Classic Thunderbird FactsThe Thunderbird name was conceived by Ford stylist Alden "Gib" GibersonAlthough it is widely rumored porthole windows began in 1957, they were first ffered on the '56 ThunderbirdThe decision was made in 1955 to build a four-seat Thunderbird in 1958 ecause there was larger market potential for four-seat cars. At the time, sales figures for two-seat Thunderbirds were unknownIt took 15,000 units to begin turning a profit during the mid-'50sThe best two-seat Thunderbird sales year was 1957 at 21,380 unitsSupercharging was available only in 1957Dual four-barrel carburetion was available only in 1957Ford sold 37,892 four-seat Thunderbirds in 1958Ford sold a whopping 1,674,448 '57 Fords, including Thunderbirds, beating hevrolet that yearAlthough commonly referred to as a sports car, the Thunderbird was always a personal luxury car-never a sports carOther names considered for the Thunderbird were Beaver, Detroiter, Runabout (yes, Runabout), Arcturus, Savile, El Tigre, and CoronadoThe Thunderbird was first shown to the public at the Detroit Auto Show in February 1954The '55 Thunderbird first went on sale on October 22, 1954Ford expected to build just 10,000 units. It built 16,155 for 1955The Thunderbird was introduced with the 292ci Mercury Y-block V-8The 312ci Y-Block V-8 was introduced for 1956 and continued for 1957Former Ford executive (later Secretary of Defense in the Kennedy administration) Bob McNamara concluded Thunderbird needed four seats to be a sellerClassic Thunderbirds were full-frame cars. The '58-'66 T-birds were of unit-body construction with shock towers like the Falcon, Fairlane, and MustangThe original Thunderbird was designed by George Walker, Lewis D. Crusoe, and Frank Hershey. Crusoe was a retired GM design executive hired by Henry Ford II during the early '50sHow badly do you want a '57 T-bird?
Resale values are pushing $75,000 for average restorations
SR-71 Black Bird-Eye In The SkyWorld's fastest air-breathing, highest- flying aircraftBased at Beale AFB, CaliforniaHolds record for fastest New York to London flight-80,000 feet at over 2,000 mph-with an average speed of 1,807 mph-in under two hours. Exact time to cross the Atlantic was 1 hour, 54 minutes, 56. 4 seconds. SR-71 slowed one time for refueling from a specially modified USAF KC-135Q model jet tankerThis world-breaking record was set in 1974 by Major James V. Sullivan and Noel F. WiddlefieldThis same airplane flew 5,447 miles back to Los Angeles in 3 hours, 47 minutes, breaking windows in places along its route (sonic boom) on the way homeSR-71 uses a special jelly-like jet fuel called JP-8Pilots wear pressurized space suits due to the 80,000- to 100,000-foot cruise altitudeExceeds Mach 3 and outflies the Earth's rotational speed, which means it flies faster than the sun crosses the sky. Mach 1 is 741.4 mph at sea level. Mach 2 is twice that. Mach 3 is three times thatIn the SR-71, you can have breakfast in New York City and have another one in Los Angeles before you left New York stateThink your classic Ford is fast? The SR-71 flies 33 miles in 1 minute. That's 3,000 feet in 1 second. Let's see your quarter-mile e.t. timeslipThe SR-71 is made of titanium and composite materialsThe SR-71 was the world's first truly stealth airplaneFifty SR-71s were built, then all tooling was destroyedThe SR-71's cameras can photograph a golf ball on a putting green at 80,000 feet
The SR-71 was designed with a slide rule, not a computerA total of 478 people have flown the SR-71-a fortunate few Information courtesy www.wvi.com-an SR-71 Web site.