The epitome of 1955 new cars was the new Ford Thunderbird. It was custom designed for the "American Road". It promised a new kind of sports car, though it is said to be more of a "brisk luxury tourer" and not a sports car per se.
The Ford Motor Company called it a personal car, competing against the Chevrolet Corvette introduced in 1953. Some unique features were four-way powered seats push button interior door handles. Telescoping steering wheel and a tachometer. As with all cars of that era the brakes were not good. As the heated brakes would fade decreasing stopping ability on the street. One of the factories that made the Thunderbird was in Long Beach, California.
Ford unveiled the Thunderbird at the Detroit Auto Show on February 20, 1954. The first production car came off the line on September 9, 1954, and went on sale on October 22, 1954 as a 1955 model, and sold vigorously. 3,500 orders were placed in the first ten days of sale. While only 10,000 were planned. A total of 16,155 were sold by the end of 1955.
As standard, the 1955 Ford Thunderbird came with a removable fiberglass top, but the fabric convertible top was the most popular. A total of 53,166 cars were made from 1955 to1957. You could buy them with an automatic or manual transmissions.
The hardtop was often a different color, the most popular combination was aqua and cream.
Many dreams came true when a young man or woman drove the car, a sign of freedom. They'd "arrived".