Ford’s 312 cubic inch V8 is smooth and torquey, so the Thunderbird is a lot of fun to drive. It’s also quite attractive with red engine enamel, a dealer-installed dress up kit, and nice details like the chrome radiator shroud to add some sparkle. The Thunderbird is one of those cars where you’ll be happy to have power steering despite its small size, and power brakes are a nice upgrade. A Ford-O-Matic automatic transmission never seems to draw attention to itself, and there’s no doubt this was a frame-off restoration, because everything is new underneath, including the dual exhaust system, shocks, and gas tank. Bright whitewall tires on glittering chrome Kelsey-Hayes wire wheels are the ultimate ’50s look and really make the Thunderbird look right.

Lithia Springs, Georgia, United States