Lot 395

Dare to Dream Collection

1956 Ford Thunderbird


$56,000 USD | Sold

Canada | Toronto, Ontario



Chassis No.
Canadian Registration
  • An extremely attractively restored and equipped example, in its factory-correct colors
  • Well-optioned and equipped for optimal enjoyment
  • One of the best-loved automotive designs of its decade
Please note, this lot is registered in Canada and import duty will be applicable to all countries outside of Canada, including the United States. RM Sotheby’s will assist buyers with importation and for residents of the USA, in obtaining a US title.

Ford’s original two-passenger Thunderbird is one of the few vintage vehicles that is instantly widely identifiable to a large portion of the population, regardless of age or automotive inclination, or, in fact, whether they are “car people” or not—the definition of an automotive legend. Motor Life magazine summed it up nicely, commenting in their April 1956 review that “Ford calls the T-Bird a ‘personal car,’ not a sports car. And it isn’t a sports car in the sense that a purist uses the term. It certainly is a lot of fun to drive, however.” No owner has found a need to argue with that assessment.

What enthusiasts call the “Little Bird” was made for three years, each year having its own distinctive features, with the 1956 model recognized by the small vents in the front fenders, “wind wings” on the A-pillars, interior sun visors, and, most prominently, the “Continental kit” rear-mounted spare. The latter was unique to this year and was introduced to answer one of the few complaints from 1955 Thunderbird buyers, that of a lack of luggage space due to a conventionally mounted spare.

The Dare to Dream Collection’s 1956 Thunderbird was acquired in 2016. It had been restored some years prior, in its striking original color scheme of Peacock Blue with matching Peacock Blue and White vinyl interior, perhaps one of the most classic and appropriate liveries for the model. Equipment includes the 225-horsepower Thunderbird Special V-8, Fordomatic transmission, power windows, four-way power seat, Town & Country AM radio, heater, white “porthole” hardtop, and steel wheels with chrome basket wheel covers and Firestone Champion whitewall tires. Today the car still presents in excellent overall condition, with only minor surface scratching to the finish, while the brightwork and glass are in fine order, as is the interior; the engine compartment demonstrates little use and is still quite attractive. At the time of cataloguing it displayed 22,418 miles. Accompanying is a small history file including assorted restoration photographs.

Every collection, regardless of its focus otherwise, should have a good-quality “Little Bird,” one of the cars that everyone recognizes and adores—the hit of cruise nights or show field alike. It is the definition of an icon, in a collection focused upon them, and should be warmly received in its debut with its new caretaker.