1957 Ford Thunderbird `Modbird`
Azzurro Monaco with Dark Blue Leather Interior
This car is a spectacular one-off built to the highest standards. It was built using a solid original 1957 Thunderbird, and comprehensively modified to make a wonderful multiple award winning car. The body was modified to incorporate a hand made grille and hood scoop, and the side trim and vents removed. The character line on the side of the body was modified accordingly. The bumpers were narrowed to fit the body more tightly, and the front turn signals removed. The rear fenders were modified accordingly to match the new profile of the rear bumper, and the external fuel filler removed and replaced with at trunk-mounted unit. Then, the car was painted with a 1996 Ferrari shade of blue.
Under the skin, many changes were made as well, to allow the fitment of independent suspension, front and rear, power rack and pinion steering, and Wilwood disc brakes all around. The rear suspension is from a Corvette and features coil overs. All components have been painted, chromed, or polished until they sparkled. The engine is a 5.7 liter fuel injected C5 Corvette unit, which is mated to a 6-speed manual transmission. The exhaust system is a fully mandrel bent system and the wheels are from Boyd Coddington.
The interior was a clean sheet design whose goal was to maintain the contour and concept of the original, but substantially modernized. The instruments were sourced from a Dodge Viper (so that the actual mileage 500 less than the 1200 shown), and the car is equipped with both heat and air conditioning. The trunk is remotely released and there are remote radio and CD players located in the trunk. The soft top is done in dark blue Mercedes cloth.
The car has seen minimal use since its construction and has won many awards, including as many as four at the same show. Included among these was the Chip Foose Design Excellence award at the 54th annual Grand National Roadster Show in 2003.
Since the car has only seen a few hundred miles, it remains in stunning condition. While it appears nice in the pictures, only seeing the car in person fully conveys how stunning it is. The level of craftsmanship is very high, with superlative fit and metalwork all around. The paintwork and chrome are incredibly high quality, both above and below, and unlike some other modernized hot rods, there are some details that remain, carried over directly from the original car, such as the wind wings, door handles, and door sill plates. The headlamps are Hella items with integrated turn signals since the originals were removed from the bumper.
The interior cocoons the driver with dark blue leather and high quality dark blue wool. The rule, as with the interior, is simplicity, and there is minimal adornment or unnecessary detailing. At the same time, the details that are present speak to the attention to detail that went into this car, be it the abundant double stitching, or the fact that the underside of the dash, all the way into the foot wells, is furnished with leather panels(!) The seats are heated and very comfortable.
The trunk and engine compartment continue the high quality execution of the rest of car. The trunk features the same quality carpeting as the interior, while the engine compartment is a stunning exercise in chrome and blue. There is an all aluminum radiator, and most components have been finished to match the exterior. The tubular headers have been coated and the engine compartment is spotless, and so well executed that it won an Outstanding Engine Custom Award at the Portland Rod and Custom show in 2003. The car comes with a binder full of photographs documenting the build.
The underside is equally, if not more spectacular. Every suspension component is either polished or chromed. The entire fuel tank, differential, and driveshaft have received the same treatment, while the underside of the engine is painted to match the exterior of the car.
This is truly a spectacular no cost spared one-off of a car. The level of detailing and craftsmanship, combined with the tasteful and thoughtful design truly set this car apart. It draws crowds (and awards) wherever it goes, but is also a wonderful driving car that combines the legendary 1950`s aesthetic with the performance of modern Detroit.
5th Annual San Francisco Rod and Custom Show-Outstanding Sports
5th Annual San Francisco Rod and Custom Show-Outstanding Engineering
5th Annual San Francisco Rod and Custom Show-Sports Class, First Place
54th Annual Grand National Roadster Show-Outstanding Interior Custom
54th Annual Grand National Roadster Show-Class Winner Chip Foose Design Excellence Award
Chrome Roadise Tour, West Coast, HotRodShows.com
5th Annual Portland Rod and Custom-Best of Washington Award
5th Annual Portland Rod and Custom-Outstanding Engine Custom Award
5th Annual Portland Rod and Custom-Outstanding Undercarriage Award
5th Annual Portland Rod and Custom-Outstanding Award
4th Annual Seattle Roadster Show-Best of Washington Award
4th Annual Seattle Roadster Show-Outstanding Interior Custom
4th Annual Seattle Roadster Show-Class Winner
US Radiator Cool Choice, Contest Classic
SAR Hot Rod Happenin Classic d'Elegance
SAR Street Rods Portland Oregon Mark of Excellence Award
Fantasy Junction +1 510 653 7555 Emeryville, California 94608 USA
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