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1955 Ford Thunderbird (40A R XB 24C143)

292 CU V8 190 HP 8.1:1 compression Ratio

Three speed manual transmission

Body Code 40A “Thunderbird”

Paint code R “Torch Red”

Trim code XB “Red/White”

Production code 24C “Built March 24, 1955”

Plant F “Dearborn MI



Link to Photos



Link to 11/10/2008 photos


Factory options:  Power brakes, Power Seat, Radio, Heater, White side walls, Soft top, Full Wheel Covers, Windshield washer

Dealers installed options: Tonneau Cover, Floor Mats


The T-bird is street driven. (Never been on a trailer since I have owned it) I drove it about 3000 miles a few years ago year.
I have entered it in 3 AACA national shows Metropolis IL, Dublin OH, Jeffersonville, IN and it finished second in all, it has gotten a trophy at every show it has been in and it was driven to every show.

The car has never been totally restored, it was freshened up and painted the original color about 20 years ago. (From what I was told)

Engine was overhauled and repainted at that time

Interior is original except the red vinyl has been replaced at time of painting.

The white vinyl (except kick panels) is original.

I was told Cloth top is original. (But I question this because the top is white) ( I read all 55 came with black tops and it has zip down window.)

Tonneau cover has been replaced.

It has new  exhaust (all replaced)

New 4 core high efficiently radiator (best made) new heater core, hoses, belts, clamps

I also installed a custom overdrive water pump pulley (I have stock) so over heating is not an issue

Seat belts of correct style (1956) were added for safety 3 sets, quickly removable clips

I replaced the fuel gauge and sending unit

I redid the front end, ball joints, control arm bushings, tie rod ends, sway bar bushings, bolts, washers etc.

Replace shocks and u-joints with correct parts

New floor mats never used and older ones in car.

I found and installed the correct oil filter. I have the adapter to use a spin on.

I replaced the cheap reproduction air cleaner with an original (over $300)

Now has Correct a hard to find 3 blade chrome fan with correct “Ford Recall” strengthening plate to correct cracking problem.

I have replaced about $1000 worth of little T-bird Items (trim weather seals).

I fixed to power seat and made to go back farther than stock.

I replaced the tail light lenses.

It has trailer hitch that can be removed without and damage. I pull a small trailer, modified to haul the hard top.

(5) New reproduction Firestone tires.

All new tubes and vibrator in Radio.


I have some spare parts including an extra teapot carb, original radiator, heater core, hubcaps, paper element air cleaner, spin on oil filter kit.


Known problems:

Horn ring broken,

Radio ?

Paint 20 years old

Like all 55 Thunderbirds that still have the down tube and have not been modified with a PCV valve it drips  oil after highway driving.


All information is to the best of my knowledge and what I was told before I purchased the car.


Current mileage as of March 2005 (76,680) As of June 2007  (77438), I believe it is original and have found no reason to doubt it.

Car is driven so it will have more when delivered.


$45,000 obo will trade for something interesting.  SOLD


The Krause Old Cars Price Guide 2011 Collector Car Price guide shows:


1955 Ford Thunderbird

#6  $2,640  #5 $7,920  #4 $13,200  #3 $29,700  #2 $46,200  #1 $ 66,000

Add $1800 for Hardtop (I have hardtop) so

#6  $4,440  #5 $9,720  #4 $15,000  #3 $31,500  #2 $48,000  #1 $ 67,800


I will trade for something that strikes my fancy that I haven't already had.
Only car I have had that I want again if an 810-812 Cord sedan.
Things I would consider are Pre-war Packards, any Steam, Most Electrics,
32-35 Flathead RSR, some other Classics (with a capital C), maybe Brass.

96 on newer Viper, Glass street rod.
Fairly open just not interested in much post war unless it's a woody, Hemi or special interest.
I may be willing to trade for something I don't even know exists.
I will trade CCPG value to CCPG value will take less for a cash buyer.
As I said it doesn't cost anything to ask.
Any questions email me:

Email Jay Wolf


Last Edit 12-15-2010

Update since the above.


I was asking 45K last year I put it on Ebay with $40K reserve it bid to 38K I offer it to the high bidder for 38 but he passed.

I relisted it with a 38K reserve and sold it for 38.5 to a different bidder but the guy did have the money and want me to take payments.

My luck with selling on Ebay has not been good, it seems like most bidders look as the winning bid as first refusal, not a sale.


Market it pretty soft on all cars now I would take $38K cash or OCPG book to book trades. I consider this a low 2


We drove the car to Lebanon TN last July and it was very hot 100 deg. On the way down it vapor-locked a few time it never died just cut out at highway speeds we stopped and removed the scoop bock off plate and never had any more trouble. At the show several people told me it was cause by the alcohol in the gas and I should replace the fuel pump with a alcohol save one so I ordered and replace the fuel pump when I got home. It was a AACA National Second place at Lebanon.


I have put about $1500 in it since Jan 09,

I drove the car 100 miles to the AACA Christmas party in Dec and it barely started when I got ready to come home, so figuring the battery was at least

7 years old it was time for a new battery I order an exact reproduction battery for Antique Auto Batteries $200 and received it in Jan but the car was stored so I didn’t install it till I was going to use the car in Apr. I drove it to a show and when I got ready to come home again it barely started I actually went to get a jumper pack but when I got back it started without the pack. The battery was showing 6.7 volts so I figured to problem was somewhere in the starting system. I went thought the starting system replacing most parts, cleaning all contact and the same problem., With the starting system all brought up to good working order I went back to the battery and found although it had good volts setting as soon as you put a load on it the center cell went to 0 volts, the new battery was bad so I had to ship it back to AAB for a replacement so I have about $300 in the battery with cost and all shipping.


To help it start easier I decide to install an electronic ignition and new coil and well as cap, rotor, wires, and plugs. Everything original except electronic module that cannot be seen without removing cap and can be put back to stock in 10 minutes.


I just got the Carburetor back from Holley after being remanufactured; it looks like new, I have it installed but still need to be adjusted.

I will adjust it the first nice day, the bird is kept in the heated garage under my house and it I run it down there it stinks up the house.


Mileage 11-23-2010  78,XXX


I just don’t like to have problems with a car when we tour with it so I am covering all bases.


I just don't get the car out very often and am ready for a change.


I drive my Model A more than I do the bird.