1957 Ford Thunderbird
8-cyl. 292cid/212hp 2bbl
With an experienced team and a lot of data.
For 1957, the Ford Thunderbird underwent some visual changes. Most notably, the front bumper was reconfigured, removing the large chrome nacelles, and adding fog lights to the corners. This opened up the grille visually, and made it seem more like the luxurious boulevard cruiser that it was.
The “Thunderbird” inscription was moved from the rear quarter to ahead of the front quarter panel vent. Out back, the spare tire was moved back into the trunk, and the rear fascia was revised. The fins were thinned out and more pronounced, and the rear bumper featured a new design. At the corners of the bumper, the once-subtle exhaust outlets were replaced with wider integrated outlets.
Inside, the 1957 Ford Thunderbird was available with new “Dial-O-Matic” four-way power seats. They performed the clever trick of sliding back when the ignition was turned off to make it easier to climb in and out.
Engine options continued to feature the base 292 cid V-8 and 312 cid V-8. Buyers could also get the 312 V-8 in 245-hp and 270-hp variants, as well as a Racing Kit version with twin four-barrel Holley Carburetors. That third version of the 312 put out 285 hp and 343 lb-ft of torque.
For 1957, Ford added a high-feature version of the 292 V-8. It featured twin McColloch superchargers, and put out a claimed 300 hp and 340 lb-ft of torque when new.
Transmission options continued to be a 3-speed manual, an overdrive transmission, and a Ford-O-Matic automatic transmission.
Ford sold 21,380 examples of the 1957 T-Bird, making the most successful year of the T-Bird’s early three-year run. It would be replaced by a larger, more spacious Thunderbird in 1958, leading to the first generation cars being referred to as “Baby Birds.”