-style wheel covers and wide whitewall tires were popular options for 1957. Also new were four available engine choices, including the base 292 and optional 312 V-8s in three versions. The D-Code car produced 245 hp from its 312 cubic inches. The E-code car produced 275 hp. Finally, the vaunted F-code was an all-out racing variant. It used a belt-driven McCullough/Paxton supercharger producing 340 hp at an extra cost of $500. Approximately 200 or so (sources vary) of these were produced, making them the rarest of the original two-seat Thunderbirds.

This coveted “F-Bird,” formerly part of the Ron Pratte collection, has been part of the consignor’s cache of Thunderbirds since 2007. It has been both meticulously maintained and housed in a climate-controlled facility. It was restored by Robbins Restorations of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, in the l980s and remains in superb condition, attesting to the quality of the restoration. It received both AACA honors and Best of Show at the Classic Thunderbird Club International Meet in Bend, Oregon, in 1986.

Finished in Starmist Blue with two-tone blue interior, it is one of reportedly 16 made in that color for 1957 and one of 17 supercharged T-birds with the three-speed manual transmission. This is a late-production car, completed on 31 July 1957 and shipped to the Jack Roach dealership, Houston, Texas, as evidenced by a copy of the build sheet, which is included in the sale. Options include a signal-seeking radio, Dial-o-Matic power seat, power windows, and windshield washer. The car retains its original jack.

Certainly one of the finest Thunderbirds recently on offer, this T-Bird has it all: color, condition, authenticity, and the rarity of the F-code engine option. It is among the very best available.

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