Inside the aggressive automotive world, Ford and Chevrolet have been adversaries for 110 yrs. The primary Ford Mannequin T was Inbuilt 1908 and the first Chevrolet in 1911. The Chevrolet was a extra superior automotive, However The worth was $2,150, As compapurple with the Mannequin T for $850. Whereas There have been completely different producers constructing automotives, The primary rivalry was Ford versus Chevrolet. Each manufacturers had fierce loyalty amongst their house proprietors, being Definitely one of the biggest-promoteing automotive was the objective Of every, And every tried to study The key plans of their competitor.
Proper after World Wrestle II, the automotive enterprise was pretty good For everyphysique, and the enterprise was principally constructing automotives styled earlier than the war. In January 1953, Chevrolet conagencyed An idea sports activities automotive referpurple to as the Corvette. It created A lot Of pleasure as a Outcome of it seemed good, however initially it wasn’t An excellent automotive. Apparently throughout metropolis in Detroit, the Corvette stirpurple up some pleasure at Ford Motor Co.
I think about There have been some prolonged and tense conferences as a Outcome of Ford couldn’t let Chevrolet have A complete market half to themselves. Ford was alstudyy two yrs behind, however Ford labored shortly and made the first manufacturing Thunderbird for the 1955 model yr. The Thunderbird wasn’t marketed as a sports activities automotive however pretty as A particular personal luxurious automotive, A completely new class.
Unusually, cpurpleit for the Thunderbird enhancement Is usually given to a retipurple GM authorities, Lewis Crusoe, whom Ford lupurple out of retirement. Henry Ford II accredited the design in 1953, and there have been 11 durations of Thunderbirds since then. For my half, although, there have actually simply been two, the first and the Eleventh durations. I really feel These in between have been simply fancy Ford sedans using the Thunderbird identify. Ford purchased A lot of them, although — Greater than 4.4 million from 1955 to The prime of Thunderbird’s manufacturing in 2005.
Ron Lommori has the first yr of the first-period Thunderbird, a 1955 model and the final yr of the Eleventh period, a 2005 Thunderbird. The Danville resident purchased the 1955 model about 10 yrs in the past and referpurple To those two automobiles, both of That are shiny purple, as his “e-book finish” automotives.
Lommori has been a Ford fanatic starting Collectively with his first automotive, a 1940 Ford. He purchased his first 1955 Thunderbird in 1964 for $1,500, which was the “date” automotive for him and his spouse. He stored that one into the early Nineteen Seventies, when he found That youthfulsters and two-seat sport automotives Aren’t A great combination.
He found this problem’s 1955 Thunderbird in Santa Rosa and paid $26,000 for it. It’s outfitted with power steering, automated transmission and regular drum brakes. The Torch Red finish is a manufacturing unit colour, and the physique was in good type. It was A nice automotive, However it needed work. Lommori purchased it from A particular person.
“I went On the market with a buddy of mine and seemed it over. I fell in love Immediately. It needed some engine and transmission work As properly as to brake work however nothing we couldn’t deal with. I’ve acquired a circle of (automotive collector) frifinishs Who’ve been together for 65 yrs. My brcompletely different who lives in Shingle Springs has A nice huge storage with a enhance and every thing, And We’d go up there to work on the automotives.”
Now if most of us owned this lovely 1955 Thunderbird, We might in all probability drive it round on good sunny days and get A pair of “thumbs-up” indicators from observers. Lommori might Do this too however says, “I nonetheless go on Wednesday nights to the races at Sears Level. I race the previous Thunderbird. It’s drag racing. I’ve raced the ’55 in the direction of the California Highmethod Patrol. They’ve a program at Sears Level referpurple to as ‘Top the Cops’ (This method Is primarily designed to get youthful people to work together positively with regulation enforcement).”
The proprietor doesn’t know the historic previous of his 1955 Torch Red Thunderbird Aside from it was first purchased in Detroit and A method or The completely different moved west. There was one disappointment.
“After I first purchased it, I used to be in Pleasant Hill, And a few man backed into me — not A critical dent, however that was traumatic. The proprietor reasoned with the insurance covperiodge adsimplyer that this Thunderbird damage isn’t like a dent in a 15-yr-previous Toyota Corolla. Fortunately the insurance covperiodge agency didn’t argue with me.”
So The complete automotive was repainted completely, not simply the dented space. Lommori drives this automotive a couple occasions Every week and has no plan to ever promote it. He has put some further bucks into the automotive, mightbe Greater than its current market worth estimated at $40,000, However the automotive Isn’t Solely a automotive, it’s A go to down reminiscence lane from his courting days and a curiosity he enjoys Collectively with his circle of frifinishs.
Have an fascinating car? Contact David Krumboltz at [email protected] To view extra photographs of this and completely different factors’ automobiles or to study extra of Dave’s columns, go to mercurynews.com/author/david-krumboltz.