".HISTORY
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"BRINGING  the PAST to the PRESENT"

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A NEW KIND OF FORD FOR '57

For 1957.....there's a big new kind of Ford with the touch of tomorrow!  This brilliant new automotive package is bigger, easier to enter, roomier than ever. Yet it's lower...so low that a man of average height can rest his elbows comfortably on its top!  And longer....you're never seen such graceful contour of its sculptured-in-steel body says, "Let's Go"

What kind of magic made this miracle possible?  It all started with a new Inner Ford.  For Ford engineers reinvented the automobile.  They developed a revolutionary contoured frame......a built-for-keeps body...a new type of low-slung drive...a new level-ride suspension....a wide range of new higher-compression engines.  These are but a few of the reasons why this kind of Ford rides silent, solid and secure.

And Ford's the only low-priced car to bring you a choice of two new, bigger car sizes...plus an all-new, longer, lower line of station wagons.  Five brilliant new series to choose from...20 beautiful body styles. (The Ranchero makes 21 styles ( For information on models click on MODELS on the left )

Six or V-8- the going is great!  Pick your GO...and love it!!   Ford celebrates its Silver Anniversary of V-8 leadership with the widest engine choice ever! Both Custom Series offer the basic 190-hp Ford 272 V-8... Fairlanes and Station Wagon Series, the 212-hp Thunderbird 292 V-8.   All Series offer the optional 245-hp Thunderbird 312 Special V-8.  Also available in every Series, at extra cost, is the special high performance 270-hp Thunderbird 312 Super V-8.  And, an extra-high performance special 300-hp Thunderbird 312 Supercharged V-8.  Or in any '57 Ford (except Skyliner and Thunderbirds) you can have the industry's most powerful, most modern Six, the economical 144-hp Mileage Maker Six.  Fordomatic, Overdrive or Conventional transmission available with any engine.

 


See how the accessories are attractively displayed on Ford's new curved instrument panel (above) which also features recessed control knobs for your protection.  The new sweep-hand speedometer and the generator and oil gauges with their flashing lights are readily visible.

 

 

HOOD ORNAMENT
Symbolic of the smart lines of the '57 Ford is this Bull's Eye Hood Ornament.  Unmistakably different it will keep you out front in a FORD.

The above History is provided by a 1957 Ford show room catalog
FORD MOTOR COMPANY

ASSEMBLY LINE PICTURES TO BE POSTED SOON


Here's what put the Magic in the new kind of FORD.....
It all started with the new kind of "Inner Ford"

When Ford Engineers planned this baby, they didn't just think in terms of new springs, new brakes, new axles. They thought in terms of a carthrough-and-through new. The wheelbase got longer!  The wheels got smaller! The frame got wider! Ford built its new, longer-wheelbase chassis.  Then Ford built a second chassis, with a still longer wheelbase! So now, you have two new kinds of Fords to sell, one over 16feet long, one over 17 feet long!  And that's longer than many "High-Priced" cars! The wheels got smaller, broader, too to give a better road grip, a better ride. And the frame's bowed out so passengers can sit inside... and the ride got smoother! With new suspension, new spring-front and rear, the ride this new Ford gives you is the closest you'll ever come to coasting on a highway of clouds. And that holds true on backcountry roads, too! The handling got easier!  ... and no wonder!   This new, lower Ford with stiffer frame is poised and balanced like a panther.And the new "trailing arms" front suspension works it magic when you need it most.  The power got Hotter!  The car that's so beautifully low is packed with Thunderbird "GO!" Waiting to jump to your command is up to 245 blazing horsepower (A regular production option of 265 HPavailable to selected customers who qualify for "Competition Power!)   With all their zip and zing, the new Ford engines go easy on gas. The roof got lower! You can shake hands with admiring friends over the roof of this low, low Ford. No wonder it clings to the road like a coat ofclue. Yet, because the seats are lower, too, easy entries and graceful exits are no problems. The body got quieter, "tighter".. As a matterof fact, it's the strongest body ever built for a low-priced car.  It will keep its new-car "tightness" longer.  And no car in Ford's field has suchgenerous sound-proofing.  The room got roomier!  Despite Ford's low height it's designed with more head room than ever.  There's real  strech-out leg room, even for six-footers.  And there's plenty of extra shoulder space between passengers. The lines got sweeter........They have the touch of tomorrow.   Ford gives you the longest, lowest, low-priced car ever.  Each graceful contour, every long, low, arrow-likeline of its sculptured-in-steel body says "LET'S GO!"  The style got smarter....  With this new-look new Ford, you have a car that belongs anywhere!  For example: all Fairlanes models, sedans and Victorias, have the look of a hardtop.  The value got greater!..... but the price has stayed basically the same.  The result, even more promise of buying a car that will keep its value high and will stay worth more.   So now you know the MAGIC of the new '57 FORD......right down the line!

Thanks Ford Motor Company
Dearborn, Michigan



1957 Supercharged Fords

Ford's supercharger program was a stopgap measure to counteract Chevrolet's sophisticated small block V8 on the nations racetracks, which in 1957 had grown to 283 cubes and 283 horsepower with fuel injection.  Ford had owned the V8 market since 1932, so when Chevrolet started to win races in 1955 and 1956 with their new V8, initially a 265, Ford instituted a game plan to regain superiority.  The blown 312 Ford 2-door sedans topped Chevrolet 27 wins to 19 in NASACORT in 1957.  In USAC, it was all FoMoCo, with 12 wins for Ford and four firsts for Mercury.  A minimum number of units had to be built for the street for the Supercharger to be considered stock and eligible for NASCAR.   Well known are the F-model Thunderbirds with blown 312s.  Exactly 211 were built.  More obscure are the supercharger-equipped passenger car.  The formula in 1957 was to take the lightest, least optioned, cheapie 2-door sedan and fit it with the most powerful engine you had, in Ford's case the supercharged Y-block 312 V8 rated at 300 horsepower but was really producing 325 horsepower.  To drive these cars, Ford assembled what is arguably the greatest collection of stock car racing talent ever on one team.   Fireball Roberts, Curtis Turner, Joe Weatherly, Marvin Panch, Paul Goldsmith, Parnelli Jones, Eddie Pagan, and Ralph Moody (later, of Holman-Moody).  Ford's blown Y-block V8 under the hood created the quintessential street NASCAR Stocker.
Thanks Popular Mechanics
 

 

Supercharger History

Ford Motor Company was looking for a means of increasing the performance of their racing engines as a part of their long running NASCAR battle with Chevrolet.   With the Rochester Fuel Injection looming on the horizon Fords prospects looked weaker for 1957 and they were looking at all options.  Ford decided to use the Paxton-McCulloch supercharger for NASCAR, and after evaluation decided that the VR57 fitted it's need, and as the VR blowers had not been made available to the public by the time Ford set up an exclusive contract with Paxton Products for the VR57.  NASCAR stipulated that a minimum of 50 power plants had to be manufactured to the racing specification before the engine was allowed to race.  Ford built between 50 and 100 supercharged 312 cid engines, equipped with the Phase 1 Paxton-McCulloch VR57's which produced 6 pounds of boost, for racing during 1957.  These power plants, which were conservatively rate at 340 bhp (Paxton claimed 360bhp), proved to successful in racing (much to Chevroles annoyance) and contributed to the NASCAR and USAC ban of supercharging, multi-carburetion and fuel injection after one year.  Ford also introduced  the Supercharger as a $500 factory option on passenger cars and Thunderbirds in 1957.  The F code supercharged 312 Y-Block engine was rated at 325 hp.  These engines were in response to Chevroles 283 hp fuel injection 283 cid engine and significantly Ford exceeded the 1 bhp per 1 cid record claimed by Chevrolet in 1957.  The Paxton-McCulloch VR57's installed on these engines are known as the Phase 2 VR57's as they were slighty modified in design to the competition Phase 1's and were de-rated to 5 pounds boost in conjunction with less radical cam to improve the longevity of the engines.
For more information on superchargers check out Jim Moody's site:   www.superscope.fsnet.co.uk

Thanks Jim

 

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IS THERE SOMETHING REALLY NEW?

YES---Ford for '57! It's low, wide, handsome, and a completely new car from the ground up---and in this case not very far up!  Fairlanes and Customs are both less than 57 inches high, or just about eye level for a tiny five-foot girl!  The three basic models---Fairlane, Custom, and Station Wagons---are long, too---up to nine inches longer than the '56 Ford.

One of the newest features of the '57 Ford is the fact that for the first time in its 53-year history, the Ford Motor Company will be producing 20 models (21 with the Ranchero later) in three different basic sizes, each with its own body and chassis.  The largest, the Fairlane and Fairlane "500" (luxury job), are built on a 118-inch wheelbase, are nine inches longer and four inches lower than last year's models.  Station Wagons are built on 116-inch wheelbase, are 3.5 inches lower, and almost six inches longer.  Customs and Custom "300s" have a 116-inch wheelbase, are over three inches longer and nearly 3.5 inches lower than the '56s.

Low overall height, along with proper road clearance and satisfactory interior proportions, is hard to accomplish.  Ford surmounted this problem by redesigning  the frame to accommodate the passenger section within the side rails.  In effect, the rails become side bumpers that protect the passengers.   Heavier stock here, along with tubular crossmembers, makes the new frame 27 per cent more rigid and saves two inches in height.

A tapered driveshaft and redesigned hypoid rear axle and 14-inch wheels (15 inches in'56) reduce the height another two inches for a total of four inches from ground to top.  All of this lowering is without any sacrifice to the interior proportions.

Other new features that become apparent are the deep-dish safety wheel (standard equipment) that is smaller and considerably lower; a repositioned front seat to take advantage of the new angle: and, a new panel with instruments that are easily read, even in bright sunlight.  We are especially pleased with the excellent upholstering detail and hope this is carried out in their production models.

Twelve solid and 19 two-tone body color combinations dictate a wide choice in upholstering motif for individual taste; the new Ford line boast 37 different fabric-color upholstery combinations.  Seat cloth is nylon backed with latex for longer wear.  Solid vinyl is also available in crush grain or pleats.   Floor covering is color matched in vinyl, looped rayon and ribbed linoleum, the latter for Station Wagon models.

Engine Choices for '57!  Three V8's and a "mileage-maker" six are offered for '57, each with major engineering changes, including higher compression ratios, freer breathing, new ignition and better exhaust flow.

Top muscle man of this group is the Thunderbird Special V8, available as an optional engine in any model; it is not standard on any ford.   It's a big 312-cubic-inch engine, with 3.80-inch bore and 3.44-inch stroke.  Using a compression ratio of 9.7 to 1, it unleashes 245 hungry horse (at 4500 rpm) that are fed by a special low silhouette four-venturi carburetor.

Next in line is the Thunderbird V8, a 292-cubic-inch (2.75 bore and 3.30 stroke) engine 9.1 to 1 compression ratio.  When it's used with Fordomatic it's rated at 212 horsepower at 4500 rpm; with a standard box, it rates at only 206.  A two-venturi card is used, regardless of transmission.  This engine is standard on the Fairlanes and Station Wagons.

The little brother of these power mills is a 190-horse V8 that's used in the Custom and Custom "300" series.  It's The smallest V8, being 272 cubic-inch, with 3.62 bore and 3.30 stroke.   Compression ratio is 8.6 to 1. A double-barrel carb is used.

Though there probably are fewer and fewer buyers looking for economy.  Ford still provides a 223-cubic-inch six that gives a healthy 144 horsepower at 4200 rpm.  It is available on all models.
The new V8's sport a larger intake manifold, bigger and higher-lifting intake valves, and a recontoured camshaft.  Each is equipped with a new dry-type carburetor air filter and a redesigned carburetors for more efficient fuel distribution.

The new exhaust system, on all but the 245-hp models, combines an exhaust pipe extending back from each manifold, the through a "Y" and ending in a single muffler.  The complete dual setup is still retained on the Thunderbird Special engine and is obviously more efficient.

And What About Roadability?  With a car as new as this, we were more than anxious to see what kind of roadability was built into it, especially in view of an obviously lowered center of gravity.  We started our roadability test on exceptionally rough roads and noticed a definite improvement in spring and shock action over the'56.  It is fairly softly sprung, but good shocks tend to control any baby buggy motion.  Road noises are very effectively dampened, as is road shock transfer to the steering wheel.  Live rubber mounts are used at 20 places between body and frame.

On rather smooth roads, we noticed a minimum nose dip when braking.  The brakes seemed smooth and positive, although we will have to wait until later tests to determine their fade resistance factor.  New outboard-mounted rear springs are two inches longer than on the '56 model.  This extra length is ahead of the rear axle and materially aids in reducing front end dive on quick stops.

A redesigned ball-joint front suspension boasts single-unit upper and lower arm construction.  Hinged with live rubber bushings, these arms are swept back in a modified trailing arm manner.  Wheel motion is now upward and reward which, in effect, causes the wheel to be pulled rather pushed over a bump

Violent cornering brought out the advantages of a low center of gravity.  This new Ford really sticks.  Body lean is modest, and with the built-in oversteer, you get a feeling of confidence in the car's ability to do your bidding.  Not that you can't break it loose; we did several times, but it broke reluctantly and a quick correction of the wheel put it back in the groove.

Steering is positive with about average resistance without power advantage.  You'll like the feel of the smaller deep-dished steering wheel , and the driving position, with its conduciveness to good control.   The four turns from lock to lock could probably be reduced to 3 1/2 turns without creating undue turning resistance.  Steering ratio is up from 25.3 to 1 to 27 to 1, "for easier turning," says Ford, but we feel the smaller (14-inch) wheels, with broader rims and more tread surface on the road, may have had something to do with the change.

The Ford for '57 should be a most interesting car to watch.  There are plenty of Ford fingers crossed and they'll remain to until an upward sales trend is established.  No-one really knows why the '56 Chevy wound up so far ahead, but Ford hopes to close the gap with their '57 offering.  They think you will like it.  We think you may, too.

Above information thanks to:

MOTOR TREND / NOVEMBER 1956

SPECIAL NOTE:   "FORD DID OUT SELL CHEVY IN 1957"

Other Ford Notes

Not only was the body for 1957 a fresh concept, but so was the chassis, on which it rode about 4 inches lower than the
facelifted'56. It's rear axle was hung out rigger fashion. It's rear axle was hung from 55-inch leaf springs that let the housing
ride in an asymmetrical mounting on kicked-up rails.  Up front, the lower control arms were shortened and swept back. A
new ratio was applied to the steering box, with the column raked back at a lower angle. All this tweaking provided lowness,
but still left plenty of interior headroom. Chassis dynamics used on the 1957 FORD made a sturdy-handling package not
only for grocery-getters, but also the foundation FORD'S assault  on the NASCAR's stock car tracks in the south. With
annual updates, the chassis was kept in production through '64.

Eingines for '57 were higher in horsepower and had increaseed compression with reshaped combustion chambers, and a new
oil pump, with spin-on-filter, which replaced the old messy cartridge type.  Since the hood line was lowered, FORD designed
a low-profile carburetor to fit in the tight confines.  For the first time, Ford-O-Matics were water cooled for an extended life
span.  Engine choices for the passenger car and Ranchero were the 223ci Six, 27-8, 292ci V-82ci V-8, and the torquey 312ci
Thunderbird V-8,
which could be ordered with dual four-barrel carbs or the mean supercharged version that wasn't really
meant for cruising around town, but was unbeatable in red-light boulevard challenges.

Thanks to Ford Motor Company
Ford Archives


"Bring the Past to the Present"