Thimble Drone - later to become Cox - sold its first ready-to-fly control line model beginning around 1959. Reports have it that the original selling price was $9.99, which according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' inflation calculator, is about $78 in year 2011 dollars. The wings were of built-up construction with ribs and thin, molded sheets of aluminum skins. A modified Space Bug .049 engine was used for power. There was no spring starter on the early .049 engines, but a rubber finger guard was provided to help spare the modeler's finger.
As I write this, there is a TD-1 being auctioned off on eBay. With 8 hours left, the price is at $870 !!! I wouldn't be surprised if it topped $1,000 before it's over.
I was close - it sold for $998!!! (see below)
Here is the manual for the TD-1.
Here is a great website that documents many of the early Thimble Drome / Cox model airplanes, boats, cars, and helicopters: The Cox Model Database models (they must be worth a small fortune!)
Posted July 2, 2011