1956 Ford Thunderbird - $47,900
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All the original chrome and stainless trim was retained, so it still looks very much like a product of the ‘50s, and everything that’s shiny was restored or replaced during the build.

Cool resto-mod with a few notable upgrades. Strong-running 312 cubic inch V8 with Muncie 4-speed manual transmission. 4-wheel disc brakes. 17-inch wheels and tires. Two tops. Nice restoration. An unusual and unusually fast Thunderbird that will definitely stand out in a crowd!

The problem with a lot of modified cars is that they often go too far, removing the original car’s soul in search of simply being different. In contrast, we present this very attractive 1956 Ford Thunderbird that adds a few modifications where they can do the most good without removing the essential greatness of the original design. 1956 is a good year for T-Birds with factory upgrades that make them much easier to live with. Add in the standard continental kit, and you get a very elegant-looking ‘Bird that still looks very much the way the original designers intended. The paint is a beautiful gunmetal gray that’s similar to the original code T Thunderbird Gray, but with a bit more metallic in it to really make it sparkle. Paint and bodywork are very well done with a deep shine, straight panels, and good gaps all around that suggest this car was a labor of love. All the original chrome and stainless trim was retained, so it still looks very much like a product of the ‘50s, and everything that’s shiny was restored or replaced during the build. The continental kit out back has a contrasting black cover that ties in neatly with the top, and the exhaust has been routed below the bumper instead of through it, but those are really the only deviations from stock. Put a set of standard Thunderbird wheels on this car and it becomes very stealthy indeed.

The black and white interior walks the same line—a few upgrades that seamlessly blend with the original look. The upholstery and patterns are just like the factory did it, along with the sweeping panel of engine-turned metal that makes it look sporty. The instruments are a blend of new (tachometer and clock) with original (speedometer, fuel gauge, and temperature), and the effect is quite convincing. The only really glaring deviation from stock is the big Hurst shifter for the Muncie 4-speed underneath, but that’s part of the car’s appeal—this ain’t no wimpy 3-speed. There’s also a digital AM/FM/USB stereo in the center of the dash, which uses original knobs to help it blend in. It features factory power windows and a power seat, which are nice additions, and there are custom embroidered floor mats protecting the carpets. Overhead, there’s a brand new black canvas convertible top that fits beautifully and stows neatly behind the seat, as well as a color-matched “porthole” hardtop. Nice! The trunk is neatly finished with matching black carpets, and includes a correct jack assembly for the spare tire mounted in the continental kit. The battery has also been relocated to the trunk and there’s a cut-off switch for safety.

Tilt the hood forward and you’ll find a very correct-looking 312 cubic inch V8 dressed in those fantastic Thunderbird finned valve covers and Ford Red engine enamel. There’s a Holley carb on top, and not the trouble-prone “teapot” version, but a modern 4-barrel unit for reliability, as well as an MSD electronic ignition system. The idle suggests a bigger-than-stock camshaft inside the engine, and custom headers certainly help with low-end torque. Other upgrades include a giant aluminum radiator, a modern 12V alternator, and a dual reservoir master cylinder with power assist for the 4-wheel disc brakes. It also retains the original-style power steering setup, so it’s easy to drive. Underneath, the Muncie 4-speed is seamlessly linked to the Ford Y-block and feeds the original rear end, which we believe has 3.00 gears inside. The dual exhaust system is custom made and features glasspack-style mufflers for that traditional performance sound, and there’s a new gas tank hanging out back. Other features include air shocks, an electric fuel pump for quick and easy starts, and a custom battery bock nestled next to the gas tank in back. Beautiful 17-inch aluminum wheels with spinners look great and carry 215/55/17 Firestone radials all around.

If you want a stock Thunderbird, there are plenty of those around. But if you’re looking for something a little out of the ordinary that packs a real punch, then perhaps this subtle resto-mod is a better choice. It’s got the right equipment and features to make it fun to drive, yet it still has that vintage T-Bird vibe that everyone loves. Take a closer look and then give us a call today!

Harwood Motors always recommends and welcomes personal or professional inspections of any vehicle in our inventory prior to purchase.

Vehicle: 1956 Ford Thunderbird
Price: $47,900
Stock Number: 121034
Odometer Reading: 93
VIN: P6FH258955
Engine: 312 cubic inch V8
Transmission: 4-speed manual
Gear Ratio: 3
Wheelbase: 102 inches
Wheels: 17-inch aluminum wheels
Tires: 215/55/17 Firestone radials
Exterior Color: Electric Gray
Interior Color: Black and white vinyl
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