If there''s a practical 2-seat convertible, the 1956 Thunderbird is it. With the spare moved outside, powerful 312 V8 under the hood, and a removable hardtop, this ''Bird is ready to go! Thanks to one conscientious owner since 1985 who always insured that it was ready to hit the road on a moment''s notice, it''s in just the right shape for your next road trip. Oddly enough, Torch Red wasn''t on the color pallet in 1956, but nobody can argue that it doesn''t look great. This one was originally code A, Raven Black, but the vivid red finish looks exactly right on the 2-seater''s famous shape. The restoration is older and the car has been driven on sunny days, but that doesn''t diminish the Thunderbird''s appeal one bit. In fact, it looks quite good, the paint has a very nice shine and the color is the right red, deep and rich without a tomato look. Gaps are quite good, particularly for a convertible, and the fender skirt fit well. Up close you can see a few signs of age, but you won''t notice from the driver''s seat, nor will the folks watching you drive by with envy in their hearts ever notice. Chrome and trim are excellent, with details that make the first-generation Thunderbird so special. Check out the exhaust ports in the outer corners of the rear bumper, the color-matched metal spare tire cover, and, of course, the Thunderbird script on the quarters. It all looks quite good. The code XA black and white interior works perfectly with the bright red paint. Again, it shows some signs of use and age, but really needs nothing to be enjoyed immediately. The bench seat doesn''t have any splits or tears in its cover and the foam underneath is still supportive. Even the black carpets demonstrate minimal signs that they''ve spent the past few years in a convertible. The door panels, with their two-tone vinyl faces and lovely engine-turned inserts, blend almost seamlessly into the dash, which features a big speedometer flanked by a tachometer and a clock. The original AM radio remains in the center of the dash, that''s the factory-issued steering wheel, and the slender wind wings keep it comfortable inside at highway speeds, even with the top down. And speaking of the top, this car is equipped with both a white folding top and a removable porthole hardtop and the trunk has a correct plaid mat. Ford''s 312 Y-block V8 provides power for all early 2-seat Thunderbirds, and over the years it has proven to be both reliable and plenty sporting for the ''Bird''s luxury mission. Obviously this one was rebuilt a few years ago and driven since, but thanks to a new wiring harness in 2005 and a recent cooling system service, it''s as reliable as ever. Wearing a factory dress-up kit with chrome air cleaner and finned valve covers there''s no question about what kind of car this is. It''s linked to a Ford-O-Matic automatic transmission and a 9-inch rear end, and with a mellow-sounding dual exhaust system, it''s one of the best vintage cruisers you can own. The chassis has been equally well maintained, and it rides on correct-looking Firestone wide whites wrapped around factory wheel covers. Early Thunderbirds have always been great cars, and this one delivers on the promise of comfortable first-class accommodations for two on the open road. Call today! This vehicle is located in our Charlotte showroom. For more information, please call (704) 598-2130 or toll free (866) 542-8392.