Until 1966 the famous Rolls Royce ‘FAB1’ was a model starring in many of the Thunderbirds TV programmes and in both the films. A full-sized replica of FAB 1 was built to transport writers-producers Gerry and Sylvia Anderson to the premiere of the second movie ‘Thunderbird 6’ * in London. It was constructed by the company Toby Baxter Contracts under Sylvia’s supervision and not by Brains or Rolls Royce.
* In the linked article below, it incorrectly says that the premiere was the first movie ‘Thunderbirds are Go’. (see comments)
Petrolheadism, a well known motoring blog, has the fascinating story of what happened to this model and where it is now.
6 thoughts on “What happened to the full size FAB1?”
Hi – Great to see this article about the full size Fab 1 – which I remember seeing outside the factory in Biggleswade where it was originally built. Unfortunately both this article and the Petrolheadism piece repeat the common mistake that the car was created for the Thunderbirds Are Go premiere in 1966. In fact it was built in 1968 for the premiere of the second Thunderbirds feature film Thunderbird Six. This is why the car was issued with an ‘F’ registration plate for road use. All the car’s public appearances date from around spring of that year, including being featured on an episode of Blue Peter. The car then went on to be displayed around the country at various motor dealerships until it ended up on display at the Heathfield Safari park some time in the 70s. Hope this adds a bit to the story !
My partners brother, Vic Chessum, built this car in Biggleswade. He also built the Cadbury Cream Egg cars, and worked on Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. A gifted mechanic and fabricator, he passed several years ago now, but it’s nice to know his legacy lives on.
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Hi Sam, Thank you for your note and you are indeed correct. I have changed the entry above. Cheers Kevin
Their is one at the Cars of the Stars Museum in the Lake District.
Hi William, It certainly was but unfortunately that Museum closed down in 2011. I believe the model is now in Miami https://www.themiamiautomuseum.com/1968-rolls-royce-fab1–c-1003.htm
The original replica was at EXPO 70 at Witton Park, Blackburn, where as a ten year old I won acompetition and was driven in her past the crowd. Very basic fibreglass interior then, not like the white leather interior seen later at the Cars of the Stars Museum in Keswick around 1999. Now in America. The second one built was used for Gerry Andersons funeral. Paul Davies Historian.
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