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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.

Engines for '57 were higher in horsepower and had increased 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 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"

Thanks Denny Moore for the great Assembly Line Pictures

Was the 1957 Ford, the greatest task ever to prevail on an automobile company?
1. The largest number of model variations on a single assembly line, that any car maker has ever produced, before or since.
2. Radical Design and mechanical changes from bumper to bumper, (ie. wrap- around frame, 14" wheels, 9" rear axle, 300hp Supercharged engine, rear opening hood, a retractable hardtop/convertible, a car bodied pick-up, two wheel bases, etc.) All of these and many new for 1957 ! The next time you see a 1957 Skyliner Retraceable Hardtop, think of the engineering and production challenges that must have occurred, not only in the roof mechanics and electrical mazes, but the taller and longer rear quarters that are molded together with a solid rear panel and requiring completely different side and rear trim. A few old timers at the Ford Stamping Plant, which began production here in Walton Hills in 1954. told me that the 1957 models were a nightmare. The station wagon and panel truck roofs not only used the largest sheets and dies that the new presses could handle, but they had the longest,continuous styling ridge (up one side, across the roof and back the other side) ever produced on any one piece of sheet metal. It was reported that as much as 80% of the roofs stamped were scrap. The 1957 Chevrolet may be an icon of the fifties, but the '57 FORD stretched the boundaries of imagination and development like no other car in history ! Henry Ford II was so determined to beat Chevrolet in sales that he made it a goal of every Ford Employee. Ford outsold Chevrolet in only one year from before the great depression to the mid-1980's. 1957! Denny Moore, Editor "Points & Plugs" news letter of The Ford Family Club



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