This amazing, 1957 Ford Thunderbird will essentially become a modern car in a classic suit, once it’s complete, as it will feature a 460-horsepower Mustang V-8 and a modern chassisby Dim Angelov, on
Depending on who you ask, resto-mods can be a blessing or a curse. And while the purist way of keeping things in their original state is pretty self-explanatory, restoring a car with modern parts does have its advantages. The people at V8TV are no strangers to resto-mods, but today’s YouTube video is a step further from most resto-mods. It involves a beautiful, partially-restored, 1957 Ford Thunderbird, which is a family heirloom.
If you are like me, you may remember V8TV for their Muscle car reviews, from the Brothers Collection. They also have a long history of restoring vehicles, many of which with modern parts, such as a C3 Corvette convertible with an LS3 crate engine, a Coyote V-8-powered, 1970s Ford Bronco, and even another 1950s T-Bird with a Coyote 5.0-liter V-8.
However, the team is going a step further with this 1957 T-Bird, by switching to a modern chassis. Since the quarter panels are one with the body of the car, the idea is to completely detach the whole body from the chassis, lift it, and roll the new chassis under it.
The owner of this 1957 Ford Thunderbird bought this car in order to honor the memory of her father, who loved generation-one Thunderbirds. The car had already undergone a partial restoration, which mostly concerns the body and exterior, as you can tell from the fresh new paint and chrome trim.
However, the car was a disaster in terms of engine and drivetrain. “It barely ran”, as the 312 cubic-inch Y-block V-8 was not working on all its cylinders. The owner, who was used to driving modern cars, decided the T-Bird needed to be modernized and the V8 Speed and Resto-shop crew happily obliged.
Originally, the 5.1-liter V-8 produced 272 horsepower at 4,800 RPM and 338 pound-feet (458 Nm) at 3,400 RPM, while the gearbox is a four-speed automatic. While the initial plan was to modify the original engine and switch to fuel injection. However, the idea was quickly dropped in favor of generation three 5.0-liter Coyote V-8 crate engine, which makes 460 horsepower at 7,000 RPM and 420 pound-feet (569 Nm) at 4,800 RPM.
|Engine||5.1-liter V-8||5.0-liter Coyote V-8|
|Power||272 HP @ 4,800 RPM||460 HP @ 7,000 RPM|
|Torque||338 LB-FT @ 3,400 RPM||420 LB-FT @ 4,800 RPM|
The original chassis of a generation one Thunderbird is prone to flexing so it really isn’t great for high-horsepower applications. In addition, the leaf springs are not optimal for traction and do not provide the best possible ride quality. The new chassis will be able to both handle the extra power and make the classic convertible more drivable.
The project is well underway and the video below is Part one of the restoration process. There is much we don’t yet know about the specifics of the build, such as what chassis will be used, but we’ll be sure to let you know once the project is complete and give you the full details, in case you have missed it.