R-26, R-28, R-29, R-33, R-36: Mainline IRT cars. Nicknamed "Redbirds." Subtle differences between each model. Introduced from 1959-1964. General overhaul, 1985-91.
R-33/R-36 World's Fair Cars: Redbirds with large windows. R-33's have no A/C and are nearly invisible during summer. The World's Fair cars were introduced in 1963-1964. These are found almost exclusively on the #7 line (some R36 WF cars also on the #6). General overhaul, 1982-85.
R33 9306*-9345 (WF)
R36 9346-9523, 9558-9769 (WF)
*Car 9306 is on display in its original World's Fair
colors at the NY Transit Museum in Brooklyn.
R-32: IND/BMT cars. Stainless steel. Corrugations go up to roof level. Nicknamed "Brightliners." Originally had blue side and front end doors. Introduced in 1964. General overhaul, 1988-90.
9 September 1964, New York Times, pg. 35 ad:
Here come the "Brightliners"
Watch for them You'll recognize these modern subway cars by their stainless steel construction, bright as streamlined railroad trains. The first of the "Brightliners," built by Budd, are going into service on the BMT and IND lines. In months to come, 600 of them will be added to the fleet of the New York subway system - the world's largest passenger-carrying railroad.
The Budd Company, Philadelphia, Pa. 19115.
10 September 1964, New York Times, pg. 37:
Stainless Steel Cars to Brighten BMT
By THOMAS BUCKLEY
The Transit Authority introduced the Brightliners, its first stainless steel subway cars, yesterday with a ride from the New York Central's Mott Haven Yards to Track 37 in Grand Central Terminal.
1 October 2000, New York Times, "2 New Trains in the Subways," pg. CY8:
By late next years, they are expected to replace the city's oldest fleet of trains, known as the Redbirds, which have been operating since the 1950's.
2 October 2001, New York Times, pg. D3:
Rough Rider on the Redbird Express
And to get there he took a strange, new kind of car, one he has not taken regularly in years: a subway car. To be exact, a rusty old Redbird, on the No. 7 line that rumbles above the park-and-ride lot near Shea Stadium.