Concept Carz Home
 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
FIGHTING ABOVE ITS WEIGHT CLASS – HOLLYWOOD HOT RODS FORD MUSTANG GT CONVERTIBLE GOES SUPERCAR STYLE FOR SEMA
◾Hollywood Hot Rods builds a custom 2014 Ford Mustang convertible with supercar style and performance for SEMA ◾All bodywork modifications are executed in hand-formed aluminum including the custom lift-off roof Like a middleweight who decides to challenge a heavyweight in the ring, Hollywood Hot Rods decided to take on the supercars with its 2014 Ford Mustang GT convertible at SEMA 2013. While the classic style and proportions of Mustang say performance even in stock form, the team at Hollyw...[Read more...]
Microcar Collection To Be Giants Of 7Th Annual Barrington Concours D'Elegance
BARRINGTON, ILL. – June 27, 2013 – The 7th Annual Barrington Concours d'Elegance will show a group of distinctive, fanciful Microcars on the Concours field during the July 12-14, 2013 weekend, at the Makray Memorial Golf Club in Barrington, Ill. The group will feature vehicles from several makers including Messerschmitt and Nash built during the 'golden era' of Microcars from the 1950s through 1970s. 'Microcars represent a fun and fascinating period in our automotive history,' said Da...[Read more...]
Land Rover Celebrates 65 Years
- April 30th 2013 marks the 65th anniversary of Land Rover - Celebratory event showcases 65 years of Land Rover innovation - Around 150 heritage vehicles attend celebratory event at Packington Estate in the United Kingdom, the original testing ground for Land Rover (MAHWAH, N.J.) April 29, 2013-Land Rover will mark 65years of technology and innovation with a celebratory event at Packington Estate near its Solihull hometown in the United Kingdom. The desire to create a vehicle that...[Read more...]
Jaguar Land Rover Debuts Three All-New British Vehicles At 2012 Los Angeles International Automobile Show
Jaguar Land Rover introducing three new vehicles with special focus on the U.S. Market •High-performance 2014 Jaguar XFR-S makes its world debut •All-new two-seat sports car, the Jaguar F-TYPE, makes its U.S. Auto Show Debut •The world's first all-aluminum SUV, the 2013 Range Rover makes its U.S. Auto Show Debut •The U.S. will be the world's largest market for the three vehicles Jaguar Land Rover is debuting at the 2012 Los Angeles International Auto Show (MAHWAH, N.J.) – November...[Read more...]
45Th Anniversary Of 'All-American' Victory At 1967 Le Mans
Forty-five years ago this past week, American racing history was made, and thus far has neve rbeen matched again. With the 24 Hours of Le Mans this weekend, Racing in America reflects on the 45th anniversary of the Ford Mark IV claiming the second of four consecutive victories for Ford Motor Company cars at LeMans, arguably the greatest American racing victory on foreign soil. That day in 1967, the stunning red Mark IV, now in the procession of Henry Ford Museum as part of its Racing in ...[Read more...]

Arrow Right 1957 Ford models
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
August 2014214,028 
July 2014204,373 
June 2014214,793 
May 2014244,501 
April 2014203,552 
March 2014235,198 
February 2014177,286 
January 2014148,671 
December 2013210,074 
November 2013183,722 
October 2013184,854 
September 2013178,693 
(More Details)

 
Anglia
Bronco
Capri
Comète
Cortina
Country Squire
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.