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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I started the cross reference of this casting thread with other listed reference links today. If any (?) remains they are referenced that way. In the mean time, feel free to add your own images, stories, information and experiences with this casting in your own thread posts as we go along.

The Classic '57-Bird is one of four castings issued with the Classic designation as part of the casting name. The casting is designed by Ira Gilford and is based on the 1957 Ford Thunderbird. It was produced at the USA factory only and was distributed for 2 years in the main casting line up as a California Custom Miniature.

Being a USA factory model it comes with a clear windshield with a distinct cut down design on the passenger side.

This casting features a front edge opening hood and red painted rear tail lights. The earliest production models included a black painted front grill. Some other early production models have black or silver painted headlights. One model has been found with a black painted hood scope opening. A few black headlight painted models were also found in 1970 (?) issued castings. All of the models shown with these details have brown (?) interiors.

Production interiors came first in brown and then primarily in white. Brown interiors have a noticable smaller catch for the center console width as part of the dashboard design. Later white production interoirs have a wider catch area on the dashboard.

One chassis variation is known for the size of the gas tank. Early production modela have the smaller tank size and correspond primariy to castings issued with dark interiors.

There are (17 ?) listed Spectraflame paint colors used from the various listings of different sites reviewed. They range from the most common colors of Aqua, Blue, Gold, Green, Lime Yellow, Red, Olive Orange, Rose, Antifreeze, Purple, Yellow, Light Blue, Magenta, Copper, Brown and Hot Pink as the rarest color used.

All modesl have small sized front and medium sized rear Type 1 style wheels

Each casting was issued with a metal collector button with a gold colored car image on a blue background. Buttons made in Hong Kong have either a notched or a smooth tab design. The USA buttons only have smooth tabs.

To further complicate the year of production and issue date of castings, the Online Redline Guide makes reference to an early production run creamy pink (rose) '57-Bird with a brown interior blistered to a 1967 hanger card with the "Cheetah" listed as part of the casting line up.

Two zamac bodied prototypes are known. One has the thin interior console design in the dashboard portion like the production brown interiors, but is made of white plastic. A single casting done in gold enamel paint with a black steering wheel is also know to exist without a windshield piece.

In 2012, a re-tooled version of the Classic '57 T-Bird was produced for the Red Line Club Membership.

Two similiar named castings have been released as the '57 T-Bird in 1978 as a coupe and a convertible in 1996. The 1996 model is from the aquired CORGI lineup.

Resource references -

http://hotwheels.wikia.com/wiki/Classic_'57_T-Bird
http://www.onlineredlineguide.com/69/69_classic_57_t_bird/69_classic_57_t_bird.html
http://www.hwredlines.com/menu-grp-cars/1969/6252-57Bird/6252-US-cars.shtml
http://www.hwprotos.com/menu-grp-cars/1969/6252-57Bird/6252x-US-57Bird.shtml
http://www.nchwa.com/1969.html
The Elite Redline Guide (2010)
https://sites.google.com/site/redlinebuttons/Buttons/1969
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
I cross referenced the information at the different resource links in the first post for this casting today. One detail that I noticed and is not referenced at any site is the inclusion of two driving lights (?) in front of the grill on these castings. I will come back later and add a detail shot of them later on. I have two of the later production models with white interiors and wide catches.

1969 Hot Wheels (6252) Classic '57 'Bird by Milton Fox, on Flickr

1969 Hot Wheels (6252) Classic '57 'Bird by Milton Fox, on Flickr
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Another interesting observation to me is the wheel design. Here again some sites list medium sized wheels all around, but most list them as small in front and medium in the rear. To me it is noticable that the smaller front wheels are 1/2 the width of the mediums and perhaps this width distinction is more appropriate then the relative diameter of them from the side.

Note the larger and longer gas tank design in the bases indicated a later production run.

Another base detail not noted at any of the resource links is the cast in well detail for the upright spare tire. Ford had moved the location of their 1:1 spare tire to be back inside the trunk in 1957. Adding that detail design from the 1:1 model is a nice detail to have included in the casting design.

1969 Hot Wheels (6252) Classic '57 'Bird by Milton Fox, on Flickr

1969 Hot Wheels (6252) Classic '57 'Bird by Milton Fox, on Flickr
 
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