Monday, 29 December 2014

US Army Collection

This appeared in an auction and I had to look twice as I don't remember having seen one other in the 1965 catalogue. According to the lists, only 28000 of these were produced which puts it amongst the top few scarce items. The US Army items generally have low production numbers. I suppose by the later 1960s we were influenced more positively by protests against war and news from Vietnam never looked good so spending money on US Army models wasn't something that many parents would have done.

Bedford's articulated lorry is called a Heavy Machinery Carrier for #1135, with dark khaki paint covering virtually everything that had been Corgi blue, Corgi yellow or silver before when it was in civilian clothing. My example is in excellent condition - the rear axle comes off as it should and there are Army numbers on the mudguards, the white star is intact on the roof.

The production people would have put a red interior in the Army version and a lemon one in the normal version. It seems that there are both colours for the Army one, presumably when someone either ran out of red or made a mistake.

Apart from some other Major models, which I am not too bothered about getting, I think that completes now my US Army collection. They are all quite difficult to find these days. I have them advertised on the main site and some available on Ebay but none are particularly cheap so may be around for a while yet.

The last one in was the Miltary Police Commer van, using the same detachable rear section as others and with the same operating unit as the dark blue Police van #464.

There are several Land Rovers - some have red seats and some lemon. There are dark khaki and a much paler shade and different colour canopies amongst them all. I still don't know which is #500 and which is #357! I really do think that there may end up being no difference at all. It will be simply that #500 was allocated originally to the small number exported to the States in that 'no picture' box and then, when Corgi reckoned there may be a bit more demand here, they made it #357 and called it a Weapons Carrier and made a proper box too.

The Bedford probably shouldn't be in this list.

Another Commer base put to good use for the Military Ambulance.

VW get a chance to be featured for the US Army personnel Carrier, based on their Dormobile.

The nice Oldsmobile Super 88 in this, its third appearance, the other two being as the saloon and Police vehicle. (There's also the Man From Uncle car, I suppose!)

The original 'no picture' box for #500 is worth a great deal and not for sale just yet!

Its later and seemingly identical model #357 with an excellent original box are also pretty highly priced. The window looks open in this photograph.

The window is there, after all, as this photo of the same model confirms. Nice to have such clear glass still after 50 years.

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