Monday, 26 January 2015

Jolly Good Show, Chaps.

These took a while to find but, at last, I can put a line through #300, #301, #302 and #305 in the list. The four good, old fashioned sports cars which Corgi included in the early years. The Austin Healey was the 100/4 model and, with the Triumph TR2, appeared in July 1956 at the very start.

In the following year the delightful MGA was released and then in 1960 someone must have realised that the Triumph TR2 had long since finished production and a new model, more or less a TR3 was issued, getting a new number too.

These were simple models but much more attractive at the time than anything Dinky was doing and they sold really well. Amazingly, you can still find the MGA in the 1965 catalogue, with the Ghia L6.4, Chevrolet Sting Ray and Jaguar E-types to compete with. There were cars with steering, suspension, trans-o-lite headlamps and all sorts of bits that might open. And even in 1964 the Austin Healey, TR3 and MGA were all there to buy still. They definitely have a certain charm about them and the MGA and Austin Healey are attractive models. I have never been fond of the TR2 and I'm not too sure about the TR3 they produced either.

Many of these cars would have been children's favourites and used far more than the others, getting raced around the 'road' at the edge of a carpet and more often that we would have liked slamming into the skirting board where both the board and the cars would suffer paint loss. The windscreens would, inevitably get broken too. These open cars would have had to have been put away very carefully indeed if those screens were not to suffer and I think that one of the reasons that you don't see many of these now is because so many screen s did suffer and, coupled with scuffs and marks, made the cars look a bit sad and they weren't the ones kept long term and even now could get chucked out or ignored by anyone who isn't familiar with them.

I think the MGA has an original screen but the other three needed replacements. They're easy enough to get hold of and, unlike too many later models, are simple to fix. It really does 'restore' the model, even if the screens aren't brilliant.

You can see more photos of these four new additions on my site under British Cars.

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