» »

1956 Thunderbird Roadster

For sale: 1956 Ford Thunderbird

Technical specifications

Item location:
Warrensburg, Missouri, United States
Pearl White
Engine size:
Number of cylinders:
Interior color:
Vehicle Title:
Contact the seller / ! Report


Oh boy. I never planned to sell this car after spending two years restoring it to better than new condition. It was a rust free car to begin with and had 101,000 miles on it when parked indoors in 1980 by the original owner. I found it in 2004, purchased it and then began restoring it in 2006 when I got divorced. I made it a shop project and we disassembled the entire car to the frame but did not remove the body from the frame because it wasn't necessary. The car was then stripped by Eagle Auto Stripping in Kansas, then Curry's Rod Shop removed the few minor dings from 26 years of storage and painted it Cadillac Pearl White. All of the original parts were re-chromed by Dale in Independence. The only thing I replaced was the grille but I still have the original. All of the brand new restoration parts came from NPD, Larry's and Concurs.

I personally rebuilt the original 312, boring to insure all the cylinders were true. The rotating assembly was balanced. I assembled it myself with the best parts I could find. The original radiator was in good shape so it was reconditioned by our local radiator guy. All rubber parts were replaced including the entire wiring harness throughout the car. The clock was converted to quartz movement and the tach was converted to electronic to eliminate the cable. The speedometer was rebuilt but I didn’t roll the miles back to 0 because it was only reading 1,000. I did not have the steering wheel reconditioned because I liked the character it gave to the brand new interior, and I wanted to hold the same wheel that everyone before me had held. I built a speaker deck behind the seat for better quality music listening. It cannot be seen unless viewed from the trunk. The trunk is perfect and I even have the original bumper jack.

All hardware that was not conspicuous was replaced with stainless aircraft hardware. (I own and operate Lindsay Transmission Service and I am also a certified aircraft mechanic) I rebuilt the original automatic transmission and rear differential. The rear end got all new bearings and seals but the ring and pinion was in fine shape so it was reused. Exhaust is stainless steel and exits through the rear bumper as the factory intended. All steering parts were replaced with the exception of the steering box itself which I rebuilt. All of the power steering hoses, cylinder and valve were restored or replaced. There are no leaks and the steering works perfectly. I installed a brand new fuel tank, sending unit and fuel lines. It rolls on Dunlap 70’s tires and American Racing, dual bolt pattern chrome reverse wheels and I have the original wheels, tires and hubcaps in storage as well as the fender skirts which will not fit with the wider wheels and tires that are on the car. There is no convertible soft top. The original top is restored and in storage.

I didn’t drive the car much at first because I wanted to keep it brand new and perfect but then the economy tanked in 2008 so the odds of getting $125,000 that I was hoping for evaporated with the value of most of our 401K’s and other investments. So I started driving it and have put 5,000 trouble free, absolutely enjoyable miles on it. Since the original teapot carburetors were famous for catching fire, earning the name “firepot” I elected to install a brand new Holley carb on a 1957 312 intake manifold. I still have the original 1956 manifold and restored carburetor if the new owner wants it factory correct but I wouldn’t recommend it for practicality.

I am selling it only because I need the money to support a new venture that my wife and I started in Overland Park. She is not happy that I am selling it but she understands. Throughout the summer I drive it to the Ballroom studio in the evenings, park it out front on the patio where it attracts all kinds of attention from our dance students and folks driving by. If it doesn’t sell, we will find a way to fund the improvements and I will continue to enjoy the car. If it does sell, I will miss it greatly and I am sure I will shed several tears and be on the receiving end of a lot of criticism for letting it go but sometimes sacrifices have to be made for the big picture. I convinced myself that I can do another one when things slow down for me, if I am not too old by then.

Other classic cars for sale