Of the 52,000, two-passenger Thunderbirds, only 208 supercharged cars were built. The first 14 were built as special equipment, racing versions. Only 8 of these 'Phase I Supercharged' cars are known to survive. they were built to NASCAR rules for a supercharged T-Bird. One of them beat a Corvette record by 6 mph in the 1957 NASCAR Speed Weeks trials. These 'Phase I Supercharged' cars were built with black tires, no fender skirts, 3-speed manual transmission, seat belt, small hubcaps, no heater, but with higher compression, it be ordered with automatic transmission, power steering and brakes, fender skirts, whitewalls, etc. 194 of these cars were built. This car was purchased from Duval Ford in Jacksonville, FL, by Dewey Gilleland, who was a successul drag racer. In the late 1950's, he was turning 1/4 times of 13.10 sec/117 mph. The car was restored to its original condition in 1988.Also photographed at :
Competition D/F: Rarest Two-Seat 'Bird of All In early 1957, Ford Motor Company took advantages of a new NASCAR rule and built 100 supercharged cars, including 15 Thunderbirds, All fifteen T-Birds were built in the Dearborn plant on January 25, 1957.
These 15 cars were sold only to established racers. They used the NASCAR supercharged 312 cubic-inch V8 with a McCulloch VR57 supercharger. These Phase 1 (also called D/F) cars were equipped with three-speed manual transmissions, blackwall tires, small hubcaps, no fender skirts, no heater, no engine dress-up kit and a hardtop only. Later, starting in June of 1957, Ford built a customer version of this car, now known as the 'F' Bird. The 'F' had a milder cam, lower compression ratio and lower supercharged boost. The 'F' Bird was available with whitewalls, power accessories and automatic transmission. 'F' Bird production was 194 cars.
This Inca Gold example is one of eight surviving Phase 1, supercharged D/F Thunderbirds. The car's original owner was a successful drag racer from Jacksonville, Florida.