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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




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