Money Maker: 1958 Ford Thunderbird 33K Survivor – SOLD!

by | Sep 2023 | Craigslist ClassiFINDS, Free For All Friday

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October 19, 2023, Update – We confirmed the seller of this “Classifind” deleted their listing, so we’re now able to call this one “SOLD!” While this one got away, please reach out either by email or call us directly if you’d like to be informed when we come across something similar.

Ford’s original two-seat Thunderbird, known affectionately as the “Baby Bird” among T-Bird enthusiasts, was a successful halo car for the company in dealer showrooms from 1955 through 1957.  However, Ford’s market research at the time confirmed a fair amount of sales were lost due to the car only offering two seats.  Consequently, Ford management doubled Thunderbirds seating for the 1958 model year when it launched the second-generation “Square Bird.”

The gamble paid off handsomely for Ford.  Compared to the smaller Thunderbird, sales of the 1958 model nearly doubled from 1957, with 37,892 built in contrast to the 21,380. We note these figures happened despite Ford’s extended production of the ’57 TBird through December of that year.  For the 1959 model year, production increased by some 78 percent to 67,456 units. Considering the U.S. was in a mild recession by 1959, this was a bright spot in an otherwise dismal model year for Ford cars.

This white over red 1958 Ford Thunderbird for sale, first spotted on Craigslist in September 2023 in Los Angeles, is a documented 33K original mile example.  The current caretaker explains the low mileage resulted from their Square Bird being a part of a large car collection stored in a warehouse for many years.

Last offered for $23,500,, the analytics and search engine for the collector car market, confirms the ask is right in line with this guide’s six-month results summary for second generation Ford Thunderbirds of all body styles produced for the 1958, 1959, and 1960 model years. By clicking on the green dots in the graph below, you can get a sense of what comparable examples sold for in the past rolling six months:

As a second data point, the  Collector Car Market Review Online Tool reveals the seller’s ask falls between this guide’s #2 Very Good” estimate of $15,700 and its #1 “Excellent” appraisal of $27,200.

The 1958 Ford Thunderbird, often called the “Square Bird,” is a quintessential symbol of American automotive design and innovation in the late 1950s. With its distinctive styling, powerful V8 engine, and a host of luxurious features, this car encapsulated the era’s spirit and left an indelible mark on automotive history. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the 1958 Ford Thunderbird and explore why it remains an enduring classic in the hearts of car enthusiasts.

The Thunderbird was Ford’s response to the growing popularity of sporty, two-seater cars in the United States during the 1950s. It was first introduced in 1955 as a response to Chevrolet’s Corvette, and it immediately gained attention for its sleek design and performance-oriented features. However, it wasn’t until the 1958 model year that the Thunderbird underwent a significant transformation that would define its legacy.

One of the most distinctive aspects of the 1958 Thunderbird was its radical departure from the previous year’s design. Ford’s chief stylist, George W. Walker, and his team reimagined the Thunderbird with a bold, angular look that incorporated elements of the “Jet Age” aesthetic that was prevalent at the time. The car’s front end featured quad headlights housed in a prominent grille, while the tail fins, though smaller than those found on many contemporary cars, added a touch of sophistication.

The Thunderbird’s body was characterized by its clean lines, with minimal chrome accents and a distinctive sculpted roofline that contributed to its distinctive profile. The car was available in both hardtop and convertible versions, offering buyers a choice of styles to suit their preferences.

Step inside the 1958 Thunderbird, and you’ll find a cabin with luxury and comfort. The interior was appointed with high-quality materials, including soft vinyl upholstery, chrome trim, and plush carpeting. The front seats were generously sized and contoured for maximum comfort on long drives, making the Thunderbird an ideal car for cruising.

In terms of features, the 1958 Thunderbird was well-equipped for its time. It came with power windows, power seats, and an innovative Swing-Away steering wheel that swung to the right when the driver’s door was opened, making it easier to enter and exit the car. The dashboard featured a stylish array of gauges and controls, including the iconic “Floating Flair” speedometer.

Under the hood, the 1958 Thunderbird boasted a potent 352-cubic-inch V8 engine. This engine produced 300 horsepower, which was impressive for its era, and it was paired with a three-speed automatic transmission. The Thunderbird’s powerful engine, combined with its relatively lightweight body, ensured that it delivered spirited performance and exhilarating acceleration.

The Thunderbird also featured rear-wheel drive, which provided excellent handling characteristics for a car of its size. It was a pleasure to drive, whether you were cruising along the highway or navigating twisty backroads.

The 1958 Ford Thunderbird was an immediate hit when it was introduced, and it enjoyed strong sales throughout its production year. Its unique styling and luxurious features made it a status symbol for those who could afford it.  The 1958 Thunderbird’s influence extended beyond its own production year. Its angular design and square lines departed from the more rounded shapes of previous Thunderbirds, and this new direction set the tone for future Thunderbird models. The Square Bird, as it’s affectionately known, marked a transition in automotive design, foreshadowing the angular and finned styling of the 1960s.

The 1958 Ford Thunderbird holds a special place in American automotive history. Its bold and distinctive design, luxurious features, and powerful performance made it an icon of its era. Today, it continues to captivate the hearts of classic car enthusiasts and collectors, standing as a testament to the creativity and innovation of the automotive industry in the late 1950s. The 1958 Thunderbird remains a timeless classic, a symbol of the American dream, and a car that will forever be celebrated for its style, luxury, and performance.

The Vintage TV Commercials YouTube Channel features this 1959 Ford Thunderbird commercial:

With only 33K documented original miles, a fresh tune-up, and a new dual exhaust system, this white 1958 Ford Thunderbird hardtop for sale appears to be an excellent survivor-quality example in a great color combination.

If you are serious about buying this Willy-Overland Jeepster, you can start the conversation by using the contact information provided by the seller in their Craigslist ad.  When you connect, please mention that you saw their Jeepster featured here on Good luck with the purchase!

Here’s the seller’s description:

“I am selling my 1958 Ford Thunderbird that has been owned before me by a car collector. She was always kept in a warehouse. Thirty-three thousand original miles with no modifications, all factory original condition. Runs and drives excellent on a 352 CI V8 motor. It has a fresh, complete major tuneup, new dual exhaust, and a great combination of white exterior and red interior. I have documentation to support mileage upon request.

Show or go: what would you do with this 33K-mile 1958 Ford Thunderbird survivor for sale? Please comment below and let us know!


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