1957 Supercharged Ford Thunderbird
Just like the Corvette or Chrysler C-300, drivers didn’t consider the Ford Thunderbird as a proper muscle car. To consumers, the Thunderbird was a luxurious two-seater with low production numbers and a high price tag. However, its style and performance raised the collective car consciousness, which created the muscle car segment in the following years. Ford introduced the Thunderbird in 1955. It outsold the Corvette immediately.
But in 1957, Ford introduced two engine options that set the standards for car performance. They have a special place in the history of American performance and muscle cars today. Mounting a Paxton or McCullough supercharger on top of the optional 312 V8 engine gave the Thunderbird a 300 HP rating. And if that wasn’t enough, Ford offered the even hotter 340 HP version of the same supercharged engine they intended for racers.