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57 T-bird question

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Posted · Report post

I received this question via e-mail and the car sounds like a Promo due to the windshield molded to the body but thought the rest of you might like to throw in your two cents worth....

(sic)Hi Guys,

In Issue 109, yur bud Dennis Doty did an article on AMT's 1957 T-bird J-257. I meant to send this e-mail to yall back then, but like yu I have lived more than 50 yrs on this rock and sometimes me body don't co-operate with me mind as I would like it to. Which brings me to my question, but first a little background.

I have in my collection an AMT 1957 T-bird that is somewhat unusual, for me at least because I have never seen a model with this accessory. Tha model is a convertible, red plastic w/ an integral red plastic windshield frame, clear plastic windshield. Interior is White w/ Gold trim, Deluxe steering wheel w/ 3/4 horn ring. It has clear plastic headlights and red translucent plastic taillights. Both bumpers are chrome with 1957 in tha license tag space, rear bumper. Tires are black plastic w/ white plastic Deluxe hubcaps/wheels which are on splined axles. Here's tha unusual part, tha chassis/frame is metal/painted black and it has a pot-metal geared momentum motor right over tha rear axle. Tha only markings on tha model are on tha chassis plate between tha front wheels , yu hold tha model with tha front pointing down to read it:

AMT INC.

BIRMINGHAM

MICH.

Your Mission, if yu choose to accept it, is to tell me what, when and how this particular model came into existence and whether this is a promo or a toy. This e-mail will self destruct ifn yall can't complete yall's Mission.

Yall have a quality mag, a bit thin, but considering yall's competition over at Kalmbach and what they did to Scale Auto Enthusiast ( I have mags going back to 1988 some even farther back Model Car Science, Auto World), Yurs is more fun. I even have a '64 Ford Fairlane unbuilt with a stock hood, it has been sitting for a long time unbuilt and yu were talking about leaving kits half done or undone. Think I have yu beat. Oh yeah, I have a few of those Imperials too.

Yur in freindship,

Henry E. (Zeb) Matson, Jr.

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Posted · Report post

Sounds like a promo to me Jairus...........he doesn't say if the body is slightly (or severely) warped which is the standard condition today for promos made through about 1961. :)

AMT handled the Ford promos in '57 and the T-bird was among them.

Friction motors were also very common for promos made back in the '50's.

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Posted · Report post

Thank you Bill, you confirmed my first thought.

The metal chassis and friction motor was also a dead giveaway eventhough Hubbley used to use them in their toys....

Anybody else? This question will be going into the current issue I am working on so....the question won't be available for comment much past Friday the 4th.

:?

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Posted · Report post

Jairus,

Definitely a promo. They had the metal chassis and friction motor. I can't remember if they made the '57 T-Bird as a Craftsman kit, but if they did, it would have had a plastic chassis with the big splined axles.

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Posted · Report post

The kit from back in the day had the windshield frame molded in but no clear headlights and detailed frame with all items molded in as in these before / after pics

Im000142-vi.jpg

Im000012-vi.jpg

Im000020-vi.jpg

It probably is a promo , found this promo page on '57 birds that had friction motors and looks like maybe clear headlights,,,,,,,,,

http://users.nac.net/abasile/57.html

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Posted · Report post

AMT also issued this basic tooling as a "Jr. Craftsman" kit about 1963 or so.

Biscuitbuilder

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