A bit of history -
The next year they added the spare wheel mounted outside, Continental-style, and the exhausts were moved to the ends of the bumper. To improve rear-quarter visibility with the removable hardtop in place "porthole" windows were made available as a no-cost option. The hardtop here seems to be from that year.
These cars are important out here. Click here to see the 1955 Ford Thunderbird formerly owned by Dennis Wilson of The Beach Boys - restored from the frame up in 1991, with the hood autographed by the Beach Boys. She really did have fun, fun, fun, 'til her daddy took the T-Bird away. Click here to see the restored white 1955 Thunderbird from American Graffiti (1973) - the one Suzanne Somers in a non-speaking part drove here and there in the distance, mysteriously, being the ultimate unobtainable California blond, the platonic ideal of the California Girl. The Beach Boys sang about such girls.
There was no amazing California blond anywhere near this one, Tuesday, August 15, mid-afternoon.
Found on the web - promotional material from 1955 -