The unique beauty of Vernon Smith’s amazing collection of almost 60 classic and vintage vehicles is not in the quantity or the pristine quality of the precious, low-production cars. No, the true beauty of the collection is that anyone can go and gaze upon the treasures in his museum in Swift Current on the Burin Peninsula in Newfoundland!
How lucky are we?!
We’ve showcased a few of Vernon’s gems here before, including a 1953 Oldsmobile Fiesta, a 1954 Kaiser Darrin, a ’57 Cadillac Eldorado and a 1957 Dodge Custom.
Today we want to highlight a rare Ford Thunderbird, one of only 205 built in Dearborn, Michigan for the 1957 model year.
The F Code Thunderbird is one of the most desirable of Thunderbird cars.
In 1955, when Ford introduced the Thunderbird, the marketing gurus of the day positioned the Thunderbird as an upscale model, rather than a sports car like the Chevrolet Corvette. With the Thunderbird, Ford is credited with developing a new market segment, the personal luxury car.
Vernon’s T-Bird though is no ‘ordinary’ Thunderbird. The F Code Thunderbird, or ‘F-Bird’ as some have called it, had a 312 CID V8 supercharged 300-horsepower engine with a four-barrel carburetor and a three-speed manual transmission – a serious quarter-mile contender.
A special cylinder head fitted to the engine, only available in the Thunderbird as a $340 factory option, kept the compression ratio to 8:5:1 so that the luxury car could run on regular gas.
The iconic Thunderbird, especially the ones produced between 1955 and 1957, has never lost its cachet and Vernon’s black F-Bird is truly a piece of history to be cherished and, thankfully, shared. Thank you, Vernon.
“And she’ll have fun, fun, fun ’til her Daddy takes the T-Bird away…”