It's one of the most well know franchises to have ever been made, it made a huge $28,283,637 worldwide and it's all thanks to Gerry Anderson. Now I could drone on all day boring you to death about Thunderbirds, but I'm not going to! Forget about the puppets and spaceships its Lady Penelope's car I'm going to talk about.
In the Pink corner measuring in at 22 feet long and 8 feet wide and weighing a massive 3 tones and costing almost £30,000 to build, the FAB 1 was definitely a 6-wheeled statement. Although it may have been pink you wouldn’t want to take the mick, not with Machine guns, Laser guns, Harpoon Launchers, Tyre slashers, Oil slick and a Bulletproof armored chassis!!!!
In the 60's underneath it's respectable arsenal the FAB 1 was a customised Rolls-Royce. It was commissioned by Gerry Anderson for publicity purposes.
The original Rolls FAB 1 was only a model however soon after in 1966 a life sized working replica was built to transport Gerry and Sylvia Anderson to the London Premier of Thunderbird's Are Go. This replica was then sold to a man called Peter Nelson who owned the 'Cars of the Stars' museum.
The FAB 1 was licensed by Rolls-Royce but when they found out how big the car was once it was made they were reportedly furious. According to Peter Nelson, in 1994 just after he restored the FAB 1 a representative from Rolls-Royce called him and offered him "an awful lot of money" to buy the car, Peter declined the offer and soon after Rolls admitted they wanted to buy the car to destroy it!
A NEW AGE
In 2004 Gerry Anderson decided to make the TV series into an all new Thunderbirds Movie, Yayy! To do this he found himself craving a new car for Lady Penelope. Of course he initially wanted a uplifted Rolls-Royce however at the time the nerds at Rolls were in the crucial stages of designing the phenomenal Phantom, they said that at that time designing a new FAB 1 would have "muddied the waters", so Gerry made a phone call.....the future would be with Ford.
The brand new 2004 FAB 1 would have all the gadgets and a huge edge on its predecessor, it was made road legal! With a 7.4L engine It also was now 27 feet long, it had 24 inch rims and blacked out glass.
This was a collaborative effort between the “Thunderbirds” production team and Ford’s European design team, John Beard said: "We had a concept that updated the original, 1960's-designed pink, six wheeled, glass topped limousine for the 21st century. Ford's designers, who coincidentally were also re-inventing design classics for the future, came on board and successfully perfected the concept and gave it the Thunderbird identity."
A timeless classic well worth a spot in our First Class Movie Car tribe.