There’s something to be said about the shape of an early 1955 Thunderbird. It’s pure, clean and looks so light that you just want to jump in the driver’s seat and toss it around the track all day.
With this killer, take-no-prisoners 1955 Thunderbird Pro Tourer, you can do just that. Completed in August 2010, it features a customized all steel body, a modular Mustang Mach 1 powertrain, a Mustang II suspension with a ton of bolt on upgrades and a comfortable, modern interior.
1955 Ford Thunderbird modern look so light
Custom built by Street Visions in Waxhaw NC, this all steel ’55 T-bird took one year to build and underwent 1300 hours of restoration and customization. Use of a steel body resulted in gaps that are much better than you find on typical fiberglass Thunderbird Pro Tourers and everything lines up extremely well, from the original scooped hood to the modified deck lid. Once the body was completely smooth and straight, it was covered with a thick coat of Dupont Chroma Merlot Burgundy Metallic basecoat/clearcoat that has an excellent finish and displays a brilliant shine. A few liberties were taken with the body to enhance the predatory look of this piece. At the front of the car, a custom fascia houses new halogen headlights in traditional T-bird hoods above blue tinted fog lights that are a direct fit where the cars turn signals used to be. Between those lights, a chrome mesh grille replaces the traditional Thunderbird stainless grille and extends down to where the cars bumper would normally sit.
Behind the headlights, a stock Thunderbird hood sits below a correct Thunderbird scoop that houses chrome mesh inserts and features chrome “Supercharged” badges on each of its sides. Below the hood, the car’s front fenders incorporate custom fender vents with chrome mesh inserts and serve as the starting point for slick painted ghost flames that continue to the rear fenders. On the doors you’ll find custom rear view mirrors with integrated LED turn signals and traditional chrome T-bird door handles above stainless covered lock cylinders. At the front of the doors, a traditional curved Thunderbird windshield is cleared by custom Newport Engineering stainless wipers and housed in pristine stainless trim. Connected to the top of that windshield is a tan Haartz cloth convertible top with a plastic rear window. Below that plastic rear window, straight rear fenders house chrome trimmed LED tail lights, custom cut exhaust outlets and showroom fresh “Thunderbird” scripts. At the back of the car, a modified deck lid features a stainless lock cover, and a custom fabricated rear fascia replaces the traditional ’55 bumper.
Back in 1955, this Thunderbird would’ve had a 292 cubic inch Y-block V8 under the hood that cranked out maybe 200 horsepower. Today, when you pop the hood you’ll find a high-revving modular DOHC 4.6L Ford Mustang Mach 1 motor that is fed by an intercooled Mustang Cobra Eaton supercharger. To make everything communicate properly and perform without fail, a Detail Zone electronic fuel injection wiring harness and an SCT chip tuned by Pro Dyno were installed and the result was a very stout 451 horsepower and 417 lb./ft. of torque at the rear wheels. In front of the motor, a custom aluminum radiator by Arrow is equipped with a Sparco fan to take care of cooling. Behind that fan, a serpentine belt, that is standard equipment from the Mach 1, sits below a modified cold air intake and turns an inverted alternator. At the sides of the motor, coated Sanderson block hugger headers send exhaust into a true dual exhaust system with Magnaflow performance mufflers. The engine bay is completely finished with a satin black firewall and body colored hood and inner fenders. And the exceptionally clean engine features stainless fuel rails, chrome valve covers with body matched coil covers and a stainless Spectre breather. This motor is show ready and reliable enough to head wherever the road takes you. No more tuning carburetors, all you need to do is get in, turn the key, and it fires up instantly, idles perfectly, and pulls like a freight train.
There is more to this car than just a trick engine. Take a look underneath and you’ll find a Mustang II suspension with a Fat Man front sub frame and a custom boxed and modded X-member. Bolted under the front of the car is a heavy duty 1.5 inch sway bar, 11.5 inch Brake Tech disc brakes with braided lines, power steering from the Mach 1 donor car and a Flaming River stainless steering shaft and joints. Bolted under the back of the car you’ll find Mustang II leaf springs, a heavy duty 1 inch sway bar, custom Cal Trac style rear control bars and Mustang Cobra 11 inch rear disc brakes. Sending power to the wheels is the Mach 1 donor cars Tremec 3650 5-speed manual transmission. Behind that transmission is a shortened and balanced Mustang Mach 1 driveshaft that is connected to an 8.8 inch rear axle with 3.27 gears. Stopping is aided by the Mach I donor cars Hydraboost brake system, and go-juice is supplied by a Tanks Inc. 16 gallon stainless fuel tank with an internally mounted high volume fuel pump. The bottom of the car looks awesome with Chrysler Almond Metallic paint adorning the frame and Lizard Skin undercoating protecting the floor pans from the elements. At the corners, 17 inch TSW eight spoke aluminum wheels have been dipped in chrome and wear 245/40 z-rated BF Goodrich G-Force T/A radials.
Inside you’ll find a completely custom-built interior that is a modern interpretation of the already stylish 1955 Thunderbird’s cockpit.
Behind the curved windshield a custom fabricated and painted dash displays some of the best workmanship I’ve ever seen. A polished Grant steering wheel with a Mahogany rim sits on an Ididit column in front of classy looking Dakota Digital LED gauges. On the dash itself, chrome trimmed vents for the Vintage Air climate control system complement a locking glove box and a billet aluminum handle for the headlights. Below the dash a custom built and custom covered center console houses controls for the Vintage Air system, a Hurst short throw shifter and a Kenwood system that features an AM/FM radio, a CD and DVD player, XM and MP3 capability, navigation and Bluetooth connectivity which includes a steering wheel mounted mic. Custom seats that were fabricated out of Toyota parts, are covered in Katzkin leather and sit on new Hushmat and new carpet. Beside you, custom door panels feature painted toppers, leather covers with custom arm rests, chrome trimmed courtesy lights, new Relic power windows and Rocky Hinge billet door handles. The trunk is nicely finished as well, with matching carpets and side panels and a trick hidden fuel filler. The car even comes with Viper keyless entry, a power antenna and remote start; there’s absolutely nothing in this car that wasn’t done to the highest standards.
On a hand-built car like this, documentation is everything. Included with this car is a CD of completed build pictures and a build sheet that has a categorized break down of the car, a list of all the companies used during the build and maintenance specifications for the aftermarket parts.
This 1955 Thunderbird is an extremely impressive Pro Touring car that will eat any original T-Birds lunch six days a week and twice on Sunday. It features a great looking vintage shape and benefits from 50 additional years of technology.