1956 Ford Thunderbird
The 1956 Thunderbird was the second year for the famous two-seater “personal luxury car” from Ford. The ’56 changes included more trunk space and the addition of air vents behind the front wheels to improve cabin ventilation. Also, the spare wheel was mounted outside the car and the exhaust outlets were relocated to the ends of the bumper. To improve rear-quarter visibility when the removable hardtop was in place, "porthole" windows were offered at no additional cost. Consumers seeking more performance could option the 312 Y-block V8 engine. Production for the ’56 Thunderbird topped out at 15,631 units—the lowest of the 3 two-seater model years—and Ford offered the car for $3,151 new.
This is a unique Thunderbird because it’s the most basic Thunderbird possible. It has the base engine, manual brakes, manual steering, manual windows and seats and manual transmission without overdrive, along with dog-dished hubcaps and black wall tires. It doesn’t have a radio, a heater or porthole windows. The original owner, an unmarried schoolteacher, specifically ordered this model. In 1960, Frank Hagerty purchased it from a junkyard for $225 after it had suffered front-end damage. He completely dismantled the car and then personally restored it. The Hagerty family enjoyed this as a three-season daily car for the next 30 years. The car did have a run in with a telephone pole and a deer during that time but neither stopped the family from putting an additional 50,000 miles on the odometer. In the early 90s, it was treated to a professional nut-and-bolt restoration and then won several national awards, including Best of Show at the Thunderbird Nationals.