As automotive icons go, the first-generation T-bird ranks right up there with early Corvettes, the Jaguar XKE and the Jeep CJ. This Raven Black 1956 Ford Thunderbird is the recipient of a body-on restoration that was completed in 2017, and has only been driven approximately 2,000 miles since then, according to the seller, who adds that the odometer was rolled back to “0” during the restoration. The seller also notes, it’s an original California car that was undercoated and appears to remain rust-free. It’s powered by a rebuilt 312-cu.in. V-8 engine that’s backed by an automatic transmission.
Under the hood, according to the seller, is a 312-cu.in. V-8 engine that corresponds with the “P” code in the VIN. It’s not known whether it’s the car’s original engine, but it was reportedly rebuilt during the restoration. It wears a dress-up kit, and is said to start easily and run well, without any reported smoke, but the seller does note a leak at the rear main seal. The engine is paired with a Ford-O-Matic three speed automatic transmission that reportedly shifts well, but can elicit a “thump,” when shifting between Drive and Reverse.
Resprayed Raven Black during the restoration, the paintwork on this vintage T-bird is in “very good condition,” according to the seller, who notes there are no known blemishes and no rust in the body. The bodywork and panel gaps appear straight and even in the photos provided. Additionally, the car comes with a porthole hardtop, while the folding convertible top reportedly works well. The bumpers and other trim were reportedly re-chromed during the restoration and remain in excellent-appearing condition. The glass is said to be in good condition, with most of the complementing rubber reportedly replaced during the restoration. The driver’s door glass, however, is cracked. A correct, Ford-script replacement window is included with the sale.
Inside, the T-bird’s two-place cockpit was re-trimmed during the restoration with red-and-white vinyl. The carpet was also said to be replaced, while the door panels and dash pad appear in very good condition. There are some reported stains or discoloration on the headliner of the hardtop. The steering wheel appears to be in very good condition, with some minor visible wear, but no apparent cracks. There is some minor pitting visible on the wheel’s chrome trim, too. The seller reports the gauges are functional, but the heater is not. There’s also a replacement AM/FM radio that was installed into the original dashboard housing without modifications, and it uses the original knobs.