The Hot Wheels® '57 T-bird Story
Thunderbird Collectibles homepage
 ------------ From my point of view!

 Part II - July 1998
Article revised Jan. 2009

by Dot Lang

     The Transition Period 1982-?

        This period brought about a color change, to a cranberry red metallic with no tampo.  This color was used up into the early 90's so it's necessary to check the chassis to see which car you have.  Also check the hubs and tires.  This color can be the collector's nightmare or the nit-picker's dream as I've cataloged 6 variations so far with a possibilty of two more variations or even four.   As you will notice in the photos, the color also varies but is not counted in the variations that exist.

        This is also the color in which the porthole version saw the end of the line.  You will be hard-pressed to find the Hong Kong porthole but it is out there.

    This model was also used in a McDonald's Kid's Meal promotion sometime between 1983 and 1985 (can't quite remember which.  Here's a placemat that was available at the time.

    Variations made in Hong Kong are pictured above and are as follows
          Pkg. # 2013     Porthole with 1977 chassis date
                                   standard tires and hubs
          Pkg. #2013      Non-porthole with 1981 chassis date
                                   standard tires and hubs
          Pkg. #4357     Non-porthole with 1977 chassis date;
                                   grey hubs and "Goodyear" tires
          Pkg. # ?           Non-porthole with 1977 chassis date; standard wheels
      photo by Kenny Harrelson

                           Variations made in Malyasia are pictured above and described as follows:

          Pkg. #2013     Non-porthole with 1981 chassis date;
                                  standard tires and hubs;
                                 with MALAYSIA printed directly below
                                 Mattel, Inc.
          Pkg #4357    Non-porthole with 1977 chassis date;
                                 white hubs and "Goodyear" tires with
                                 MALAYSIA printed to the left of Mattel, Inc.

          Pkg #5760    (a five-pak pkg.) Non-porthole with 1977

               chassis date;  standard tires and hubs;
                                 MALAYSIA printed below Mattel, Inc. but at
                                 the extreme edge of chassis.
      Not Pictured:  Non-porthole with 1977 chassis date; grey hubs 
                                and ""Goodyear" tires with MALAYSIA printed
                                below Mattel

        Possible but not found yet: a Hong Kong non-porthole model with standard wheels and hubs and 1977 on chassis.  Remember that the Malaysian cars did not come in a porthole version.  If you have one, let me know.  Found and pictured above courtesy of Kenny H.

         Also let me know if you have a  Hong Kong white-hubbed Goodyear tire '57 T-bird.  There is a good possibility that this  variation exists in this cranberry red color. 

        The next color change no longer had so many variations in the chassis labels.  All chassis' had reverted to using the 1977 date.   A new Tampo had been designed and this will be next month's topic.

Part I -  First Tampo Phase  Part II - Cranberry Models
Part III - New Tampo Part IV - Next Tampo
Part V - Promotionals Part VI - Regular issue to present
Part VII - Mattel's Specials Part VIII - Different Molds
Part IX - y2K years
Hot Wheel List UPDATED

I'm always looking for more information on the Thunderbird model.

©1998-2009 Dot Lang