1957 Ford Thunderbird

What did your shop teacher drive? I’ll bet it wasn’t as cool as this 1957 Ford Thunderbird. When I last saw Ken Brumley about three years ago he was talking about selling the Thunderbird and a few of his other collectible cars to fund his retirement. For three decades Brumley was the Head of Automotive Training at Thomas Nelson Community College.

Though he has not been able to document it, Brumley believes his 312 cubic inch Y block powered Thunderbird was originally purchased in 1957 by the Norfolk, VA Chief of Police. Brumley originally purchased the T-Bird in 1999 as a nice, rust free survivor and drove it that way for several years. It even won a few awards in that condition.

After cruising the Thunderbird for several years Brumley decided to treat it to a rotisserie restoration. He did the entire restoration himself, except for the paint which was sprayed by Tim’s Custom Auto in Yorktown, VA. The concours restoration took Brumley two years to complete and is correct down to the color of the wiring. This is very likely one of the nicest 1957 Ford Thunderbirds on the East Coast.

I haven’t seen Brumley since our talk of retirement, but I hope he’s spending casual days in a quiet barn somewhere bringing old cars back to life.

About the Author:

I'm a lifetime car guy with a broad interest in just about any type of self-propelled machinery, and racing. I have a soft spot for under-appreciated marques, which often gets me in trouble with oddball projects.

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