Friday, 5 September 2014

Land Rovers. 33 variations, and counting.

438 in Flying Club guise

The more I look into what I need to have in stock the more Land Rovers I seem to be acquiring. I wasn't looking for Land Rovers at all the other day but spotted a bright green metallic one on an American store site. This matched one I had wondered about on Andrew Wood's Little Wheels site but was just too messed up to make the expensive postage charges that seem to apply in the States worthwhile.

On that topic, I have bought several items there and the £:$ exchange rate is excellent at the moment so items can seem very reasonable - until you add postage. Many dealers use some outfit that takes care of the whole things for them but that costs a lot - over £15 sometimes for just a £6 purchase! This Land Rover was with one of them and there was nothing else I wanted, either, to make the exorbitant fee worthwhile or spread across several. So it stays in the States and I continue to look for one nearer home.

Now that's one which I haven't found with normal wheels. A lot come with both and they're the ones I am also looking for now. Here's my first attempt at some sort of list for 438s and 477s. Obviously the early ones only had colour variations.

Normal only
Dark green 
Pale brown 
All the service, army, RAC, RAF etc. vehicles are normal.

Normal, cast louvre and Whizzwheels
Grey green metallic
Pale blue (Pony Club) 68-77
Daktari 68-76
Longleat 68-74
Breakdown Truck 

Whizzwheels only
Deep blue (Flying Club) 73-77
Bright light green metallic
Deep turquoise-green metallic

I think that we can include the cast louvre 'spoke effect' wheels in the middle section too as I have seen examples of each of them with all three types. I am not sure whether I have seen any of the third section with that cast type but certainly none of the first group. Of course, having said that, I now will!

The REALLY curious entry here, though, is the Breakdown truck which, just as the Land Rover stayed #438, has remained #477. I think these are the only two that didn't get renumbered but I do have to check that. If you look at the Great Book Of Corgi or other authoritative places they seem to agree that the Breakdown truck stopped being made in 1967 or 1968.

So how on Earth did it get Whizzwheels which didn't appear until 1969 and, probably, in the form fitted to the models I have seen, 1970 or later? I can only guess that existing stock was adjusted as it left. That cannot have happened to many which is why I am keen to get hold of one or two decent examples at a reasonable price. They should be very worthwhile in future unless we discover that they did actually carry on making them in tens of thousands until the late 1970s after all!

As soon as I have one I will display it here.

Land Rovers themselves must have been the most successful, certainly the most used cast, for Corgi for all time. Indeed, it is still being used today! Again, I am getting some examples and will add them soon as it has only recently dawned on me that this is the case. 

I've counted at least 33 variations so far in just the 1956-73 range. I don't think I will even attempt to go further but will feature the most recent and my favourite later edition in a post soon.

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