Saturday, 23 August 2014

Standard deviations

While the Americans were naming their cars Thunderbird and Golden Hawk we came up with Vanguard III. I don't remember Vanguard I or II for that matter and, indeed, this was not a common sight on our roads, Standard being better known for their little 8s and 10s before disappearing from view completely as a brand.

Corgi followed their initial launch with the Standard Vanguard III appearing in February 1957. Like the other initial models, they also had a Mechanical version with a friction motor and that is the yellow one illustrated above. these are very scarce because this type of drive was not as popular. Children preferred to push and let them go and see them spinning off towards the skirting board or other parked toys at a rather more than the slow crawl that these managed. It may have seemed a good idea at the time (and there were many friction motors around in other toys) but the free-wheeling versions were simply better. and 3d or 4d cheaper.

The Standard Vanguard III #207M went off the supply line in 1959 so really wasn't around very long at all. Its base was probably reused for the RAF Staff Car version that came out in October 1958 as these feature that heavier cast base with the 'differential' unit on the back axle. No RAF Staff Cars, however, had the Mechanical element and that's how I reckon Corgi used up the left over bases.

The yellow paint does show the chips far more than some other colours might have done and isn't in any event a particularly inspiring colour but the car has an endearing quality about it and, for all its chips and scratches, I am pleased to have found this one.

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