1958 THUNDERBIRD TUDOR

This 1958 Thunderbird Tudor, Series 63A, was produced in the first year of the second generation T-Birds.

Instead of just two colors, the enamel paint came in a choice of 12 colors and options were: a Fordomatic automatic transmission, dual-range automatic transmission and pushbutton radio. Of the 37,892 Thunderbirds sold in 1958, only 2,134 were Convertibles and.35,758 were Tudors.

Although the Thunderbird had been considered a rousing success, Ford executives – particularly Robert McNamara – felt that the car’s position as a two-seater restricted its sales potential. As a result, the car was redesigned as a four-seater for 1958. Though keeping a design as a two-door hardtop coupe/convertible, the new Thunderbird was considerably larger than the previous generation, with a longer 113 inches wheelbase to accommodate the new back seat. The increased size also increased the car’s weight significantly by close to 1,000 pounds. Along with a new, more rigid unibody construction was new styling, including dual headlights (for a total of four), more prominent tailfins, a bolder chrome grille, and a larger, though non-functional, hood scoop. Powering the Thunderbird was a new, 300 horsepower, 352 c.i.d. VE V8, available with a 3-speed manual or automatic transmission.

With 37,892 sold in 1958 – outselling the previous model year by well over 16,000 vehicles – the new Thunderbird began a sales momentum previously unseen with the car.

It was also history-making, becoming the first individual model line (as opposed to an entire company), to earn Motor Trend’s “Car of the Year” honors.

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