|Year||Data Plate Code||CID||Compression
|Bore & Stroke||HP||Carb.|
|1955||P||292||8.5||3.7500 x 3.300||198||4V|
|1956||M||292||8.4||3.7500 x 3.300||202||4V|
|.||P||312||8.4||3.800 x 3.440||215||4V|
|.||P||312||9.7||3.800 x 3.440||225||two 4V - note - not delivered from factory installed - installed by dealers - very late releasee.|
|1957||C||292||9.1||3.750 x 3.300||212||2V|
|.||D||312||9.7||3.800 x 3.440||245||4V|
|.||E||312||9.7||3.800 x 3.440||270||two 4V - stock cam|
|..||E||312||9.7||3.800 x 3.440||285||two 4V - sc cam|
|..||F||312||9.7||3.800 x 3.440||300||4V
|.||D||312||9.7||3.800 x 3.440||300||supercharged - 12 built; called D-F birds because their data plate reads D, not F. Verified only by their factory invoice.|
|Click on Pictures
below to see larger and more
views of each engine
You may also see the detail in stereo. For stereo viewing instructions visit here
Be aware that they may take a minute to download if you're on a dialup connection.
|The 1955 P code engine: stock engine for all 1955 Thunderbirds|
|The 1956 M code engine||The 1956 P code engine||The 1956 P code engine with dual 4's|
|The 1957 C code engine - standard engine but rarely seen now in a '57.||The 1957 D code engine - normal engine found in most 57 T-Birds.||The 1957 E code engine - dual 4's||The 1957 "F" Bird: Supercharged!
|The 1957 D "F" 'Bird
|.||This engine has the "dress-up" kit which you will find on most Thunderbirds.||.||Only 210 ( 211? 212? 214?) were built. Are you hiding one in your garage or barn? Contact CTCI & get on the F-bird registry||.12 were built & 8 are known to exist - a high percentage for a car that old.|
|This page is for those of
you who only see the 1955, 1956 and 1957 Thunderbirds in parades or the
occasional show. As awe struck as you may be when seeing these cars
on the road, here's your chance to see what's actually under that hood.
Only "stock" is spoken and shown here! I'm actually getting
technical - kind'a rubbed off after being around these cars for so many
years ( 38 years and still counting).
Collected these photos a number
of years ago but only now have the time to put them on the pages.
You'll be seeing under-the-hood 3-D shots so you may feel like you're actually
there, looking under that hood. For
stereo viewing instructions visit here and use your back button to
return to this page or open in another window. All years of Classic
T-bird engines are shown. Couldn't bring myself to use a black
background so Ford Blue will have to do. and the links are
First, for a little bit of
Unlike GM products. Ford
not have matching "serial numbers" on their cars and parts like the Corvette
has. The most you will find is the serial number which is stamped
in two places on the frame of the T-bird - it should correspond with the
VIN # on the data plate. The engine should match the engine
code Letter on the data plate but that's all. There are casting numbers
that identify the heads and base block to particular years. Info
on those can be found on the Ford y-block sites.
Transmissions. The stock transmission was a 3-speed manual however 90% of the Thunderbirds were outfitted with the automatic. This was touted as a personal luxuary car and most dealers and owners were looking for something easy to drive. The 3-speed manual could be ordered with an overdrive unit which greatly increased the fuel efficiency of this car at higher speeds.
There were some special built
race cars by Ford that are even different than these.
There are a growing number of owners interested in racing their Thunderbirds, mostly on the drag strip. There are several drag races held annually just for these y-blocked powered cars. Here's a story about one: Phillips/Mummert 'bird. You'll find pictures of the Birdaspalloosa drag race here.
For more trivia on what's stock
and what's not, visit the "trivia" page.
Since one of my hobbies is
scale model collecting, I have found several different models on the market
depicting some of these early race cars. Rio makes a 1956 Daytona
'Bird and Brooklin has made the '57 Battlebird. Racing Champions
even put out a series of 50th Anniversary Nascar models and used the 56
T'bird as the example for convertible classes that debuted in 1956.
The early Hot Wheels "redline" model of the '57, made in 1969, has some
design cues from the '57 Battlebird.
Thank You for visiting.
copyright 2000-2012 Dot Lang
This site not affiliated with Ford Motor Company