Despite the success of the original 2 seat personal luxury Ford Thunderbird launched in 1955 for 1958 at the insistence of Robert McNamara the second generation 1958 Ford Thunderbird was restyled as a 4 seat 2 door vehicle with coupé or convertible body styles.
Larger and heavier second generation Thunderbirds with a 113 inch wheel base were switched to unitary body construction a technique which was still a novelty for the period.
Overall the ’58 Thunderbird with all of it’s baroque chrome and tailfins maintained a boxy appearance from which it’s “Squarebird” nick name was derived among enthusiasts.
The bomb sight motif seen on the front wings / fenders were echoed in the design of the rear view mirrors.
A fold away hard top had originally been envisaged as seen on the Ford Skyliner but this was abandoned in favour of a convertible roof operated by a hydraulic system powered by a complicated system of electric motors, switches and solenoids which opened a rear hinged panel ahead of the boot / trunk lid.
The science fiction rocket pod styling of the tail lights appears to have been lifted by the Next Generation Start Trek design team for the Starship Enterprise NCC 1701-D.
Of the, up until then, record 37,892 Thunderbirds built in 1958 only 2,134 were convertibles. Today’s featured ’58 Thunderbird has put in regular appearances at Avenue Drivers Club meetings at Queen Square in Bristol.
Thanks for joining me on this “Squarebird” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow for Ferrari Friday. Don’t forget to come back now !