I have recently published nine Corgi Toy Catalogues on my web site (and added a link in the list on the right of the blog) and will take a closer look at each one in separate posts.
The first I have is for 1958 and that may be the first produced. The front cover has a photograph of a boy, uniquely, as all subsequent boys were drawn. All the models, though, are drawn and on this cover spread out as if they're negotiating a part of the ring road round Paris. There's a lot of yellow, bearing in mind that the boxes at that time were blue.
Forefront are the military models and a bulldozer in this slightly bizarre scene where the artist appears to have tried to feature every model and then given up. Inside the quality of drawings isn't great at first but seems to improve as the pages progress, becoming quite accurate depictions once we reach the lorries.
For 4/2d you could buy #102 the Rice Pony Trailer (or horsebox as most of us called it) and 3/6d would buy the Land Rover but without a cover. It looks like you had to buy the Gift Set #2 to get a cover on a green Land Rover. The set cost 8/- which was an extra 4d, presumably for the cover.
You could buy #351 the RAF Land Rover for 3/10d and get a RAF blue cover so that 4d looks about right.
The 'Mechanical' versions of some models are shown - all but one at 1/3d extra compared to the normal counterparts. That was quite a lot - increasing the price from 2/9d to 4/- in most cases. I hadn't realised until reading this that the Bedford M models were different to their counterparts, with only 404 and 404M differing just by the mechanism.
Apart from one lorry in red ad white, all the models were actually available and in the colours illustrated. There is a distinctly utilitarian, public service, commercial and military feel to the selection overall, though, with just three or four pages of cars and the other eleven or twelve not items your dad would have had in the drive.