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History of the 1957 Ford Thunderbird
Ford officials initially had their sights set on building 10,000 Thunderbirds for 1955. The final tally read 16,155. After a slight dip to 15,631 in ‘56, production of the last — and in many minds the best — two-seat T-bird reached 21,380 in 1957. The Thunderbird’s spare tire went back inside the trunk in 1957 and the rear body was lengthened about 6 inches. Complementing the extra length in back were outward-canted fins atop each rear quarter, courtesy of legendary designer Frank Hershey. Both the 292 and 312 Y-block V-8s returned for 1957, as did the dual carburetor option, or “E-code” engine. The “base” E-code 312 was rated at 270 horsepower; adding the “NASCAR kit” cam boosted output to 280 horses. Also offered briefly in 1957 was the F-code 312, a supercharged V-8 advertised at 300 horsepower. With the NASCAR cam, this blown Y-block produced 340 horsepower.
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