Forgot Password

Not a Member? Sign up here!

Classic Car News - Journal

AutoHunter Spotlight: 1957 Ford Thunderbird

Featured on AutoHunter, the online auction platform driven by, is this 1957 Ford Thunderbird.

The Thunderbird had a long gestation period, with the original idea for a new sporting Ford being considered as early as 1952. This idea for a Ford sporting car was to compete with the new Corvette. The Thunderbird was officially greenlit by Henry Ford II after he returned from the Los Angeles Auto Show in 1953 where he saw the initial design of the car. The Thunderbird project progressed very quickly, especially for a brand new design, with the Thunderbird being unveiled about a year later on February 29, 1954, at the Detroit Auto Show and the first cars delivered on October 22 of that same year. The car was a hit from the start with Ford selling 16,155 in its first year. The Thunderbird would evolve in the next two years which culminated in the final first-generation Thunderbird in 1957. Ford would sell a total of 21,380 1957 T-Birds.

The 1957 Thunderbird featured here is located in Gladstone, Oregon and is painted in Colonial White and equipped with a black convertible top over a black and white vinyl interior.

The seller describes this Thunderbird as a car that was originally finished in Coral Sand and equipped with a Colonial White removable hardtop (code ZE). During the restoration in 2013, the reportedly rust-free exterior was finished in Colonial White. The original hardtop is not included. Features include chrome bumpers, a chrome grille, a fender-mounted antenna, a hood scoop, manual cowl vents, a black manual convertible top, body-color rear-wheel skirts, and rear bumper-exit exhaust outlets. The selling dealer states that the original stainless trim and the brightwork are in good condition. The car rides on a set of 14-inch black steel wheels with full hubcaps wrapped in whitewall radial tires.

The interior of the car is stated to be originally equipped with an all-Colonial White vinyl interior (code XK), the cabin currently has a power bench seat upholstered in Raven Black and Colonial White vinyl surrounded by matching vinyl door panels and trim. Features include power windows, power steering, an updated vintage-look radio, a floor-mounted automatic transmission shifter, and nonfunctional aftermarket air conditioning. Instruments include a 140-mph speedometer, a 5,000-rpm tachometer, a clock, and gauges for the fuel level and coolant temperature located ahead of the driver.

Mechanically this Thunderbird is powered by its original D-code 312cid V8 and backed by the original Ford-O-Matic three-speed automatic transmission, according to the selling dealer. Engine bay features include finned aluminum valve covers and a chrome air cleaner lid. A safety inspection was recently completed.

The most interesting thing about the 1957 Thunderbird is just how eligible the car is for top tier vintage driving events. A 1957 Thunderbird can take you on the Colorado Grande, the California Mille, and even if you are lucky the most prestigious vintage driving event in the world, the Mille Miglia in Italy. This is possibly because a driving team of Francois Smadsa and Anna Raselli drove a 1957 Thunderbird in the 1957 running of the Mille Miglia, finishing 137th.

I addition to being eligible for all these amazing events, the very nature of a 1957 Thunderbird makes it one of the most comfortable and reliable way to attend these events, with power steering, an automatic transmission, a comfortable interior, and American reliability all coming together to make a 1957 the ‘easy button’ for these events. In addition The 1957 Thunderbird has to be the most inexpensive car available that is able to attend these events, adding to its benefits.

The auction for this 1957 Ford Thunderbird ends Tuesday, December 5, 2023, at 12:45 p.m. (MST)

Visit the AutoHunter listing for more information and photo gallery

Springsteen’s Drummer Sues Mercedes Restorer

Remember Max Weinberg? For a long time, he was the bandleader for Late Night With Conan O’Brien, but his true claim to fame is being the drummer for Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band. He’s also an automotive afficionado, having an interest in a particular 1957 Mercedes-Benz 190SL. However, this vehicle has led to a lawsuit.

Max Weinberg image courtesy of Manuel Martinez Perez

According to the Associated Press, Weinberg paid a deposit of $125,000 to Investment Automotive Group, Inc. as a downpayment for the Mercedes that it was restoring. A balance of $100,000 would be paid upon the completion of the restoration, which was promised to be “like-new or better condition using almost entirely original parts,” a “work of art” and the “best of the best.”

However, citing a gut feeling, Weinberg hired expert Pierre Hedary to inspect the vehicle at the restorers’ shop. Hedary found “significant rust, welds that had been improperly made, evidence that the car had been in an accident, and several other major problems.” To add insult to injury, it seems the Mercedes was a 1956 and not a ’57. Hedary concluded that, when finished, the SL would be a very nice roadster but would not qualify at major concours events, suggesting that it would be worth $120,000 at best.

When the owners of the shop refused to refund Weinberg’s deposit, he filed a complaint with the Broward (Florida) Sheriff’s Office. An investigation from a detective says that the restorers took the deposit and put it in personal accounts, covering almost $50,000 in credit card debt and other personal payments. “I did not find any transactions that could have been attributed to the work being done on (Weinberg’s) vehicle,” wrote the detective, adding that he found no indication the money went towards parts.

As such, the detective recommends the restorers be charged with grand theft, though the Broward State Attorney’s Office has said the case remains under review.

Pick of the Day: 1988 Saab 900 Turbo Cabriolet

The Swedish-built Saab 900 had a relatively long-lived production run which ranged from 1978 through 1994. Classified as a compact executive car, it was available in convertible, two-door or four-door sedan, or liftback variations. Even though Saab as an automobile brand went defunct almost eight years ago, there are still enthusiasts out there enjoying and preserving them.

The Pick of the Day is a 1988 Saab 900 Turbo cabriolet listed for sale on by a private seller in Laguna Beach, California. (Click the link to view the listing)

“Runs and drives like a dream, handles very well, and is cosmetically crisp,” the seller says. “Third owner only, and owned for two years, during which the car received $6,000 in restoration, repairs, and maintenance.”

The second paragraph of the listing itemizes the specific expenditures that were involved in getting this car back into tip-top condition. The big-ticket items were some oil leak repairs, new front seat upholstery, exterior lighting, brake pads and toros, spark plugs, alignment, and transmission hoses. The level of detail that went into this restoration speaks to how much of a Saab enthusiast the owner is.

Power comes from a longitudinally-mounted turbocharged DOHC 2.0-liter inline-four mated to a three-speed automatic transaxle. Factory ratings for the drivetrain were 160 horsepower and 188 lb-ft of torque. The seller says, “Automatic transmission shifts like butter, and the car cold-starts excellently.”

The flaws mentioned involve some repairs that were performed on the convertible top. Also, the cassette and CD functions of the stereo are inoperative. And finally, the gauge cluster was replaced at one point and the current mileage reads higher than the actual mileage on the vehicle. (Usually, odometer swaps mean the opposite!)

Similar 900 Turbo cars that I found online with accompanying window stickers show retail pricing of $31,442 for a vehicle with this level of equipment. That was a good chunk of money in 1988!  But the list of standard equipment backed it up: The features included dual heated power mirrors, four-wheel power disc brakes, front and rear stabilizer bars, fog lamps, heated front seats, air conditioning, courtesy lights, and a power antenna. No wonder these cars were so ahead of their time.

“The car speaks for itself,” the seller says. I admire the effort that went into this build, and I think the seller’s asking price of $15,995 is quite fair considering the car’s rarity and condition.

To view this listing on, see Pick of the Day.

Barrett-Jackson Hosts Holiday Toy Drive with Reach Out WorldWide at FuelFest

Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auctions is proud to host the Barrett-Jackson Toy Drive with Reach Out WorldWide to benefit Childhelp for the second consecutive year at FuelFest on Saturday, December 9 at WestWorld of Scottsdale.

Generous donors and automotive enthusiasts attending FuelFest may visit the Barrett-Jackson display to donate a new, unopened, unwrapped toy that will go directly to Childhelp to assist in providing children in need with gifts during the holiday season. All toys collected will be delivered to the Childhelp Children’s Center of Arizona. In addition to toys, generous donors may contribute financially towards the Barrett-Jackson Toy Drive benefiting Childhelp here. Childhelp is a non-profit organization dedicated to meeting the physical, emotional, educational, and spiritual needs of abused, neglected and at-risk children.

Toy donations may also be dropped off at Barrett-Jackson’s corporate headquarters beginning today through December 15. Barrett-Jackson’s headquarters are located at 15555 N. 79th Place, Scottsdale, AZ 85260, and guests are asked to drop off new toys in the donation bins located in the main lobby.

Partnering with Barrett-Jackson for this holiday toy drive is Reach Out WorldWide, a disaster relief non-profit organization founded by Paul Walker in 2010 that augments local expertise when natural disasters strike around the world by providing support with first responders and other professionals in the medical and construction related fields. Walker’s brother, Cody Walker, is the CEO of Reach Out WorldWide and the co-founder of FuelFest, a global event that blends the enthusiast’s passion for the automotive world with live music and racing. As is the case with all FuelFest events, including the December 9 event in Scottsdale, a portion of the proceeds will benefit Reach Out WorldWide.

“We’re delighted to partner with Reach Out WorldWide and FuelFest for a toy drive once again this holiday season,” said Carolyn Jackson, V.P. of Brand Strategy and Chief Philanthropy Officer for Barrett-Jackson. “Utilizing our platform and working alongside our community of enthusiasts to support those in need is a foundational pillar of Barrett-Jackson and it’s a privilege to team up with Childhelp to assist the amazing work they are doing for children suffering from unimaginable hardships.”

Event information, car registration and tickets for FuelFest can be found at

Join Barrett-Jackson’s online conversation with #BarrettJackson and #BJAC on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

Donations are being accepted at FuelFest on Dec. 9 and BJAC headquarters through Dec. 15

Doctor Who’s Futuristic Whomobile On Display For 60th Anniversary

The National Motor Museum at Beaulieu is set to transport visitors through time and space with the unveiling of a new temporary display featuring the most iconic vehicles from the beloved British sci-fi series, Doctor Who. From the sleek and stylish Bessie to the futuristic Whomobile and a menacing Dalek, this collection marks the 60th anniversary of the series and opened to visitors on November 23, 2023.

Heading the line-up is none other than Bessie, the Third Doctor’s trusty yellow roadster. Bessie’s first appearance was in Doctor Who and the Silurians in early 1970 and appeared regularly with the Third Doctor, played by Jon Pertwee. It also made single appearances in Fourth, Seventh, Eighth and Eleventh Doctor stories. Familiar to fans of the classic era, Bessie has become synonymous with the Doctor’s adventures.

Doctor Who Whomobile with Jon Pertwee in 1974

Zooming in from the 1970s, the display presents the Whomobile, a custom-designed vehicle created for the Doctor by the brilliant minds at UNIT, the United Nations Intelligence Taskforce. A sleek blend of style and functionality, the Whomobile is a testament to the Doctor’s ability to traverse the cosmos. It made its first appearance in Invasion of the Dinosaurs broadcast in January and February 1974. The vehicle’s only other appearance was in Planet of the Spiders, which was the final adventure for Jon Pertwee’s Third Doctor and would see him regenerate as Tom Baker’s Fourth Doctor.

Finally, adding an element of menace to the display is an authentic Dalek, the iconic extraterrestrial villains that have been striking fear into the hearts of Doctor Who fans for decades. The Dalek on display appeared in all but one of the classic Doctor Who Dalek episodes. The National Motor Museum is thrilled to provide a rare opportunity for fans to witness the intricacies of Dalek design up close, as visitors will be able to come face to eyestalk with one of the Doctor’s most formidable foes.

Doctor Who’s Bessie in Doctor Who and the Silurians 1970

Beaulieu’s Lord Montagu is an avid “Whovian.” He was a founder member of the Doctor Who Restoration Team, a group of fans instrumental in restoring old episodes recovered from various sources in less than perfect condition. He said, “I am delighted to be hosting this display of Doctor Who props in the program’s 60th anniversary year. I am sure it will bring great joy to our visitors and bring back memories of watching the Saturday evening episodes, perhaps for some from behind the sofa.” 

The display can be seen until the end of February 2024 and is included in a general admission ticket to Beaulieu. This includes entry to the National Motor Museum, World of Top GearOn Screen Cars, Palace House, Secret Army exhibition, Beaulieu Abbey, its grounds and gardens including adventure play area Little Beaulieu, plus unlimited rides on the Monorail and Veteran Bus.

Diego’s AutoHunter Picks

We all wear different hats. They tell the role we play in a given situation. Chances are your human resource department likes when you can wear many hats. Perhaps your spouse feels the same way?

These AutoHunter Picks allow me to wear a hat (and, hence, an identity) to get my inner Walter Mitty going. Which vehicle will give you the best adventure?

1974 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible
When it’s time to take out the Eldo, I’d put on my pimpalicious hat and pinky ring and cruise down the pike, scarf flapping in the wind, with nary a worry in the world. Yup, I’ve made it in life, and everybody knows it. No one mistakes me for the king of the road — I’m the viceroy of the village where fuel is plentiful because I need plenty of fuel to set the scene.

This Dynasty Red 1974 Eldorado certainly was among the most impressive American automobiles in its time, and this one features just 27,540 miles since new. Of course, it’s powered by the massive 500 V8 and, naturally, it features air conditioning, power options galore, tilt/telescoping steering column, and red leather interior. If you like original-paint cars, this one’s a honey.

1960 Chevrolet Impala Sport Coupe
Time to put a dab of Brylcreem in my thinning hair and don my greaser hat. Let’s go cruising and maybe make an acceleration run or two between stoplights, though it would be totally boss to meet a young lady at the burger and shake stand, though it’s almost no use because her parents are bound to hate me. Is it my look? My car? How could anyone hate my car?

This Suntan Copper and Ermine White 1960 Impala with matching interior is powered by a 348 big-block topped by a tri-carb setup. The transmission has been upgraded to a TH400 three-speed auto. American Racing Torq-Thrust give this Chevy just the right look for a kid who couldn’t afford a GTO in 1966 but wanted to go fast and look cool at the same time.

2005 Pontiac GTO
I struggle thinking what hat I need to wear for this modern-day Goat. How about a giggle hat from Aus? I’d drive for pleasure, with no particular place to go, if only to hear that great LS2 rumble every time I slowly emerge from every stoplight. Maybe I’ll stop by an Outback Steakhouse and tell the hosts how dumb their commercials are, but I won’t leave till I sample the wings.

This Cyclone Gray 2005 GTO has had only one owner and shows 60,987 miles on the clock. It’s equipped with rear spoiler, fog lamps, leather interior, Blaupunkt stereo, drilled and slotted brake rotors, and the all-important six-speed manual. The jellybean received non-functional hood scoops in 2005, giving Poncho fans something that Pontiac tried to do for 2004 but couldn’t.

1970 Toyota Land Cruiser
The small-block Bow Tie transplant is a welcome addition to this off-roader, so I grab my oilcloth bucket hat and navigate the jungle mysteries of faraway lands where Christian men fear to tread. My mosquito repellant seems to be useless (possibly as much as my imagination) but who cares when I can overtake volcanoes and run over Komodo dragons with this gem of a V8?

Not only does this 1970 FJ40 Land Cruiser have a 350 V8, but it’s connected to a five-speed manual. The huge 35-inch tires envelop polished aluminum 15-inch mags with Warn hubs up front. There’s some heavy-duty stuff going on here besides the obvious, like relocated fuel tank, so wherever you take this Toyota, it will be ready to outlive the roaches.

Today in Automotive History: The Ford Assembly Line

On December 1, 1913, the automotive industry witnessed a revolutionary transformation with the introduction of the Ford Assembly Line at the Highland Park Plant in Michigan. Conceived by Henry Ford, the assembly line marked a paradigm shift in manufacturing, forever changing the way products were made and setting the stage for mass production.

The impact was profound. The assembly line enabled Ford to produce the Model T at an unprecedented rate. What once took over 12 hours to assemble now took just 93 minutes. This efficiency translated into lower costs, making automobiles more affordable to the average person. However, workers were then faced with monotonous and repetitive tasks and long working hours. As many began to quit and the International Workers of the World (IWW) union shifted its efforts to striking, Ford was eventually forced to make a change and increase pay. This eventually led to what we know as the workweek: 40 hours a week, eight hours a day.

Thanks to the moving assembly line, Ford was able to produce the 10 millionth Model T by 1924 (Image courtesy of Ford media)

Between 1908 and 1927, Ford builds 15 million Model T’s, changing the very fabric of industrial and agricultural America.

Pick of the Day: 1956 Buick Roadmaster Convertible

Back in October, I featured a 1996 Buick Roadmaster station wagon as my Pick of the Day. It was a bit of a “sleeper” thanks to having a 260-horsepower LT1 V8 engine despite conveying the appearance of a boring people-mover. Back in the 1950s, the Roadmaster had a vastly different look.

The Pick of the Day is a 1956 Buick Roadmaster convertible listed for sale on by a private seller in Athens, Georgia. (Click the link to view the listing)

“I only see one of these come up for sale a year, making this a very rare car,” the seller says. “She underwent a restoration about 30 years ago and still shows very well.”

Between 1946 and 1957, the Roadmaster was the top-end flagship of the Buick model lineup. For most of that span, it shared the General Motors C-body platform with badge-engineered cars like the Cadillac Series 62 and the Oldsmobile 98. Available configurations for the Roadmaster included a two-door convertible, a two-door hardtop, a four-door sedan, and a four-door hardtop. The hardtop models were named “Riviera.” (Obviously, the Riviera name in later years was more of a Buick nameplate)

This 1956 Roadmaster takes brightwork to whole new level. From front to back (and even on the interior) it is graced with lots of ornamentation, including the characteristic fender-mounted portholes, sweeping side spears, and trunk lid accent bars. One of my favorite features is the “bombsight” at the leading edge of each front fender. Some vehicles used that type of design for a hood ornament; this car received two! The seller says, “Chrome is very clean with no pitting on outside trim or bumpers.”

This Roadmaster was also nicely optioned for its time, complete with features such as power steering, power brakes, power windows, a three-way power seat, a power antenna, and a power retractable top. Under the seller’s ownership, the car received a new convertible top motor and associated hardware.

Power comes from a Fireball 322cid V8 mated to a Dynaflow two-speed automatic transmission. The seller says, “Everything works as it should. All lights, wipers, horn, gauges, etc.”

Do you prefer to think of the Roadmaster as a glamorous 1950s convertible or as a souped-up station wagon from the 1990s? Either way, it is a model that will forever be remembered as a Buick favorite.

The asking price is $79,500, which includes an owner’s guide, a shop manual, and the original hub caps.

To view this listing on, see Pick of the Day.

Car and Music Pairings: Drive the Bid Podcast

Thanksgiving’s over, which means only one thing: leftovers! But that’s not the only thing sitting on the minds of Derek Shiekhi and me, as we decided to pair cars and songs in this week’s‘s Drive the Bid podcast.

In our Quick Take series, Derek taught me about the Jaguar XJ220, while I taught Derek the convoluted history of Pontiac’s Ram Air engines.

1994 Jaguar XJ220

New car news included an overview on Hyundai’s plan with Amazon to sell cars online, and a new Mulsanne in Bentley’s Heritage Collection. Of course, we have an update on Steve Magnante’s health — he responded to an email I sent, so good things are to come.

Finally, Derek and I selected several AutoHunter picks, such as a 1974 Pontiac Catalina Safari, 1997 Mitsubishi Minicab utility, and 1967 Ford Mustang Sport Sprint and 1989 F-150 XL pickup.

AutoHunter Cinema has plenty of other videos and podcasts created by the experts behind, the world’s largest online collector car marketplace. AutoHunter brings forth a dedicated live customer support team, quicker auction listings and exclusive benefits for both buyers and sellers.

Pick of the Day: 1966 Triumph Spitfire

One of my all time favorite automotive advertisements is one that is titled, “What was it like, going up in a Spitfire.”

The ad reads:

“It was dawn when I climbed into the Spitfire’s cockpit behind the leather-covered steering wheel, and fired up the engine. I was going to make the run from San Diego to Sausalito, and the entire machine seemed alive with anticipation. As the sun crept over the horizon, we took off. Right away, the feeling of control-of driving the car instead of being driven by it was fantastic. All in all, the Triumph Spitfire Mk III with its racing-type rack and pinion steering, independent four-wheel springing, front disc brakes, competition-proved engine and four-forward-speed gearbox made the 500-mile mission seem an enormous sport.”

If ever an automobile print ad made me want a car more I cannot think of what it might be. The allusion to flying a Spitfire aircraft captured my imagination. The fact that the Triumph Spitfire was, and remains, such an affordable British roadster only added to my desire for one of these cars. Sadly by the end of its production, the Spitfire felt very old fashioned but the entire point of the Spitfire was to deliver the British roadster driving experience at an affordable price.

The Pick of the Day is one of these legendary cars, and the single model year of all Spitfires that I personally like the best, a 1966 Triumph Spitfire located in Lebanon, Tennessee.

The car looks as if it is finished in correct color Royal Blue paint with an equally correct black vinyl interior with white piping. The lines of these early Spitfires, which were designed by the legendary Giovanni Michelotti, to me are as good as they ever got. The 1966 car still has the low front bumper treatment that is much better than the later high bumpers. Sure I also like the redesigned Mk4 spitfire, which was also designed by Michelotti, but there is something quite beautiful about the original first generation Spitfire design.

The seller describes this Spitfire as, “An absolutely doll of a classic British roadster that not be more attractive.” They state that this car exhibits no signs of rust or accident history. They describe the quality of the blue paint as beautiful and go on to say the same about the chrome. In addition they also say that the finish on the wire wheels and the entire exterior is excellent.

For the interior they state that the seats, carpets, door cards, dash, and wood trim are all in superb condition. Looking at the many photos accompanying the ad, I would agree with the seller’s assessment of this car. This is a Spitfire that has been restored to a very high level.

The seller goes on to describe the car to be as strong mechanically as it is cosmetically, with a very solid engine, gearbox, and brakes. The photos also seem to show that the seller is not overselling the quality of this Spitfire, and it is one I would gladly own myself.

The underside of the car also looks to be excellent with the floors looking perfect and even the rocker seams looking clean and nice. As these cars are legendary for their propensity to dissolve, this is one of the nicest examples I have seen in years.

In addition, this stunning Spitfire includes a rare factory hard top, soft top, and tonneau cover.

So if after reading the ad copy above that so captured my imagination you feel the need to own a Spitfire, this one, with an asking price of a very fair $18,800 looks like one to own. Sure you can get one cheaper but not one that looks to be as good as this one appears to be. This 1966 Spitfire is the perfect car for a dawn patrol run and to experience the joys that a true British roadster delivers.

To view this listing on, see Pick of the Day.

Last Played

Car Show Calendar

Car Show Weather