When Ford introduced the new Thunderbird to the world in 1955, company press releases positioned it as a “high performance personal car…a result of public demand for a distinctly different American made vehicle combining all-weather passenger car comfort, convenience and safety with top maneuverability.” But Ford was already planning an assault on the Thunderbird’s main target, Chevrolet’s Corvette. Hinting at the horsepower wars to come, both cars went from strength to strength. In 1957 Ford countered the new Corvette 283/283 HP fuel-injected small-block with a supercharged version of the Thunderbird 312 CI V-8. Dubbed the “F-code,” the supercharged 312 engine featured a single four-barrel carburetor directly force-fed by a Paxton-built McCulloch centrifugal supercharger and was rated at 300 HP.
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