Wednesday, 7 January 2015



Here are the Corgi Jeeps. Extraordinary models in several respects. They certainly passed me by as a collector in my young days - I don't remember anyone having any of them!

The first thing that's odd is that this was only the second American Corgi vehicle in the shops. The first was the wonderful Studebaker Golden Hawk. Whoever thought they should follow that with a Jeep FC-150? I suppose we might have been getting more than a little bored with all those Bedford CA vans and this did have a towing hook on the basic model and a place to put things like stones or dirt or tyres from other cars.

The first was #409 below. It had no suspension or interior and was always pale blue. Mine has just arrived and is a super example with just a few marks on the roof but otherwise in great condition. How on Earth aanyoneis supposed to replace a broken spare wheel tyre I do not know - something to watch out for. These are still inexpensive, despite not selling particularly well.


Because it is quite a timeless design - odd enough to look OK still many years later - it survived being reissued in 1965 with suspension and seats quite well. Now in a sort of dirty beige yellow or darker blue with a red grill still. It also would have come with a pale grey rear canopy that usually got lost. It last until virtually the end of the era like this! Amazing.


In 1961 this remarkable bit of engineering appeared as #64 in the Farming section of the catalogue. This has the same body but with a working elevator attached which not only actually worked when you turned a handle but which could also be positioned at different angles and still work beautifully. In 1965 it got the suspension and seats as the base model did but no change of colour or anything else.

Mine has just arrived and wasn't something I was looking for at all but I am glad to have one now, having seen how good it is. I still have the upper rubber belt in place and it looks very fresh still. The lower one has come off and I am not sure how to replace it but I'll try, assuming I can find one.

Lastly there are a couple of Jeeps with the hydraulic device at the back to enable people to access things like cherries or lamp standards. The first variety only ever came as a Gift Set 14, a lamp standard and character being included in the box. This had no suspension or interior and would be red. Then in 1965 again #478 came out. This was the same model but in a nice shade of metallic green but no lamp standard in the box. Still a character, however, but he always got lost anyway.

I have yet to get these two but here's a photo of one that should be coming my way for the time being.

478 (the earlier red one is GS14)

Those two can be confusing, especially as the first one didn't have its own model number and so gets missed in lists.

The casting of these jeeps is a bit strange. As the chap who runs Little Wheels points out, Corgi nearly always, outlined doors with engraved lines, that is lines that go into the model. On these Jeeps the line is risen which is exactly the opposite, implying that quite different hands were at work with this one. The base is also unusual. It is quite different to any others and, at the time it first appeared, all the others were thin tin place so this was completely different then. Coupled with just being an odd model to come out with anyway, there is a sort of mystery around the Jeep's inclusion.

I have to smile at the idea that a farmer in the 1960s would have had a left hand drive American vehicle in his fields, however good its elevator might have been! 

Anyway, appear it did and, as I said, it lasted a long time. Prices remain pretty depressed for all the variations, although the comparatively short life and lack of popularity of the early ones make them a bit more worthwhile seeking out in good condition. They should all work well and most of the devices seem to have survived extraordinarily well, especially when you think how many joints are involved that could get worn. So, whoever did make these did a first class job.

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