Ford and ‘Thunderbirds’ extravaganza comes to Birmingham
A specially created ‘Thunderbirds powered by Ford’ experience will dominate the Ford stand, revealing Ford’s association with the forthcoming ‘Thunderbirds’ live-action family movie from Universal Pictures, and giving show visitors an exclusive preview prior to its official release across the UK from July 23.
"The British International Motor Show is traditionally the premier showcase for Ford of Britain and this year we are going bigger and better than ever", said Paul Thomas, managing director, Ford of Britain. "The inclusion of a truly interactive themed visitor experience is new territory for us; I’m delighted we’ve been able to create it for Britain’s motor show and I’m confident it will make the Ford stand a very exciting place to be throughout the event."
At 7,400 square metres, the 2004 Ford stand will be the biggest the company has ever created in Europe, occupying an area the size of a football pitch. It will be 89 metres long, 81 metres wide and the central area will re-create Tracy Island, the home of International Rescue, constructed using five tonnes of sand and incorporating an 840 square metre ‘lake’. Largely an illusion, the water will be only 150mm deep except in specific areas, where a disused basement beneath the NEC Hall 4 site has been specially excavated to create three metre-deep water recesses for the live show.
The approach to the Ford stand will be dominated by a 16 metre long Thunderbird 2, suspended from above, with the surroundings finished with palm trees, oil drums and freight containers, to complete the visual solution. Visitors to the stand will be able to see original vehicles, sets and props from the movie via an interactive stand tour, including the undoubted star of the ‘Thunderbirds powered by Ford’ experience – Lady Penelope Creighton-Ward’s stunning pink, 8.2 metre long, six-wheel bubble canopy FAB1 limousine, co-developed by the filmmakers and Ford’s own in-house design team.
A 25-minute live action spectacular will preview the movie and bring the ‘Thunderbirds powered by Ford’ experience to life for visitors, every two hours through the public opening days of the show.
"The Ford stand has been deliberately created as a lively family experience – in keeping with the new interactive format from the show organisers – and has a real sense of the fun we’ve had in being involved with the movie," concluded Thomas.
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