Found On Road Alive: 1958 Ford Thunderbird

 

1958 Thunderbird the first of the square birds
1958 Thunderbird the first of the "square birds"

This well used example was spotted on Cotter Avenue in Duarte, just off old Route 66.  The 1958 T-bird when introduced was considered pure heresy.  It was was called the “square bird” as the enlarged passenger cabin now held 4 passengers.  Though no longer competition to Chevy’s Corvette it launched an entirely new category of American Cars.  The Personal Luxury Car.  Ford owned that market until Buick launched its Riviera in 1963.

Ford’s gamble paid off.  The new T-bird sales took off during one of that decades worst years for auto sales.  The T-bird doubled its previous years sales.  It was one of 2 cars to actually post a sales increase.  By the time that body style run ended in 1960 it outsold the original T-bird 3:1!

Now if I can find a 1966 which is my favorite generation we’d be in business and my Centurion would be on the sale docket.

pic by me with the trusty cell cam.

3 Replies to “Found On Road Alive: 1958 Ford Thunderbird”

  1. I think this was the model year my godparents owned up until the late 1970s. If I remember correctly the steering wheel could be pivoted to a rather wide degree sideways. If I’m not making that up, I was never quite sure why.

  2. Will, your memory is correct the T-bird at one point did have the side pivoting steering column to make it easier to get in and out of the car. Memory escapes me, but I thought it showed up in the 61 model. Could well be wrong but thanks for the memory jog on that one!

  3. Will, I got a note from my Aunt. She and my Uncle have a ’64 bird and here is what she cleared up the tilt wheel issue: “Actually, the tilt-wheel steering column was only in the 1964, 65 and 66 birds”.

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