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Drive Ford Thunderbird (1955–1957)

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The first generation of the Ford Thunderbird is a two-seat convertible that was produced by Ford for the 1955 to 1957 model years. The Thunderbird was the first 2-seat Ford since 1938. It was developed in response to the 1953 Motorama display at the New York Auto Show, which showed the Chevrolet Corvette. The Corvette, in turn, was developed in response to the popularity of European sports cars among Americans.

Ford created a completely new market segment around the Thunderbird, the personal car, forerunner to the personal luxury car. While a lightweight car with a large V8 engine, the Thunderbird focused more on driver comfort than speed. The Thunderbird was not a direct rival to the European sports cars imported into the United States.

Until the eleventh-generation Ford Thunderbird was unveiled in 2002, this was the only version of the Thunderbird to be produced as a two-seat convertible.