BROOKLIN AND THE 1956 FORD THUNDERBIRD (BRK13)
Posted by BROOKLIN MODELS
The standard 1956 Ford Thunderbird was released in 1982 and deleted in April 1994. It is finished in red with white interior, blue license plate and whitewall tyres. Different shades exist, with early models done in dark red, a very dark red color produced in 1993 and a variation of red called rusty brown. Early boxes erroneously show 1955 instead of 1956.
CLASSIC THUNDERBIRD CLUB INTERNATIONAL
The 1956 Ford Thunderbird in authentic buckskin tan was the first of what was to become the C.T.C.I. Brooklin Thunderbird series. It was sponsored in 1982 by a Canadian member of C.T.C.I. and although 300 models were produced, many of them stayed with members of the C.T.C.I. and are only rarely seen on the collectors market.
For their 1988 international convention in Dallas, Texas, the second special was commissioned to Brooklin, limited to 200 models. This Thunderbird is sage green, also known as Thunderbird green, used only for the 1956 Thunderbird and it is authentic to the real automobile.
In 1990 the C.T.C.I. meeting shifted to historic Williamsburg, Virginia, and their Brooklin special was the 1956 Ford Thunderbird finished in peacock blue. Production was limited to 500 models.
The bi-annual meeting in June 1992 was held in Tulsa, Oklahoma. To commemorate the event, the club commissioned a two model set of special Ford Thunderbirds, consisting of a 1956 Thunderbird in golden glow yellow and a 1955 Thunderbird in black without continental spare. The pieces produced were 500, but 50 were converted by John Roberts for the 40th Thunderbird Anniversary.
The C.T.C.I. celebrated the 40th Anniversary of the launch of the Ford Thunderbird at their convention in Dearborn, Michigan in July 1994. For this event they commissioned Brooklin Models to produce a limited edition boxed set of three classic Thunderbirds, consisting of models from 1955 to 1957. These are models of the original two-seat versions of the Thunderbird, later lengthened to a four-passenger model in 1958 to appeal to families with children. The set consists of the 1955 Hardtop in Thunderbird blue, the 1956 Convertible (BRK13Y) finished in sunset coral and the 1957 Convertible (BRK13A) finished in azure blue. These Thunderbird Sets were limited to 250 and have “CTCI Dearborn ‘94” cast in base.
ILLINOIS TOY SHOW
George Pekarik commissioned the show's second Brooklin special for the August 1987 Illinois Toy Show, a 1956 Ford Thunderbird in ivory with red interior, limited to 100 pieces. The Illinois Toy Show specials are clearly identified as such by the gold label on the box and each has a numbered certificate signed by George Pekarik. In addition, each of the 100 models produced were hand-engraved with the number on the baseplate.
MINIATURE CARS USA
Additional versions of ivory 1956 Ford Thunderbirds were made for Miniature Cars. The run was initially produced with red interiors identical to the Illinois Toy Show specials and 200 were sold. In a later effort to differentiate the two, the interiors of the remaining models from Miniature Cars were sprayed black over red before final distribution. The fact that the dashboards were glued in and could not be removed for re-painting resulted in a three-color combination. A later production of 500 had interiors painted all black at the factory. A final batch of 200 white Thunderbirds was produced in 1991 with red interior and blue license plate.
Author: Gianluigi Cappi
You may find more pictures and information on this model plus many other Brooklin stories in the Brooklin Models Collectors Guide.