Concept Carz Home Concepts and PrototypesAbout Follow ConceptCarz on Facebook Follow ConceptCarz on Twitter RSS News Feed
 
 ManufacturersArrow PictureFordArrow Picture1957 Ford Battlebird 
 

1957 Ford Battlebird news, pictures, specifications, and information

Roadster
 
Peter DePaolo Engineering was commissioned by Ford to build two experimental Thunderbirds named Battlebirds for speed records. One had a 430 Lincoln and this car, #98, ran a highly modified 312 engine.

In 1957, Chuch Daigh drove this Battlebird to a speed of 93.312 mph on the beach at Daytona in the Speed Weeks Standing Mile Acceleration Event for Experimental Cars. Daigh was reported to have taken this car over 200 mph on the Two Way Flying Mile, but was unable to back the speed up due to mechanical problems.

This Battlebird also competed in the Airport Sports Car Races where it was driven by Marvin Panch. Panch's road racing experience and the Battlebird's performance paid off when he finished second to Carroll Shelby in a 4.9 Ferrari.
There were two Ford Battlebirds created and they were the work of talented engineers in an effort to bring racing glory to the Ford nameplate and to defeat stiff competition such as the Corvette. Much was needed to be done to make the popular Thunderbird into a formidable competitor. They were heavy, suffered from under-braking, and had a suspension that did not suite it well on the race track.

Four Thunderbirds were sent to Pete de paolo Engineering, which had a history with working with other Ford racing projects. Two cars were stripped of non-essential items and material and some of its material was replaced with aluminum. The aluminum bodywork was courtesy of Dick Troutman and Dwight Clayton.

The two remaining cars were kept in nearly stock guise so it would qualify for 'stock car class' racing. These two cars were intended to perform well on straight, high speed courses while the other two heavily modified cars were destined for road courses.

The two modified cars were given the nickname 'Battlebird.' They were built by Jim Travers and Frank Coons. The Ford engine was moved six-inches towards the back to held distribute the weight - as nearly every component had been removed from the interior of the car. One of the cars was fitted with a 312 cubic-inch Y-block engine while the other was given a Lincoln 430 cubic-inch V8. After a fuel injection system, supercharger, and other modifications, the engines were estimated to produce over 400 horsepower. Since Ford did not have a suitable gearbox to handle the power and to compete with Chevy's Borg-Warner T-10, a Jaguar four-speed unit was used.

Finned drum brakes were used with the rears receiving special cooling. The suspension was improved with coil springs in the front and a seven-leaf spring setup in the rear. A Halibrand quick-change differential was installed and an additional gas tank installed in the trunk. The cars rode on Halibrand magnesium wheels with knock-offs and Firestone Super Sport tires.

The cars had some success in racing prior to the Automobile Manufacturers' Association ban on racing, which meant the cars became obsolete. The were later sold to a privateer who continued to race them for several years. The Lincoln powered car was destroyed in an accident; the Ford engined cars remains and has been restored to its original Battlebird form.

Though the cars did not compete at Sebring and rival their competitors, they were given the opportunity to race prior to the ban. Out of the two, the Ford performed better, though the Lincoln-powered car did set the Daytona record for a standing-start.

By Daniel Vaughan | Dec 2009
RRDC VOTES IN 37 NEW MEMBERS FOR 2013
 HILLIARD, Ohio (Nov. 7, 2013) - Thirty-seven race-car drivers and motorsports professionals have been voted into the Road Racing Drivers Club in 2013. The group includes 13 Regular Members from the open-wheel and sports-car racing ranks, 20 Associate Members and four Honorary Members. The current roster of RRDC members now numbers 440. Voting was held among all current RRDC members. 'This year's crop of new Regular Members truly represents the spirit of the RRDC, as each driver has de...[Read more...]
PORSCHE 918 SPYDER WOWS GOODWOOD
◾Innovative 887 hp plug-in hybrid super sports car makes public dynamic debut at Festival of Speed ◾Pedigree motorsport technology delivers maximum performance with minimum fuel consumption ◾Mid-mounted 4.6-litre V8 engine and two electric motors with lithium-ion batteries combine to deliver 0-62 mph in 2.8 secs, 211 mph top speed, plus approx. 85 mpg and 79 g/km CO2 (NEDC) ◾Independent all-wheel drive offers traction and driving dynamics benefits ◾Priced from 781,155 Euro – 'Weissach' packa...[Read more...]
Raw Power Has a Stamp of Its Own Muscle Cars Roar at Spring Classic Auction
What do you get when you bring the U.S. Postal Service and Dana Mecum's Original Spring Classic Auction together at the State Fairgrounds — a Muscle Car Extravaganza! Since it began 26 years ago, Mecum's Spring Classic auction in Indianapolis has featured the largest auction of muscle cars in the world. This year, the Postal Service will celebrate the raw power of the performance vehicle at the Spring Classic event by dedicating five, limited edition stamps featuring iconic muscle cars...[Read more...]
427 DragonSnake Cobra coming to the Concours d'Elegance of Texas
Following the resounding success of the inaugural Concours d'Elegance of Texas last spring, organizers have announced special features and classes for its second annual event, scheduled for May 5, 2013 at the award winning La Torretta Lake Resort & Spa in Montgomery, Texas. The Concours is one of the highlights of The Houston Classic Weekend, which will run from May 3-6, also featuring Worldwide Auctioneers The Houston Classic Auction, now in its twelfth year. Weekend visitors can once again loo...[Read more...]
Aston Martin Vantage GTE Scores Podium On LeMans Debut
Aston Martin Racing's new-for-2012 Vantage GTE has finished on the podium at the 24 Hours of Le Mans on its first attempt. The #97 V8-powered racer finished third in the fiercely competitive GTE Pro category having covered 332 laps – almost 3000 miles – of the celebrated 8.5-mile Circuit de la Sarthe without any technical problems. David Richards, Chairman of Aston Martin, commented: 'Le Mans is always one of the most special events of the year and probably the world's greatest motor race. T...[Read more...]

Arrow Right 1957 Ford models
Ford Courier
Ford Custom 300 Series Ranchero
Ford Custom Fireball Roberts
Ford F-100
Ford Fairlane
Ford Station Wagon
Ford Thunderbird
Ford Thunderbird Experimental
Ford Thunderbird Model F
Ford Thunderbird Phase I SC

Collectible: A Gathering of the Exceptional and Captivating
Similar Vehicles
Chevrolet Corvette SR21956 Chevrolet Corvette SR2

Similar Automakers
CadillacChevrolet
ChryslerDodge
GMCHummer
JeepLincoln
MercuryPontiac
Saturn
Similarly Sized Vehicles from 1957
Chevrolet Corvette C1
Ford Thunderbird
Ford Thunderbird Experimental
Ford Thunderbird Model F
Ford Thunderbird Phase I SC
Jaguar Mark 1
Mercedes-Benz 220S
Mercedes-Benz 300SL
Studebaker Commander

 
Ford: 1951-1960
Similar Automakers
Ford History
Other models by Ford
Manufacturer Website

Ford
Monthly Sales FiguresVolume
December 2014209,679 
November 2014178,221 
October 2014179,014 
September 2014172,261 
August 2014214,028 
July 2014204,373 
June 2014214,793 
May 2014244,501 
April 2014203,552 
March 2014235,198 
February 2014177,286 
January 2014148,671 
(More Details)

 
Anglia
Bronco
Capri
Comète
Cortina
Country Squire
Courier
Crestline Sunliner
Crown Victoria
Custom Deluxe
Customline
DeLuxe
E-Series
Edge
Escape
Escort
Expedition
Explorer
F-Series
Fairlane
Fairmont
Falcon
Fiesta
Five Hundred
Flex
Focus
Focus ST500
Freestyle / Taurus X
Fusion
Galaxie
Granada
GT 350 Hertz
GT40
Mainline
Maverick
Mercury Speedster
Model 18
Model 40
Model A
Model B
Model F
Model N
Model R
Model S
Model T
Mondeo
Mustang
Pickup
Pinto
Probe
Ranchero
Ranger
RS200
Shelby Cobra
Streetka
Taurus
Thunderbird
Torino
Transit Connect

© 1998-2014. All rights reserved. The material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.