American Graffiti Special!
1956 Ford Thunderbird
1956 Ford Thunderbird Convertible with Factory Hardtop & Continental Kit
Upgraded 312 c.i. 4 bbl "P” Code Engine / Automatic Transmission
Original Black Plate California Car - Lived in Northern California for 50+ Years
Very Solid Northern California "Survivor" T-Bird
NOTE: Our listings are rather lengthy. They not only describe this particular car but also some history of the make/model, considerations in buying a classic car and facts about our firm. However, we continually hear from out-of-state / out-of- country buyers (many of our clients) that they prefer the level of detail that we provide. However, if you are not prepared to read the full listing, please scan the DETAILS below along with viewing the PHOTOGRAPHS at the bottom. If you'd prefer, please call us at 925-846-1451, and we'll gladly discuss the Thunderbird and answer any questions over the telephone, including our ‽Buy it Now” policy. Yes, the Thunderbird can be purchased prior to the end of the eBay auction.
PLEASE NOTE: EACH TIME WE LIST A VEHICLE ON EBAY WE RECEIVE COMMENTS THAT THERE ARE NO PHOTOS OF THE INTERIOR, ENGINE, UNDERCARRIAGE, ETC. OF THE CAR. THERE ARE CLOSE TO 100 PHOTOS OF ALL AREAS OF THIS MUSTANG, BUT WHEN YOU REACH WHAT APPEARS TO BE THE LAST PHOTO, YOU WILL NEED TO SCROLL DOWN ON eBay TO VIEW THE REMAINING PHOTOS. IF YOU ARE STILL UNABLE TO SEE THEM, PLEASE CALL US AT 925-846-1451 AND WE WILL PROVIDE A DIRECT LINK. NOTE: IT IS A VIOLATION OF eBay POLICY FOR US TO LIST THE URL ON THE eBay LISTING. PLEASE LET US KNOW IF YOU WOULD LIKE ADDITIONAL PHOTOS OF ANY PART OF THE MUSTANG. ALL OF OUR PHOTOS ARE TAKEN IN NATURAL LIGHT AND WE DO NOT ‽PHOTO-SHOP” OR TOUCH-UP THE PHOTOS IN ANY WAY.
This car is offered at a realistic price and, unlike bidding on cars in an auction environment, you will have the benefit of extensive information and history on the car prior to making a buying decision. Equally as important is the fact that Classic Cars Ltd. has been in business for 24+ years and enjoys an excellent national / international relationship with over 930~ positive eBay feedback responses.
Please keep in mind that we will gladly...
1. Answer any questions over the telephone and take the time to guide prospective customers through the buying process (925-846-1451).
2. Assist with locating a quality, suitable transporter at very competitive prices.
3. Provide proof that we are licensed, bonded (for the financial transaction), fully insured, and operate from an established showroom environment.
4. Provide feedback from previous buyers, and specific references for vehicle purchases in your area (we also ask that you view our detailed eBay feedback by clicking on the number to the right of the eBay user name)
5. Offer additional information including specific photographs or clarification of any part of our description of the vehicle
Thank you again, please let me know if I can be of assistance.
Paul R. Wankle, Pres.
Classic Cars Ltd.
DETAILS - THIS PARTICULAR 1956 FORD THUNDERBIRD
Today, high quality first generation Thunderbird's in original condition are becoming increasingly difficult to locate with collectors and enthusiasts seeking nice, original rust free cars. This particular 1956 Thunderbird is an extremely solid, rust-free example with a reported history of being in California since the very early 1960's. The original black/gold with plate number COX 335 supports the cars 50+ years history in Northern California.
With the exception of the replacement of wear items, this T-Bird remains in very original condition. Many would describe it as a "Survivor” since the car retains most of its original components and its owners have resisted the temptation to complete a total restoration. Several years ago, the car received a complete repaint in what appears to be a correct factory shade of white that included the door jambs and a respray of the cars original factory hardtop. Details (below) indicate that the car left the factory as a Raven black example (Code A) with black & white (Code XA) interior. Should the car be restored at some point, the cars original color combination is considered very desirable and it could be returned to its original color to be factory correct.
This Thunderbird is very reasonably priced and could serve well as an occasional "driver” left "As-Is”, or would be a wonderful car to restore and bring to a higher level. As a California car, it lacks the rust that can be so problematic (and costly) during a restoration process. The car is extremely solid with excellent panel fit and has no accident damage. It is fitted with the desirable, larger 312 c.i. engine, automatic transmission, power steering and factory radio (non-working). Additional benefits include the factory correct "Port-Hole” top, wide white-wall tires, full hubcaps and the continental kit with fully functional release and spare, mounted tire and wheel cover.
With the current trend being more toward original cars, this would be a good car to improve to your liking and enjoy. As the old adage goes… ‽You can restore a car over and over again, but it is only original once.”
It is very important to note that the file contains certification from the Thunderbird Registry certifying the car and the original production being consistent with those reported below.
The Vehicle Warranty Number or VIN of P6FH231906 is found on both the identification tag (refer to photo) in the engine compartment and on the clear, transferrable California title. It decodes as follows:
• P = Engine Code / Upgraded 312 c.i. V8 / ‽P” Code
• 6 = Model Year / 6 = 1956
• F = Assembly Plant / Dearborn
• H = Body Style / Thunderbird
• Production Sequence (or all Ford cars assembled) = 231906
The lower portion to the tag decodes the body, color, trim and other information as follows:
• Body 40A = All 1955 & 1956 T-Birds carried this code
• Color A = Raven Black (Repainted completely in white)
• Trim XA (Interior) = Black & white vinyl (Now blue & white)
• Date 13 = 13th day of the month production
• Date GD = July production (Scheduled for production on July 13, 1956)
• 87 = 87th Thunderbird to be assembled on July 13th
Note: Since the early T-Birds did not carry numbers, they cannot be classified as "Numbers Matching.” However, this car has every indication of having an original engine and transmission and all of the components appear to be in place (many original).
The Thunderbird has proven to be a reliable weekend car for its most recent owner of close to 13 years. The car has proven to be very trouble free and the repair/maintenance file reflects the expected service including a fresh battery (original 6 Volt system), voltage regulator, battery clamps, radiator/ thermostat servicing, replacement generator, water pump, oil servicing, and replacement wide whitewall tires.
Perhaps most noteworthy is the work that was completed when the car showed 47,999 (Mileage now reads 50,601) miles. The receipt outlines in detail the "Rebuilt engine & transmission” including, but not limited to the following:
- Boil engine
- Re-bore engine
- Fit & align rods .30 over)
- Installed Cam bearings
- Bore & Hone bushings
- Surface heads
- New water pump
- New fuel pump
- Rebuild transmission
- Re-cored radiator & fresh anti-freeze
- New fittings, hose clamps, etc.
- Valve job
While the T-Bird shows just over 50,000 miles, we are unable to accurately state the mileage and must report it as TMU (Total Miles Unknown) as a result of the age of the Thunderbird, we do know that the current owner put very few miles on the car, only using it as an occasional driver on the weekends so it is possible that the car only accumulated a few thousand miles since the work outlined above. However, that cannot be documented.
We can report that the engine and transmission are strong. The car starts immediately, even after sitting for some time and, after a warm-up, runs well through the gears, and shifts properly. The lighting systems and wipers are functional and the car does not leak excessive fluids
The interior on the T-Brid was completely re-done many years ago, seemingly at the time the car received a complete repaint. While the interior is complete, it is showing signs of wear and aging that are apparent in the photographs. However, it retains many of its original parts including the knobs, switches and gauges. The factory radio (not working) is in place as is the non-functional clock. The tachometer, speedometer, odometer and wipers work as do the lights and turn signals.
The seats have a few minor imperfections but the seating surfaces are free from tears and rips (the corners have ‽stretch separations.” The carpet is old, but serviceable and the dash does no show cracking or damage. The steering wheel is in need of re-finishing and the driver's side door panel is missing trim that is included and in the trunk along with a pair of seat belts that have not been installed (not required in California for vehicles that did not originally require seat belts by law).
Because of the cars life in California, the bright-work (aluminum, chrome, etc.) remains in very nice condition. The rubber door trim is older but in place. It appears as if the aluminum sill plates were removed for the complete re-spray and they are original and in good condition.
EXTERIOR COSMETIC CONDITION
The T-Bird received a complete re-spray many years ago and, at first glance, many believe that it is an original paint car. The paint has considerable "patina”, but there is not significant body damage and the door, hood, and trunk gaps fit quite well, especially for a production car of this era. The car received a complete paint job that included the exterior, door jambs and even the underside of the hood, and trunk so it appears as if the car was produced as a white car. While the photos suggest very high exterior cosmetics, the paint is older but free from peeling and other major defects. A close review of the photographs will reveal the normal nicks and chips that have been accumulated over the years.
The car received the benefit of re-chromed bumpers and the exterior trim remains in nice "California condition”, free from the surface rust, and significant "dulling” that is seem on cars that have been exposed to inclement weather regions. The cars grill still shines bright, and is free from accident damage. The lenses are good and no significant damage was noted on the lenses or lights.
The Thunderbird includes the optional convertible top/frame that stows behind the seat. The top was replaced within the past several years but virtually never used and remains in excellent condition. The window is clear and the top frame was repainted when it was replaced. The fasteners are all in place and secure the soft top to the car and window frame. The same is true of the hardtop.
• California smog test not required for vehicles 1975 and older
• The T-Bird has working wipers, turn signals, lights, etc.
• Clear California title with current California registration
• Original California black plates are transferable to a California buyer in accordance with current DMV law/procedures
SPECIFICATIONS OF THE 1956 FORD THUNDERBIRD
- Engine 292 cu in (4.8 L) Y-block V8 312 cu in (5.1 L) Y-block V8
- Wheelbase 102 in (2,591 mm)
- Length 175.3 in (4,453 mm) (1955) 185.2 in (4,704 mm) (1956 181.4 in (4,608 mm)(1957
HISTORY OF THE FORD THUNDERBIRD
Noting the burgeoning popularity of European sports cars and custom-built hot rods, Ford executives Lewis D. Crusoe and George Walker walked around the Paris auto show in 1951 to see what was new and hot in the car scene. Crusoe's desire to have Ford introduce their own factory sports/custom car was fortuitous, as they soon learned that Chevrolet was developing the two-seater that would become the 1953 Corvette. Other forces within Ford, including Ford Division director Franklin Hershey and Bill Boyer, one of the 1955 Thunderbird's stylists, were already at work after-hours and in secret on drawings and clay models when Crusoe's call came through. With so many forces converging together on a two-seat sporty model, the Thunderbird was destined to be a star.
It was decided that the first Thunderbird's would share as many standard Ford parts so it was fitted with a Mercury-derived V-8 engine, Ford running gear, full-sized "Jet Tube" Ford tail-lamps and instrument housing, and many more common parts. When the $2,944 1955 Thunderbird came to market, it sat on a 102-inch wheelbase with a petite, 175.3-inch length (full-sized Fords stretched to 115.5 and 198.5 inches) and out-priced the premium eight-passenger Country Squire station wagon by $452. It featured a removable 85-lb. fiberglass hardtop (whose 'blind' rear quarters were based on the roof of the Continental Mark II), as well as a tachometer, a vinyl-trimmed full-width foam rubber seat, a six-volt electrical system and a 292-cu.in. V-8 engine. Options included a folding cloth top (which could replace or join the hard top), power steering, brakes and windows and an air-cooled, floor-shifted Ford-O-Matic three-speed automatic transmission.
The Thunderbird was a winner from the start. Its interior, with two-toned seat upholstery and engine-turned aluminum trim, was an attractive match for the low and lithe exterior. The standard engine was a 4-bbl. Holley-carbureted P-code 292-cu.in. Y-Block V-8; with its 3.75 x 3.30-inch bore and stroke, dual exhausts and 8.1:1 compression ratio, it made 193hp at 4,400 rpm and 280-lbs.ft. torque at 2,600 rpm with a manual transmission. Ford-O-Matic-equipped cars had 8.5 compression and made 198hp and 286-lbs.ft. of torque.
The engine choices increased for the 1956 model year when the 4-bbl. Holley-equipped 312-cu.in. P-code Thunderbird Special V-8 engine was introduced; with its 3.80 x 3.44-inch bore and stroke and 8.4:1 (9.0:1 with Ford-O-Matic) compression ratio, this engine made 215 hp at 4,600 rpm and 317-lbs.ft. of torque at 2,600 rpm (225 hp and 324-lbs.ft. of torque, Ford-O-Matic). For those who didn't spring for the optional V-8, the standard unit's 292-cu.in. M-code V-8 got a bump to 8.4-compression and 202 hp at 4,600 rpm and 289-lbs.ft. of torque at 2,600 rpm with a standard three-speed manual transmission.
On the styling and features front, 1956 Thunderbird's could be picked out by their new vent wing windows, side cowl vents and stylish "continental" externally mounted spare tire and bumper-exiting exhausts. Optional "Lifeguard Design" features included a padded dashboard and padded sun visors. A water-cooled Ford-O-Matic was phased in during the year along with an improved steering gearbox, and improved hold-down clamps for the convertible and hard tops.
Many consider the 1955-1956 Thunderbird's to be the "purest" designs, although the 1955 model's in-trunk spare tire eats considerable luggage space; the 1956 model's external continental spare is a compromise, although one that is a treasured 1950's automotive cliché. The Thunderbirds' removable hardtops gained their trademark porthole windows in 1956. No matter which early "Bird" you choose, you're guaranteed a stylish and comfortable classic.
PURCHASING A COLLECTOR VEHICLE - THINGS TO CONSIDER
As always, we recommend that you carefully review the seller's background for any collector car being sold over the Internet. It is important to ask yourself a number of questions including, but not limited to:
- How long have they been in business?
- How much experience do they have with collector cars?
- How many positive collector car vehicle sales have they completed (positive eBay feedback)?
- How detailed/complete is the description of the vehicle?
- Do the photos show details of the interior, exterior, top, chrome, etc. or are they simply "glamour shots" taken from a distance?
- Does the seller have a Surety Bond to protect the financial transaction?
- What about insurance, licensing by the state, and a local business license?
- Does the seller (if a business) have any DMV (Motor Vehicle) complaints and/or other history of legal action, grievances?
- Does the seller enjoy a favorable local and national/international reputation?
- Can the seller assist with funding sources, transport and out of state/country sales?
ABOUT CLASSIC CARS LTD.
• Classic Cars Ltd. has been in the same, small, California town for over 24 years. We operate a boutique "brick & mortar", indoor showroom, and specialize in the sale, consignment, and purchase of sports, high performance and specialty vehicles of all types. We have a particular interest in sports cars and unique vehicles.
• The majority of our vehicles come from local, private owners and collectors, and many were sold new in California. We appreciate that rust free cars, with excellent documentation and history are especially attractive to our buyers both locally, and around the country. As a result, we do not purchase our collectible cars from "distressed" sales, such as wholesale auctions, salvage sales, or lien sales. We do not sell vehicles with salvage titles, or those that have a history of significant accident damage or repair.
• We have sold hundreds of unique, classic and collectible vehicles and regularly deal with buyers that have not had the experience of purchasing a large (both physically and monetarily) item on eBay, or through an Internet source. Our eBay feedback is 100% positive on all vehicle sales from customers around the globe and is a reflection of our commitment to accurate, complete, and thorough vehicle descriptions.
• We have been shipping vehicles for years and have established excellent contacts that are not only high quality but very price competitive. We do not use brokers, terminal shipping or other discount methods. Call us or email for a quote directly to your home or office. We are often able to obtain quality enclosed transportation (the kind of travel this car deserves) for the cost of open shipping.
• Please review our feedback on eBay (user name Never22Many) representing over 890 positive transactions to buyers all over the United States / World.
• We are fully insured, bonded, and licensed for collector car sales all over the United States/World.
• Classic Cars Ltd. carries a $50,000 Surety bond to cover financial transactions
• We frequently sell vehicles to out of State / out of country buyers, and will be glad to provide references for buyers in your area.
MISCELLANEOUS GENERAL INFORMATION
• This Thunderbird represents a 50+ year old, mostly original example and is being sold ‽As-Is.”
• As with virtually all collector/specialty vehicles, we find that parts and resources are readily available for this (and most every vehicle), thanks in large part to the Internet.
• In addition to the purchase price of the vehicle, California buyers will be subject
to sales tax, a documentation fee, DMV transfer fees and license/registration. Out-of-state buyers will be responsible for the purchase price of the vehicle and any local taxes/fees will be the purchaser's responsibility to pay in their respective state. IMPORTANT NOTE: If the vehicle is delivered or driven in California and driven on California roads, sales-tax, license/registration and transfer fees will be assessed per California law.
• If you would prefer that we call you to answer any questions about the vehicle; shipping alternatives, etc. please e-mail us with your telephone number and will gladly get back in touch with you.
• We encourage inspections of this Thunderbird by prospective buyers or professional inspectors. Please call at 925-846-1451 to arrange a convenient time.
• As with any collectible vehicle of this vintage we are unable to provide a warranty or guarantee of condition. However, we make every effort to accurately represent our vehicles, and highlight both positive items as well as areas that require attention. We ask that prospective buyers consider our eBay history/feedback, standing in the community, length of time in business, and other factors when purchasing a collectible vehicle from Classic Cars Ltd.
• Minor cosmetic issues/flaws may be present on every vehicle (regardless of cost) including small chips, nicks, scratches, etc. that can be seen on even the best restoration, or even a relatively new, used "pre-owned" vehicle. Also, ownership of a collectible / specialty vehicle is more enjoyable if the owner is familiar with the "realities" of these unique cars. Unlike more modern day vehicles, these cars require regular, ongoing care/maintenance and some mechanical knowledge, patience, and understanding can make the experience considerably more pleasant. That said, collector / "specialty" car owners will tell you (emphatically) that they love their cars and wouldn't trade them for anything!!
• The information contained in this description is believed to be accurate but, in some instances, has been provided by the car's owner / owners or outside sources. As a result, we are unable to guarantee the accuracy of the information. We encourage verification of "numbers" and significant data prior to the purchase of any collector vehicle that you are considering.
Classic Cars Ltd.
|Body Type / Style:||Coupe
|Interior Color:||Blue / White|
|Transmission: ||Automatic Floor Shift
|"Black Plate" California Car|
Car Cover Included
Continental Kit (Rear Spare)
Exempt from CA Smog
Factory AM Radio
Heater / Defroster
| ||Heater / Defroster|
Local California "Survivor"
Meets All USA Standards
Original Jack & Tools
Spare Tire & Jack
Wide Whitewall Tires
Excellent Top - Wrinkled from Storage
312 c.i V8
Rebuilt Engine & Transmission
Very Solid California Car
Car Cover Included
Dr. Side Door Trim / Seat Belts
Books & Receipts (Incl Engine / Trans Rebuild)
Very Old Smog Sticker