If you know your history and you like American muscle, this comparison of a ’59 Corvette and a ’55 Thunderbird might be equally if not more to your liking than most of the new cars getting reviewed these days.
Choosing between a first-generation Corvette and a Thunderbird is no easy task. Both cars are two-seat convertibles with V8 engines and manual transmissions, and both feature a lot of chrome.
When new, the Corvette was slightly more expensive, which made sense since it was marketed as a sportier car, putting down 270 HP to the Thunderbird’s 202 HP, and hitting 60 mph (96 km/h) in 8.3 seconds, whereas the Ford needed 9.6 seconds.
Despite all the Corvette’s advantages on paper, the Thunderbird outsold its rival by more than 23-to-one when it first came out in 1955. While Ford built this car as a direct rival to the Corvette, they also wanted to put an emphasis on its comfort and convenience features, rather than driving dynamics.
This comparison review, courtesy of Driving.ca, definitely highlights all these differences. In fact, the guys quickly arrive at the conclusion that, while the Thunderbird is quite a looker, it’s the first-gen Corvette that feels lighter and more agile on the road – not to mention faster in a straight line.