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Automotive Mileposts  
Specifications
1958
Thunderbird script
ENGINE CODE

G



H


332 Cubic Inch "Interceptor" V-8
     240 Horsepower/4-Barrel Carburetor/Dual Exhaust
     (Export only; low octane)

352 Cubic Inch "Interceptor" Thunderbird Special V-8
     300 Horsepower/4-Barrel Carburetor/Dual Exhaust
TRANSMISSION CODES

1
2
3

4
Standard (3-Speed Manual)
Standard with Overdrive
Ford-O-Matic (2-Speed Automatic)
     (Export only)
Cruise-O-Matic (3-Speed Automatic) (I.D. Tag PBL-U)
REAR AXLE CODES

1
3
A
C
3.10:1 (Cruise-O-Matic)
3.70:1 (Standard or Overdrive)
3.10:1 Equa Lock (Cruise-O-Matic)
3.70:1 Equa Lock (Standard or Overdrive)
WHEELBASE
Length
Width
Height
Weight
205.4 Inches (Overall)
77 Inches
52.5 Inches (Hardtop) 53.1 Inches (Convertible)
3,708 Pounds (Hardtop) 3,903 Pounds (Convertible)
Interceptor Thunderbird 352 Special V-8 Engine
Interceptor Thunderbird 352 Special V-8 Engine
(Valve covers were originally painted black from the factory)

The 1958 375-Horsepower Engine

A sales catalog printed in March 1958, and at least one ad published during the year, mention the availability of an optional engine for the 1958 Thunderbirds. The 1958 Lincolns all had a new 375-horsepower, 430 cubic inch V-8 as standard equipment for the year, and since all Lincolns were built at the Wixom Assembly Plant right next to the T-birds, it wouldn't have been difficult to install the 430 in both cars. However, the Thunderbird engine bay wasn't designed for this engine, so there were a few installation details that needed to be worked out before it was feasible to install the 430 in the Thunderbird on a production basis.

There are no known documented production 1958 Thunderbirds with this larger engine installed. However, one engineering prototype convertible reportedly did have this engine installed after it left the assembly line, to allow the engineering and assembly departments the chance to work out the installation details in the Thunderbird. Even after all this planning, it's reported that the assembly line did slow down somewhat when a 430 equipped Thunderbird came down the line. This engine was available as a regular production option for the 1959 and 1960 model years, with limited availability, and was teamed only with the Cruise-O-Matic automatic transmission. The 430 engine installed in the T-bird was rated at 350 horsepower.