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Danbury Mint 1:24 1957 Ford Thunderbird- Nbr Ltd Ed

Reviewed by:   Tony Perrone
     
  Danbury Mint 1:24 1957 Ford Thunderbird- Nbr Ltd Ed diecast car
 
 
 

As with the previous two Danbury Mint limited editions of the so-called, “Baby Bird” for 1955 and 1956, this model marks, for 2007, the fiftieth anniversary celebration of the 1957 Thunderbird. It was the car to mark T-Bird’s last two-seater (until the Retro-Bird made its debut in 2002). The argument has been made that it was the more elegantly styled of the early trio. Certainly it was slightly bigger, and some found it more refined when optioned with the likes of the Dial-O-Matic power memory-set seating and Volumatic Radio System where the volume increased exponentially with the car’s speed. Heady gadgets for 1957. The baby bird even sprouted little wings to earn its moniker. The exterior data plate color code for this offering is “X”; Dusk Rose. The interior data plate color code is “XA” for Black & White vinyl. Engine code on this specific bird was the “D” 312 cube, 245 horse V8. The flop top is black. Say what you will about the color choice but it definitely says, “1957” all the way. Most will call it pink and I can’t refute that. But the color, in soft light, is more like a blushing rose as seen at dusk. To the imaginative mind it conjures up a muted, sophisticated, high-end hybrid of an award winning English Tea rose.

DM’s 1955 Goldenrod Yellow T-Bird defined the breed with an awesome ‘50’s color, fabulous detail and DM-style functionality on a new tooling. Their 1956 limited edition, in Raven Black, carried forward and improved on the offerings they previously made with the lower-tech ’56 Birds in Fiesta Red and Colonial White from 1989 and 1995, respectively. This ’57 follows the same high-tech route. Suspension is operational, skirts are removable, wind wings and sun visors work and the doors are internally hinged. And while the full scale car did not have a preponderance of gizmos, bells and whistles to clutter up the joint, the model is realistically faithful to it in miniature. Danbury’s engine department proves this completely but more on that in a minute.

The coolest features of the model are typically DM-introduced. I’ve already mentioned the door hinges but DM has also made an art form of the detail on the inside of their roofs. They use separate pieces to form door and trunk lock buttons, chrome metal foil the insignias and brand scripts and delight in detailing the most mundane, yet important miniaturization elements of ‘selling’ a replica. A good example of this is seen in the trunk. These older Fords used cantilever spring assemblies on the trunk hinges and DM built them in. The removable spare and tire jacking tools help ‘sell’ the precision shrink-to-size here. The interior is awash in believability. The gauges and instrumentation are truly realistic. The window cranks and door handles are perfectly scaled too. DM’s craftsmanship of the side scripts and chrome hash marks are phenomenal but be careful not to brush up against them as they are delicately replicated in scale.

Behind that gorgeous photo-etch metal grillwork is a grand sales effort dedicated exclusively to making you believe, no swear, that you are looking at a 1:1 perfect example of a factory stock ’57 Thunderbird. DM has pioneered that carb linkage thing and once again they excel at it with the “Thunderbird Special” V8 under the scooped hood. The scoop, by the way, is grilled in photo-etch metal. The linkage is grand and helping the total effort are the metal fuel lines, complete with fuel filter and perfectly scaled engine and heating stickers, plugs and wires. Color-coding of these plays an important role in the recreation of the engine bay’s incredible believability. So do the side fender vents and rear fender fuel door. They open.

The last production 1957 T-Bird was produced on 12/13/1957 after extending build time by three months. A total of 21,350 ‘57’s were made, accounting for more units sold than either the ’55 or ’56. The car lost its two-place sports car role in Ford’s fifties history when the ’58 became a four-seat tourer and gone were the baby birds. DM made a fitting tribute to the car with its equipment and color choice. So call it blushing rose, dusk rose, English tea rose or Gypsy Rose Lee. But if you attach no prejudged connotation to the shade, it is what it is. Danbury has given us a gorgeous diecast of a beautiful car in its “so-fifties” color. It is perfectly representative of the day and you gotta love that! I sure do.

(01/08/2007)
 
 
  Danbury Mint 1:24 1957 Ford Thunderbird- Nbr Ltd Ed diecast car

Danbury Mint 1:24 1957 Ford Thunderbird- Nbr Ltd Ed diecast car

Danbury Mint 1:24 1957 Ford Thunderbird- Nbr Ltd Ed diecast car

Danbury Mint 1:24 1957 Ford Thunderbird- Nbr Ltd Ed diecast car

Danbury Mint 1:24 1957 Ford Thunderbird- Nbr Ltd Ed diecast car

Danbury Mint 1:24 1957 Ford Thunderbird- Nbr Ltd Ed diecast car

Danbury Mint 1:24 1957 Ford Thunderbird- Nbr Ltd Ed diecast car

Danbury Mint 1:24 1957 Ford Thunderbird- Nbr Ltd Ed diecast car

Danbury Mint 1:24 1957 Ford Thunderbird- Nbr Ltd Ed diecast car

Danbury Mint 1:24 1957 Ford Thunderbird- Nbr Ltd Ed diecast car

Danbury Mint 1:24 1957 Ford Thunderbird- Nbr Ltd Ed diecast car

Danbury Mint 1:24 1957 Ford Thunderbird- Nbr Ltd Ed diecast car

Danbury Mint 1:24 1957 Ford Thunderbird- Nbr Ltd Ed diecast car

Danbury Mint 1:24 1957 Ford Thunderbird- Nbr Ltd Ed diecast car

Danbury Mint 1:24 1957 Ford Thunderbird- Nbr Ltd Ed diecast car

 
 
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Danbury Mint | 1:24
Danbury Mint 1:24 1957 Ford Thunderbird- Nbr Ltd Ed

Danbury Mint 1:24 1957 Ford Thunderbird- Nbr Ltd Ed

 
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