Another Mini arrived this morning - an Austin Seven with flat hubs and in really nice, clean condition. What immediately struck me, though, was its colour. It has a distinctively tomato flavoured shade compared to the one I have had since my childhood.
It is also made from a different casting, being similar to the yellow Mini that came a little while ago, having rectangular holes in the base showing the axles.
I dug out the other two red Austins that I have and, remarkably, they all have different castings! There is the tomato one with the holes, my original collection item with no holes but two rectangular flat areas near the front and another deeper red type with free spinning wheels, no holes or rectangular areas but which has a small circular extrusion midway between the front wheels. That one also has a different shape cut out for the four wheels and the text, set out differently reads Patent No. as opposed to Patent Application.
My guess is that the tatty old one with the Patent No. text is the later of the three, especially with the free spinning wheels that it has. (That one also has two steering wheels - one floating around inside! I have no idea how that could have got in other than at the factory as the base has not been removed and the plastic interior looks intact. The rear window is a bit odd but I don't think it could have been opened in any way. Bit of a mystery, that one! In more ways than one.
Another yellow Austin is on its way from France where no-one seems to realise they're particularly scarce. It looks in fine condition and a lot better than the one I got a few weeks ago. I have also acquired a very pretty little Morris Minor in pale blue with a yellow interior. I had to look at the pictures for several minutes before realising that there was something different about this one!
I shall write separately about the yellow one when it arrives. I am assuming it will be the same casting as the one I have.