Q: How many Thunderbirds did Ford produce in the car’s first year in 1955, and what engine came with it? Connie K., Wisconsin.
A: Connie, Ford built 16,155 Thunderbirds in 1955, and all came with the Mercury designed 292-inch V8 engine that put out 193-horses with a stick shift and 198-horses with the automatic transmission.
The car came with a base sticker price of $2,944 and weighed in a 2,980 pounds on a 102-inch wheelbase. Early Thunderbirds (1955-57) were two-seaters, but in 1958, Ford went to the bigger, four-seat design.