Someone Bought and Restored Annette Funicello’s ‘57 Thunderbird and Didn’t Know


Annette Funicello is also known as the original Musketeer, rising to fame as early as age 12 as singer and actress, and the most popular member of the original Mickey Mouse Club. That would be the same Disney construct that would, decades later, give us the likes of Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Justin Timberlake, Demi Lovato or Selena Gomez, to name just some of our biggest pop stars right now.

When she was 16, Funicello got her first car from her father, a white 1957 Ford Thunderbird, which she would use as a daily driver for the next decade. After that, she handed it over to her brother, who drove it until it was sold out of the family. No one knows for a fact when the celebrity provenance was lost, but when the current owner picked it up in 2003 and decided to restore it, he had no idea who it had belonged to, he tells Fox Auto.

That same owner is now selling it on Bring A Trailer. The car has been through several owners and several changes: Funicello had it in Colonial White with a matching interior and, at some point, had legendary George Barris paint it a striking purple. When her brother got it, it was silver.

Today, the classic is rocking a gorgeous cherry red exterior over all-leather tan interior. It is impeccable and shows only 31,000 miles (50,000 km) on the odometer, put there after the 2004 restoration. It comes with a tan softtop and removable red hardtop, and it’s powered by a 312ci Y-block V8 engine rated at 245 hp when new. The unit sends power to the rear wheels via a three-speed Ford-O-Matic automatic transmission.

During the restoration, the ‘57 Thunderbird received new chrome bumpers and trim, a custom center console, the softtop, heater and aftermarket Sony stereo. The owner is offering it with authentication, service records and all previous documentation, as well as a clean Oregon title and left-over original parts.

Online bidding for this stunner is open until September 16, and it’s sitting at $42,777 as of the time of press.