The early Ford Thunderbird was a completely different animal to the four-seat tanks that followed it which launched the personal luxury coupe industry in 1958. The first three years of the Thunderbird were a small two-seat convertible that was aimed right at the Corvette. Why Ford ever changed it is beyond me, and my favorite example, the 1957 model, was right here for the taking at the 2014 River Edge Car Show. I was pleasantly surprised to see one in this gorgeous dusk rose color, despite the lack of a hardtop and the lack of the standard wheel covers. In fact, the Kelsey-Hayes wire wheels with tri-star knockoff caps on the centers looked excellent in the cloudy July sky. As the sky cleared up, the metallic paint finish became a blinding source of simple beauty. Ford knocked one right out of the park in ’57 and then, despite making a more profitable model in 1958, ruined the potential of having a true Corvette competitor. As a result, the 55-57 Thunderbirds are worth a large amount of money, and it’s pretty easy to see why. Enjoy the photos.