Bud Riley’s 1957 White Bird


The first T-bird I had was a 1956 White bird with automatic transmission, in 1958. I sold that one, but ended up with a Red 1955 bird in 1962. The Red bird was a 3-speed stick with overdrive. I put a 390 high performance engine with 401 horsepower in it so I could win my street drag races. A year or two later I put a highly modified 427 in it to keep my winning streaks alive at the local drag strip, Sacramento Raceway. I had that Red 1955 until 2010. I finally sold it because putting it back on the street was more money and work than I cared to deal with. Around that time my buddy in Elko, Nevada told me he found a nice Ford dealer-owned White 1957 bird there that was essentially stock. Jean and I bought it sight unseen, based on his recommendation. When we went to pick it up in Elko, NV, it was in much rougher shape than I had anticipated. My friend hauled it to Sacramento and dropped Jean and I off to go home. It was 5:00, commute hour, pouring rain and we had the scariest ride home ever. The windshield wip-ers didn’t work, it leaked, and when we slowed down or stopped, the engine quit. After a lot of work and new parts, we have turned it into a very reliable, nice car. We enjoy it a lot now, and espe-cially going on outings with the BATOC. Lesson learned – don’t buy a car sight unseen or without driving it, no matter how highly it is recommended!